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Pacific Symphony Expands 1996-97 Schedule

February 20, 1996|CHRIS PASLES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA — The Pacific Symphony will increase its classical music series at the Orange County Performing Arts Center from nine to 10 pairs of concerts in the 1996-97 season.

"We've been talking about expanding in a measured way for several seasons, as soon as we began to see a solidification of our subscriber base, which we did last season," executive director Louis G. Spisto said Friday. "This year it increased by several percentage points."

Spisto said the $6.3-million budget for this year would expand by about $150,000 to cover the additional costs. A concertmaster to replace Sheryl Staples, who left in January to become associate concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, will be in place by the start of the season, Spisto said.

A highlight of the year will be performances of three new piano concertos for the left hand, co-commissioned by the Pacific, Baltimore and St. Louis symphonies from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom. The works will be premiered in Baltimore in April and played in Orange County in November.

The first of the three will be played Nov. 6, the second Nov. 7, and both will be played simultaneously to create, in effect, a third concerto at both concerts. The simultaneous version will utilize two pianos.

The soloists will be Leon Fleisher and Gary Graffman. Each has suffered injuries that curtail use of the right hand.

Other soloists will include violinists Nadja-Salerno Sonnenberg and Cho-Liang Lin, Pacific Symphony principal cellist Timothy Landauer, pianist Andre-Michel Schub and guitarist Christopher Parkening.

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Guest conductors will include Indianapolis Symphony music director Raymond Leppard and Utah Symphony music director Joseph Silverstein (who will double as violinist on the concerts he conducts).

Additionally, the season will include three pieces by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, which the orchestra will record for the Sony Classical label in 1997: "From Me Flows What You Call Time" (with the Nexus percussion ensemble), Requiem and "Twill by Twilight."

All concerts will take place at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The Thursday concerts, for the fifth consecutive year, will be aired on KUSC-FM (91.5).

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

THE PACIFIC SYMPHONY

The '96-97 Season:

* Oct. 16, 17: Overture to Wagner's "Tannhauser"; Strauss' "Don Juan"; Sibelius' Violin Concerto (Nadja-Salerno Sonnenberg, soloist).

* Nov. 6, 7: Bernstein's "Symphonic Dances"; Suite From Ginastera's "Estancia"; William Bolcom's Concertos No. 1 and 2 for Piano, Left Hand, and Concerto No. 3 for Two Pianos, Left Hand (Leon Fleisher and Gary Graffman, soloists).

* Dec. 11, 12: Takemitsu's "Twill by Twilight"; Brahms' "Nanie" (Pacific Chorale); Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 (Susan von Reichenbach, soprano; Mary Ann McCormick, mezzo-soprano; David Hamilton, tenor; Thomas Scurich, baritone; Pacific Chorale).

* Dec. 14: Handel's "Messiah." Conductor and soloists to be announced. This is a nonsubscription concert at 3:30 p.m.

* Jan. 8, 9: Rodrigo's "Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre" (Christopher Parkening, guitar); Ravel's "Rapsodie Espagnole"; Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3. Raymond Leppard, conductor.

* Feb. 6, 7: Takemitsu's Requiem and "From Me Flows What You Call Time" (Nexus, percussion ensemble); Brahms' Symphony No. 1.

* Feb 26, 27: Vaughan Williams' "Fantasy on a Theme of Thomas Tallis"; Elgar's Cello Concerto (Timothy Landauer, cello); Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4.

* March 26, 27: Beethoven's "Egmont" Overture; Schumann's Piano Concerto (Andre-Michel Schub, piano); excerpts from Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen."

* April 9, 10: Bach's "Brandenburg" Concerto No. 3 and Violin Concerto No. 2; Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons." Joseph Silverstein, conductor and violin.

* April 30, May 1: Mozart's "Impresario" Overture and Violin Concerto No. 4 (Cho-Liang Lin, violin); Dvorak's Symphony No. 8.

* May 28, 29: Mahler's Symphony No. 3 (mezzo-soprano to be announced; Women of the Pacific Chorale; Pacific Chorale Children's Chorus).

Carl St.Clair will conduct all concerts except as indicated. Series tickets, from $80 to $380, will go on sale April 1. (714) 755-5799.

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