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Fall Arts Guide

Classical and Opera

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France's Jean-Yves Thibaudet performs at the intimate Soka University Performing Arts Center in November with a program that includes Schumann and Ravel.

CLASSICAL AND OPERA

“Gianni Schicchi”/“Pagliacci”
Sept. 12, 17, 20, 24, 27, Oct. 3
Los Angeles Opera
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 
135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
Woody Allen isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you think about Puccini. But the director’s fans know of his love for the opera, which he has incorporated into some of his films. In 2008, Allen created and directed a production of Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi” for LA Opera, which played along with director Franco Zeffirelli’s staging of “Pagliacci.” Now the two operas are back, with Plácido Domingo playing the title role in the Puccini and conducting the second opera. :: laopera.org

“Immortal Beethoven”
Oct. 1-13
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 
111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
It’s a Beethoven lover’s dream come true: All of the composer’s nine symphonies, in order, in a short period, in a stunning hall, played by one of the great orchestras of the world. Gustavo Dudamel will conduct two complete cycles, with the LA Phil and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. For Beethoven’s Ninth, the two orchestras will combine, along with the LA Master Chorale and soprano Mariana Ortiz, mezzo-soprano J’nai Bridges, tenor Joshua Guerrero and bass Soloman Howard. This won’t be the first time Dudamel has conducted all nine Beethoven symphonies: Earlier this year, he led the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra in the cycle over five successive nights in Bogota. Check the LA Phil’s website for specific dates and times.
:: laphil.org

Lang Lang
Oct. 17
Philharmonic Society
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 
600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa
It’s been seven years since Lang Lang last performed in Orange County, so his appearance in a recital presented by the Philharmonic Society will be a celebration of sorts. He’s expanded his horizons a bit since then, whether it’s performing “Happy” with Pharrell at the Grammy Awards earlier this year, playing with Plácido Domingo at the 2014 World Cup or serenading the crowds at the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The charismatic Chinese pianist is scheduled to perform J.S. Bach’s Italian Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s “The Seasons” and the four Chopin scherzi. :: philharmonicsociety.org

“Moby-Dick”
Oct. 31, Nov. 7, 15, 19, 22, 28
Los Angeles Opera
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 
135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles
No, you won’t hear “Call me Ishmael” in this opera based on the epic tale by Herman Melville. In Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer’s “Moby-Dick,” there is no first-person narrator, and the novice whaler is, aptly, named Greenhorn. But the whale-obsessed Capt. Ahab, his first-mate Starbuck and tattooed harpooner Queequeg remain, enhanced by dazzling projections designed by Elaine J. McCarthy. Jay Hunter Morris, who plays Ahab, has previously performed the role with the San Diego Opera and San Francisco Opera. Leonard Foglia directs. :: laopera.org

Jean-Yves Thibaudet
Nov. 1
Soka University Performing Arts Center, 
1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo
Jean-Yves Thibaudet has been called “the poet of the piano” – and with good reason. On concert stages worldwide, the charismatic French pianist has thrilled audiences with his mastery of Beethoven and Saint-Saens to Gershwin and Alexandre Desplat’s score for “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” At Soka, his program will include works by Schumann and Ravel. :: soka.edu/pac

Danish String Quartet
Nov. 1
Philharmonic Society
Segerstrom Center for the Arts,
600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa
The Danish String Quartet, actually three Danes and a Norwegian – violinist Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, violist Asbjørn Nørgaard, cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölinand and violinist Frederik Øland – have been performing together since 2002. In 2013, the quartet began a three-year residency with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s program for outstanding young performers. The quartet has never performed in Orange County. Their program will consist of Thomas Adés’ “Arcadiana,” Haydn’s String Quartet No. 2 in C major, Op. 54, and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135. 
:: philharmonicsociety.org

San Diego Symphony with 
Sarah Chang
Nov. 10
Soka University Performing Arts Center, 
1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo
What were you doing when you were 6 years old? At 6, Korean-American violinist Sarah Chang was accepted to the Juilliard School and taking classes. In 1988. when she was 8, Chang performed as the featured soloist with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic, playing Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Since then, she has played with orchestras around the world. She joins conductor Jahja Ling and the San Diego Symphony in a program of Greenstein’s “Change,” Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique.” :: soka.edu/pac
 
Conrad Tao
Dec. 3-5
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa
Pianist and composer Conrad Tao started playing recitals at age 4, making his Carnegie Hall debut when he was 13. Now 21, he has performed as a soloist around the world with such orchestras as the San Francisco Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Tao reunites with the Pacific Symphony for Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Beethoven’s “Eroica” is also on the program. :: pacificsymphony.org

LA Philharmonic
Dec. 13
Philharmonic Society
Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 
600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa
Why fight the traffic to downtown Los Angeles when you can enjoy the LA Philharmonic much closer to home? The Philharmonic Society of Orange County is taking care of 
you with its annual presentation of the orchestra. LA Phil associate conductor Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla leads the LA Phil through a program of Weinberg’s Suite from “The Golden Key,” Tchaikovsky’s  Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36, and Vieuxtemps’  Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor, Op. 31 with guest violinist Hilary Hahn. :: philharmonicsociety.org


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