By Robert D. Thomas
Southern California News Group
Each week about this time I list five (more or less) classical-music programs in Southern California (more or less) during the next seven days (more or less) that might be worth attending.
APRIL 6-8: PACIFIC SYMPHONY
8 p.m. at Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa
Music Director Carl St.Clair leads the Pacific Symphony in the orchestra’s annual American Composers Festival, which this year features Peter Boyer’s Ellis Island: The Dream of America, along with John Adams’ The Darma at Big Sur and Frank Tichelli’s Blue Shades. Alan Chapman offers a preview one hour before each performance.
BONUS: The April 7 and 8 performances are being taped for a future broadcast on PBS’ “Great Performances” series. The Boyer piece will be played as a stand-alone program on April 9.
For an excellent preview by OC Register staff writer Paul Hodgins, click HERE.
APRIL 6, 8 AND 9: LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC
8 p.m. on April 6. 2 p.m. on April 8 and 9
at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
Former L.A. Phil Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen (now the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate) leads the Phil in an all-Sibelius program: Symphony Nos. 6 and 7; Finlandia; and Six Humoresques, Op. 89, with Principal Concertmaster Martin Chalifour as soloist.
BONUS: Disney Hall is easily reachable (at least if you’re not mobility challenged) via the Red and Purple Lines. Exit at the 1st and Hill St. side of the Civic Center/Grand Park station and walk up two steep blocks to reach the hall.
APRIL 7-8: NEW WEST SYMPHONY
April 7 at 8 p.m. at Oxnard Performing Arts Center, Oxnard
April 8 at 8 p.m. at Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center, Thousand Oaks
Kynan Johns, the latest in a line of guest conductors vying to become the orchestra’s next music director, leads Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique; and Poulenc’s Gloria, with soprano So Young Park and the Cal Lutheran University Choral Ensembles.
APRIL 9: “FEEL THE SPIRIT” — LCPC CHANCEL CHOIR AND ORCHESTRA
2 p.m. at La Cañada Presbyterian Church, La Cañada
Music Director Jack Lantz leads his choir and orchestra (each of which numbers 60 performers) in a concert of famous American hymns, songs and spirituals. Disclaimer: my wife and I sing in the choir, so feel free to take this recommendation with a grain of salt or a pound of salt, as the late, great Molly Ivins used to say.
Seven of the spirituals were arranged by English composer John Rutter, who is far better known for his Christmas carol settings, but these arrangements are a winner!
BONUS: Free Admission (freewill offering with a suggested donation of $20; everyone who donates any amount and fills out a form will receive a CD of the concert later).
APRIL 9: CALDER QUARTET
4 p.m. at The Broad Stage, Santa Monica
The Broad’s Artists-in-Residence play Beethoven’s String Quartets Nos. 2, Op. 18, No. 2 and 8, Op. 59, No. 2, and the world premiere of Andrew McIntosh’s wrestle, stain, whistle and pound.
BONUS: The McIntosh piece is one of several that are being commissioned for this series, inspired by the Op. 59 quartets.
The Broad Stage can be reached via Metro’s Expo Line. Exit at the 17th St./SMCC station and it’s about a 10-minute walk from there.
(c) Copyright 2017, Robert D. Thomas. All rights reserved. Portions may be quoted with attribution.