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February 26, 2024

With This Extraordinary Milestone, St.Clair Becomes the Longest Tenured American-Born Music Director of a Major American Orchestra

Season-long Celebration Features Defining Characteristics of St.Clair’s Programming:

  • World Premieres of Commissions from Major American Composers including a New Piano Concerto by Adolphus Hailstork and Orchestral Work by Viet Cuong
  • Opera in Concert Features Pacific Symphony’s First Ring Cycle Opera with WAGNER’S DAS RHEINGOLD
  • Themed Evenings include Halloween-inspired Concert, Nature in Music, and the Spiritually-Infused Cathedrals in Sound.
  • Partnering with Pacific Chorale, St.Clair Leads Two Choral Masterworks: CARMINA BURANA and VERDI’S REQUIEM
  • Long-time St.Clair Collaborator, Joshua Bell, Joins Soprano Larisa Martínez  to Explore Works from Opera to Musical Theater and Latin American Favorites

Guest Artists Include:

Guest conductors Rune Bergmann, Paolo Bortolameolli,* Valentina Peleggi,*
Eduardo Strausser,* and Christopher Warren-Green; violinists Vadim Gluzman, Dennis Kim, and Jennifer Koh; violist Meredith Crawford; pianists Jeffrey Biegel, Claire Huangci, George Li, and Benjamin Pasternack; organist Paul Jacobs; vocalists Alisa Jordheim (soprano), Nicholas Phan (tenor), and Hugh Russell (baritone); guitarist Mak Gergić*; and
 The Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif.—Pacific Symphony today announces its 2024-25 season, the 35thanniversary season of Carl St.Clair’s tenure as the orchestra’s Music Director, the longest of any American-born conductor with a major American orchestra. The Symphony’s 46thseason and opening of the Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series begins on Thursday, Sept. 26. Comprising 36 concerts as part of a 12-program subscription series, four Sunday Matinees, and four specials, the 2024-25 Classical Season presents wide-ranging selections of masterworks, treasured classics, and exciting new discoveries. Over the course of the season, St.Clair leads works by composers he has championed at Pacific Symphony, and celebrates his relationship with the Symphony’s musicians by collaborating with gifted guest artists as soloists.

Pacific Symphony’s President and CEO John Forsyte said, “Carl St.Clair’s 35th Anniversary as the music director of Pacific Symphony will feature numerous exhilarating moments under his exceptional leadership. This is undoubtedly one of his most ambitious seasons and one that will generate great community excitement. Throughout his tenure, he has appointed the vast majority of musicians that occupy the tenured roster of this highly distinguished group of orchestral musicians. With the emotion of this season, they will undoubtedly add an extra dimension of energy to Carl’s musical choices that both reflect his artistic values and have animated his thrilling tenure.

Forstye continued, “Throughout his remarkable 35-year journey, Carl’s musical passion has been a source of inspiration for both the artistic community and audiences. His inspiring commitment to Orange County is evident in the innovative programs he has curated, often featuring thematic designs, cultural context, choral-orchestral music, and a focal point on American composers. This season is a feast of many highlights, and I hope patrons will join us for this extraordinary musical odyssey.”

Carl St.Clair commented: “As we herald the 2024–25 season, it’s not just a celebration of the music we’ve cherished over the years, but a heartfelt homage to the enduring relationship I’ve shared with Pacific Symphony. This landmark 35th anniversary season is a testament to our collective journey—a tapestry of our shared experiences, our growth, and our unyielding commitment to excellence. The musicians of Pacific Symphony are not just performers; they are the very heartbeat of our institution. This season is an expression of our gratitude to them and to our audience, as we continue to forge a legacy of artistic brilliance. I am immensely proud to serve as your Music Director, and as we embark on this momentous season, I am eager to celebrate our past and present as we look to the exciting new vistas that lie ahead.”



Pacific Symphony’s 2024-25 season begins in style with a celebratory opening performance (Sept. 26). The program presents an eclectic mix of musical genius, beginning with the dynamic compositions of Frank Ticheli followed by Maurice Ravel’s Alborada del gracioso, a piece infused with the warmth and vitality of Spain. Celebrated pianist Claire Huangci graces the stage with her interpretation of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, bringing to life the famous 18th variation known for its appearance in the movie Somewhere in Time. The concert culminates in a performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, which the composer considered “one of his best works.”


