SAN DIEGO — The last time Irish flutist James Galway brought his golden flute to town was two years ago to play Mozart with the San Diego Symphony at the inaugural gala of Symphony Hall.
If the local orchestra's fortunes have ebbed since that heady event, Galway's stock has continued to soar. Televised appearances with the Boston Pops and a wide range of recordings have brought him a huge following outside the classical music mainstream.
Galway returns to Symphony Hall Wednesday night with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Not surprisingly, the concert is sold out.
"We were swamped by the Galway groupies," said Helen Erawan, spokeswoman for the concert's sponsor, the La Jolla Chamber Music Society. "He's the Picasso of the flute--you may not know anything about flute music or know (French flutist) Jean-Pierre Rampal, but you've heard of Galway," said Erawan.
Fellow flutist and conductor Ransom Wilson will be the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's guest conductor. The two flutists will join forces to perform Cimarosa's Double Flute Concerto in G Major; Galway will solo in Mozart's D Major Flute Concerto, K. 314, and in Mercadante's E Minor Flute Concerto.
The program is the society's opening concert in its downtown Celebrity Series.