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THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA RETURNS TO ORANGE COUNTY IN A WEEK-LONG MULTI-FACETED ORCHESTRAL RESIDENCY OF CONCERTS, EDUCATION, AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENTS
IRVINE, CA (December 18, 2023)—Described as “one of the best and most prestigious symphonic orchestras in the world” by The Daily Californian, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) returns to Orange County this January in a week-long multi-faceted orchestral residency presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. In addition to performing three incredible concerts performing a variety of works—including a side-by-side with the Philharmonic Society’s very own Orange County Youth Symphony (OCYS)—the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will also engage with the Orange County community beyond the stage. This residency is supported by the Donna L. Kendall Classical Series, the Henry T. and Elizabeth Segerstrom Foundation Select Series—with additional support from The Segerstrom Foundation, the Colburn Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Friends of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (AFRPO). This is also a KUSC Partner Show Event.
Founded in 1946, RPO has attracted and collaborated with the most inspiring artists, and in August 2021 the Orchestra welcomed Vasily Petrenko as its new Music Director. Petrenko boasts an impressive repertoire of work, having conducted some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Czech Philharmonic, and NHK Symphony and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. Moreover, Petrenko has showcased his talent leading performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, as well as the San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and Montreal Symphony Orchestras.
Under Petrenko’s leadership, the RPO’s mission has been to place orchestral music at the heart of contemporary society and through collaborations with creative partners, foster deeper engagement with communities to ensure that live orchestral music is accessible to an inclusive and diverse audience. This residency will include an array of community engagement programs that will ensure just that.
- OCYS/RPO Rehearsal & Social Hour (Sunday, January 14) This week-long residency begins with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County’s Youth Symphony and String Ensemble—giving students the opportunity to learn and collaborate with professional musicians.
- RPO Family Concert (Monday, January 15) A free family concert will be held at Santa Ana High School’s Bill Medley Auditorium—at 11am. This free concert narrated by Tim Steiner and performed by RPO will feature “Heroes & Villains” themed family-oriented activities, popular and classical orchestral arrangements, interactive audience participation, and on-the-spot written compositions. This event is free, but reservations are required; to reserve tickets visit philharmonicsociety.org, contact email@example.com or call (949) 553-2422, ext. 237.
- STROKESTRA® Overview Sessions (Tuesday, January 16) The West Coast receives its premiere of RPO’s STROKESTRA® initiative—an initiative that explores music’s impact on the stroke recovery process. STROKESTRA®’s groundbreaking collaboration with UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts and UCI Health will feature a series of workshops, Q&A sessions, and leadership trainings. This event begins at 7pm. Space for this event is limited. For more information or to RSVP, please contact our Education Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (949) 553-2422, ext. 237.
- RPO School Visits (Thursday, January 18) RPO will visit local elementary and high schools to perform and lead masterclasses—providing opportunities for students to learn from professional musicians.
- Schools Include:
- Edison Elementary School
- Estancia High School
- Beckman High School
- Fountain Valley High School
- and more!
- Schools Include:
- Creative Music-Making Professional Development Workshop (Friday, January 19) There will be a professional development workshop hosted by a RPO workshop leader. This interactive workshop will give local high school music directors the opportunity to learn new teaching techniques to foster creative and collaborative music-making environments.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concerts at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
In addition to the many community engagements surrounding the residency, RPO will perform three incredible concerts featuring extraordinary soloists. On Thursday, January 18th, Anne Akiko Meyers will perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the orchestra. Described as “a musical wizard, with astonishing access to every kind of expressive color” (San Diego Union-Tribune), Anne regularly performs around the world as a soloist with leading orchestras, in recital, and is a prolific recording artist with over 40 recordings. A muse and champion of living composers, she recently premiered and performed Fandango by Arturo Márquez with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Anne has also premiered new music with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Seattle, Washington D.C., Helsinki, Hyogo, Leipzig, London, Lyon, New Zealand, among others. Anne will also premiere new music as Artistic Director of the 2024 Laguna Beach Music Festival this upcoming February. The program includes Danse by Debussy (orch. by Ravel) and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.
Pianist and RPO Artist-in-Residence, Isata Kanneh-Mason will perform Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto on Friday, January 19th. Recognized internationally for her exceptional talent, Isata is highly regarded as both a soloist and chamber musician. Her eclectic repertoire is expansive, encompassing compositions from classical masters such as Haydn and Mozart to works of Clara Schumann, Chopin, Brahms, Gershwin, and more. In concerto, she is equally at home in Felix Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann, whose piano concertos featured on Isata’s chart-topping debut recording. In 2022-2023 Isata stepped into her role as Artist-in-Residence with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, performing three concerti across the season at London’s Cadogan Hall. Isata is also a Decca Classics recording artist. Her 2019 album, “Romance – the Piano Music of Clara Schumann,” entered the UK classical charts at No. 1, Gramophone magazine extolling the recording as “one of the most charming and engaging debuts.” This program also includes Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave) and Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No.2.
In the third and final concert of its residency with the Philharmonic Society, musicians from Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 and the world premiere of Prologue for Brass and Percussion by Brendan McBrien side-by-side with the Orange County Youth Symphony (OCYS). Included in the program are concerto competition winners Joey Zhou (cello) performing Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No.1 and Leenah Yoon (harp) playing Handel’s Harp Concerto in B-flat major. Founded in 1970, the Orange County Youth Symphony is the official youth orchestra of Orange County. Its diverse roster represents student musicians from nearly 60 middle school, high school, and college programs from San Clemente to Fullerton and beyond. The mission of the Orange County Youth Symphony is to provide pre-professional training to Orange County’s most talented young musicians through varied performance opportunities.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, is located at 615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Ticket prices start at $38 for Royal Philharmonic with Anne Akiko Meyers and Isata Kanneh-Mason and $25 for Royal Philharmonic with OCYS. Ticket packages for all three concerts are available starting at $140. Tickets are available at the Philharmonic Society box office at (949) 553-2422, online at www.philharmonicsociety.org, and at the Center box office at (714) 556-2787.
ABOUT THE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY:
Founded in 1954 as Orange County’s first music organization, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County presents national and international performances of the highest quality and provides dynamic and innovative music education programs for individuals of all ages to enhance the lives of Orange County audiences through music.
Since its inception, the Philharmonic Society has evolved and grown with the county’s changing landscape, presenting artists and orchestras who set the standard for artistic achievement from Itzhak Perlman, Gustavo Dudamel, Yo-Yo Ma, and Renée Fleming to the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and many others. In addition, the Philharmonic Society celebrates multi-disciplinary performances under its Eclectic Orange brand and embraces music from a wide range of countries with its World Music performances. Its celebrated family concerts introduce children to classical music with creative and inspiring performances, instilling music appreciation for future generations.
The Philharmonic Society’s nationally recognized Youth Music Education Programs, offered free of charge, engage more than 100,000 students annually through curriculum-based music education programs that aim to inspire, expand imaginations, and encourage learning at all levels. These programs are made possible by the Committees of the Philharmonic Society comprised of 500 volunteer members who provide more than 90,000 hours of in-kind service each year. As a key youth program, the exceptional Orange County Youth Symphony and String Ensemble provide top-tier training to the area’s most talented young musicians through multi-level ensemble instruction, leadership training, touring opportunities, challenging professional repertoire, and performances in world-class venues. The Philharmonic Society also promotes life-long learning by connecting with colleges and universities to conduct masterclasses and workshops and providing pre-concert lectures to introduce audiences to program selections.
(949) 553-2422, ext. 105
(949) 553-2422, ext. 230