In keeping with his tradition of commissioning new works to expand the repertoire, Carl St.Clair has programmed two world premieres for the Feb. 6-8, 2025 concerts. The dazzling razzmatazz of Bernstein’s high-spirited musical prelude Slava! sets the stage for two world premieres commissioned by Carl St.Clair and Pacific Symphony: a new piano concerto by esteemed African American composer Adolphus Hailstork to be performed by Jeffrey Biegel and a new orchestral by Pacific Symphony’s Vietnamese American Composer-in-Residence Viet Cuong. Respighi’s tone poem Pines of Rome paints in music the grandeur and history of the Eternal City, including a recording of an actual Italian nightingale singing a serene nocturne!


Carl St.Clair was the first non-European to hold the position of general music director and chief conductor of the German National Theatre and Staatskapelle Weimar (2005-08). During that tenure, he conducted the entire 15-hour Ring Cycle with the Staatskapelle Weimar to great critical acclaim. Now, Pacific Symphony audiences will have the opportunity to experience St.Clair’s interpretation of the first part of this monumental work (April 10, 12, and 15, 2025). The raw power and gripping narrative of this mythic prologue, where the stakes are as high as the heavens and as deep as the Rhine itself, promises a performance not-to-be-missed. The opera will be presented semi-staged in concert with Pacific Symphony sharing the stage with the vocal forces (cast to be announced).


During the 2024-25 season, Pacific Symphony will offer specially themed evenings designed to captivate your senses and ignite your imagination for a more immersive experience. Audiences will be invited to a post-concert Halloween party after the “Classical Spooktacular” program (Oct. 17-19). Costumes and fun party attire are optional, and multiple social media opportunities will abound. Let the “Nature in Music” evening (Jan. 9-11, 2025) transport you to verdant forests and serene landscapes. The Four Seasons of Vivaldi shares the program with Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony, which features jaw-dropping visuals of majestic mountains. And finally, ascend to ethereal heights during “Cathedrals in Sound” (May 8-10, 2025), a night where spirituality and symphonic sounds converge to create a musical sanctuary, with Gregorian Chant enhancing the reverent atmosphere. These aren’t just concerts; they are a gateway to experiences that resonate with your soul. Don’t just attend, be part of the story that will be told through every note played and every chord struck. Join Pacific Symphony for a season of unforgettable nights where you don’t just listen to music—you live it.



Carl St.Clair’s 35th anniversary season would not be complete without special partnerships with Pacific Chorale. The first of two choral masterpieces is Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (Feb. 27-28, March 1, 2025). This program offers a compelling journey through vocal music, opening with Morten Lauridsen’s evocative work O Magnum Mysterium for solo voices that contracts the intricate beauty of Bach’s keyboard concerto. The GRAMMY® award-winning Pacific Chorale will then perform Carmina Burana, a staple of the choral repertoire known for its raw emotional impact and its wide-reaching influence in contemporary culture.


For the grand finale of the 2024-25 season (June 5-7, 2025), Carl St.Clair leads the combined forces of Pacific Symphony, Pacific Chorale, and a quartet of soloists (to be announced) in Verdi’s Requiem. This monumental work has been described as an “opera in ecclesiastical dress” due to its theatrical power and dramatic force that is as compelling and intense as any of his operas. The Requiem is rich with emotional contrasts and unforgettable arias, like the “Libera me” for soprano, that showcases Verdi’s lyrical genius. With its soaring choral lines, striking orchestral forces, and the visceral impact of the “Dies irae” and the ethereal beauty of the “Sanctus,” this Verdi masterpiece transcends the traditional liturgical settings. It is a celebration of human emotions in the face of mortality.


