Beethoven’s crowning achievement, the epic Symphony No. 9, “Choral,” featuring the soul-stirring “Ode to Joy,” brings Pacific Symphony’s classical season to a memorable close in a variety of ways. First! The concert, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, features a monumental fusion of orchestra and voices that includes Pacific Chorale and four world-class opera singers; plus, two timely works by Frank Ticheli: “Rest” (world premiere version for strings) and “Radiant Voices” provide a stunning prelude. Taking place Thursday-Saturday, May 31-June 2, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Costa Mesa, this concert is also part of the Symphony’s Music Unwound series and includes a display of Beethoven-inspired artwork by local artists who responded to the call: “OC Can You Create?” A preview talk by composer Ticheli begins at 7 p.m.
Second! The Symphony, in association with Segerstrom Center for the Arts, presents the very first “Pacific Symphony PlazaCast,” a live simulcast of the Symphony’s Beethoven Ninth performance shown on the Center’s plaza during the Saturday, June 2, concert starting at 9 p.m., with festivities, beginning at 8:30 p.m. The evening is a celebration of Maestro St.Clair’s 60th birthday, the Center’s 25th anniversary and John Alexander’s 40th anniversary, hosted by Classical KUSC’s Rich Capparela. This unique event is free and open to the public with no ticket required. The community is invited to come early, bring chairs and blankets, and picnic on the plaza, while enjoying a preview and live interviews with key guest artists—and a few surprises.
St.Clair also leads an afternoon performance and conversation for Classical Connections, “Beethoven’s Ninth Revealed,” on Sunday, June 3, at 3 p.m.