Carl St.Clair has devoted his tenure at Pacific Symphony to designing festivals and concert series that enable audiences to engage more deeply with both new music and standard orchestra repertoire. The four-concert Sunday Matinee series was launched in 1995. These concerts offer audiences an intimate and lively exploration of the classics. Just 90 minutes long, these informal programs provide a perfect introduction to classical music: Fantastic Symphony (Oct. 20), A Day in the Alps (Jan. 12, 2025), Carmina Burana (March 2, 2025), and re-Discover Verdi’s Requiem (June 8, 2025).



A work of enduring significance that continues to resonate with audiences across generations, Handel’s revered oratorio Messiah (Dec. 8) is celebrated for its intricate instrumental textures and the exuberant “Hallelujah Chorus.” This performance with Pacific Chorale and vocal soloists to be announced, under the baton of Christopher Warren-Green, offers a profound musical experience that encompasses joy, contemplation, and the spirit of renewal.


Pacific Symphony welcomes Lunar New Year (Feb. 1, 2025), ushering in the Year of the Snake with its eighth annual concert. Carl St.Clair conducts this cross-cultural celebration uniting Eastern and Western traditions in a vibrant display of music and dance, reflecting the rich tapestry of our diverse communities.


Long-time St.Clair collaborator, GRAMMY® Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell, joins soprano Larisa Martínez to explore works from opera to musical theater and Latin American favorites (Feb. 13, 2025) for violin, voice, and orchestra. Martínez and Bell told the origin story for this unique concert, “Our concept for the ‘Voice and the Violin’ program began during the pandemic, while we were quarantined and finding new ways to collaborate and enjoy music together. Although finding repertoire written specifically for violin and voice can be a challenge, we discovered and fell in love with these gems featured in our ‘Voice and The Violin’ performances.”


Pacific Symphony marks the occasion of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, with a special concert (March 29, 2025). Nowruz, which heralds the start of spring, is recognized as a time of renewal and a celebration of nature’s rejuvenation. The Symphony’s performance is dedicated to embracing this spirit of new beginnings and the shared values of diverse cultures through the universal language of music.


The soon-to-be-announced SummerFest season will include five concerts beneath the stars. Programs still to be released in coming months include Pacific Symphony presents Pops under the direction of Principal Pops Conductor Enrico Lopez-Yañez, Family Musical Mornings, Café Ludwig chamber music series, and the Pedals and Pipes organ series. The county-wide Symphony on the Go! mobile-stage concert tour returns after three successful seasons. The tour will include more than 30 concerts, beginning in May and continuing through October.


Subscription materials for Pacific Symphony’s 2024-25 Classical Series are now available, offering a savings of up to 40% off regular single ticket prices on a wide variety of concert packages from 4 to 12 concerts each. Subscribers save 20% on additional tickets purchased throughout the year, and enjoy easy ticket exchange options and other subscriber-only benefits, including preferential discounts at nearby restaurants.

Tickets for special concerts are currently available for purchase only with subscriptions. Subscriptions may be purchased or renewed by any of four methods: online, by phone, by mail, or in person at the box office. Pacific Symphony provides an easy payment plan option for subscribers: subscription purchases are eligible for the payment plan and will be automatically charged in installments on the first of the month through Sept. 2024.

For more information, call Pacific Symphony Patron Services at (714) 755-5799, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit PacificSymphony.org. Groups of 10 or more who are interested in subscribing to the 2024-25 season should call Pacific Symphony’s group sales department at (714) 876-2391.

Patrons may also visit PacificSymphony.org to order tickets, learn about other nearby attractions and restaurants, and make donations. The Symphony’s website provides background on the performances and the performers, along with Spotify playlists of works to be performed.

The Symphony’s blog Pacific Overtures features engaging articles, audio, and video to enhance patrons’ experience before and after performances. Timely content of interest to concertgoers can also be found on Pacific Symphony’s social media channels: Facebook, X/Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and WeChat.

Pacific Symphony performs in the heart of Southern California at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at 615 Town Center Drive on the Segerstrom Center for the Arts campus in Costa Mesa.

The 2024-25 Classical Season series sponsors include Park Club California, PBS SoCal, and Classical California KUSC.


All concerts at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. While it rarely happens, programs, artists, prices, dates, and availability are subject to change.

*    Indicates Pacific Symphony debut

**   Indicates first performance by Pacific Symphony

Opening Night Celebration


Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 26-28, 8 p.m.

Carl St.Clair, conductor

Claire Huangci, piano

Ticheli: Shooting Stars

Ravel: Alborada del gracioso

Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Beethoven: Symphony No. 7


Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 17-19, 8 p.m.

Carl St.Clair, conductor

Meredith Crawford, viola

WILLIAMS: “Devil’s Dance” from Witches of Eastwick**

BUNCH: The Devil’s Box**

BERLIOZ: Symphonie Fantastique


Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 14-16, 8 p.m.

Valentina Peleggi, conductor*

Vadim Gluzman, violin

BARBER: Symphony No. 1

TCHAIKOVSKY: Francesca da Rimini

BRAHMS: Violin Concerto


Thursday through Saturday, Dec. 5-7, 8 p.m.

Rune Bergmann, conductor

Mak Grgić, guitar*

FUNG: Prayer**

RODRIGO: Fantasy for a Gentleman

DVORAK: Symphony No. 8


Thursday through Friday, Jan. 9-11, 2025, 8 p.m.

Carl St.Clair, conductor

Dennis Kim, violin and leader

Tobias Melle, visuals

VIVALDI: The Four Seasons

STRAUSS: Alpine Symphony (with jaw-dropping visuals!)


Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 6-8, 2025, 8 p.m.

Carl St.Clair, conductor

Jeffrey Biegel, piano


HAILSTORK: Piano Concerto (world premiere)**

CUONG: World Premiere**

RESPIGHI: Pines of Rome


Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 27-28, March 1, 2025, 8 p.m.

Carl St.Clair, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Robert Istad, artistic director

Southern California Children’s Choir

Lori Loftus, founding director

Benjamin Pasternack, piano

Alisa Jordheim, soprano

Nicholas Phan, tenor

Hugh Russell, baritone

LAURIDSEN: O Magnum Mysterium

BACH: Keyboard Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052

ORFF: Carmina Burana


Thursday through Saturday, March 20-21-22, 2025, 8 p.m.

Paolo Bortolameolli, conductor*

Jennifer Koh, violin

MENDELSSOHN: Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto

SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 10


Thursday, Saturday, and Tuesday, April 10, 12, and 15, 2025

Carl St. Clair, conductor

Brian Staufenbiel, stage director

Vocal soloists to be announced

WAGNER: Das Rheingold**


Thursday through Saturday, May 1-3, 2025

Eduardo Strausser, conductor

George Li, piano

BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”

MAHLER: Symphony No. 1


Thursday through Saturday, May 8-10, 2025, 8 p.m.

Carl St.Clair, conductor

Paul Jacobs, organ

Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael’s Abbey

TRADITIONAL: Gregorian Chant

BACH: Sinfonia in D minor

GUILMONT: Symphony No. 1**

BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 7


Thursday through Friday, June 5-7, 2025

Carl St.Clair, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Robert Istad, artistic director

Vocal soloists to be announced

VERDI: Requiem

Sunday Matinee 1

Oct. 20, 2024


Carl St.Clair, conductor

BERLIOZ: Symphonie Fantastique

Sunday Matinee 2

January 12, 2025


Carl St.Clair, conductor

Tobias Melle, visuals

STRAUSS: An Alpine Symphony (with jaw-dropping visuals!)

Sunday Matinee 3

March 2, 2025


Carl St.Clair, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Robert Istad, artistic director

Southern California Children’s Choir

Lori Loftus, founding director

Alisa Jordheim, soprano

Nicholas Phan, tenor

Hugh Russell, baritone

ORFF: Carmina Burana

Sunday Matinee 4

June 8, 2025


Carl St.Clair, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Robert Istad, artistic director

Vocal soloists to be announced

VERDI: Requiem


Sunday, Dec. 8, 2024, 3 p.m.  


Christopher Warren-Green, conductor
Pacific Chorale,

Robert Istad, artistic director

Vocal soloists to be announced

Handel: Messiah 


Saturday, Feb. 1, 2025 | 8 p.m.

Carl St.Clair, conductor 


Thursday, Feb. 13, 2025, 8 p.m.

Carl St.Clair, conductor

Joshua Bell, violin

Larissa Martínez, soprano


Saturday, March 23, 2025, 8 p.m. 

Carl St.Clair, conductor 

About Pacific Symphony

Pacific Symphony, under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Carl St.Clair since 1990, has been the resident orchestra of Orange County’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall for 15 years. Founded in 1978, the Symphony is the largest orchestra formed in the U.S. in the last 50 years and is not only a fixture of musical life in Southern California, but is also recognized as an outstanding ensemble making strides on both the national and international scenes. The orchestra presents more than 100 concerts and events each year and a rich array of education and community engagement programs, reaching more than 300,000 residents of all ages.

Pacific Symphony made its debut at Carnegie Hall in 2018, where it was invited to perform as part of a yearlong celebration of composer Philip Glass’ 80th birthday. The Symphony made its first-ever tour to China the same year, with performances in five cities, including Shanghai and Beijing. The Symphony has been recognized with multiple ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming and included among the country’s five most innovative orchestras by the League of American Orchestras.

Pacific Symphony’s discography comprises 15 recordings, mostly of 20th- and 21st-century music by such American composers as William Bolcom, John Corigliano and Richard Danielpour. In 2012 for Naxos, St.Clair and the orchestra recorded Philip Glass’s The Passion of Ramakrishna, a Pacific Symphony commission that appeared on the Carnegie Hall program. The Symphony has also recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Koch International Classics, Reference Recordings, and Sony Classical, among other labels.

The Symphony has been recognized with multiple ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming and included among the country’s five most innovative orchestras by the League of American Orchestras. The Symphony’s education and community engagement activities have also been recognized by the League, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts.

About Music Director Carl St.Clair
The 2024-25 season marks Music Director Carl St.Clair’s 35th anniversary year leading Pacific Symphony. He holds the distinction of being the longest-tenured American-born conductor of a major American orchestra. St. Clair’s lengthy history solidifies the strong relationship he has forged with the musicians and community. His continuing role also lends stability to the organization and continuity to his vision for the symphony’s future. Few orchestras can claim such rapid artistic development as Pacific Symphony—the largest-budgeted orchestra formed in the United States in the last 50 years, due in large part to St.Clair’s leadership.

During his tenure, St.Clair has become widely recognized for his musically distinguished performances, his commitment to building outstanding educational programs and his innovative approaches to programming. In April 2018, St.Clair led Pacific Symphony in its sold-out Carnegie Hall debut, as the finale to the Carnegie’s yearlong celebration of pre-eminent composer Philip Glass’ 80th birthday, ending in a standing ovation, with The New York Times calling the Symphony “a major ensemble!” He led Pacific Symphony on its first tour to China in May 2018, the orchestra’s first international tour since touring Europe in 2006. The orchestra made its national PBS debut in June 2018 on Great Performances with Peter Boyer’s Ellis Island: The Dream of America, conducted by St.Clair. Among St.Clair’s many creative endeavors are the highly acclaimed American Composers Festival, which began in 2000; and the opera initiative, “Symphonic Voices,” which has included concert-opera productions of Madame Butterfly, The Magic Flute, Aida, Turandot, Carmen, La Traviata, Tosca,and Rigoletto in previous seasons.

Highlights of his tenure include launching the American Composers Festival, which explores a different aspect of American music each year, and the annual Symphonic Voices performance of an opera in concert. He has also emphasized the regular commissioning and recording of new works, particularly by American composers, and has been a strong advocate for music education, spearheading such programs as the Pacific Symphony Youth Ensembles and Class Act partnerships with Orange County elementary schools.

Mentored by Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood, St.Clair became a close colleague of the conductor/composer in his later years, and led the premiere of Arias and Barcarolles on Bernstein’s last concert. In addition to leading the Pacific Symphony, he has conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra (where he served as assistant conductor under Seiji Ozawa), Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Montreal, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver symphonies, among others. He conducts internationally for several months each year and has served as general music director for the Komische Oper in Berlin, general music director and chief conductor of the German National Theater and Staatskapelle in Weimar, music director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Costa Rica and principal guest conductor of the Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart.