The Philharmonic Society of Orange County will expand both the number of concerts and range of music it offers in a 1996-97 season that delves deeper than ever into jazz and world music.
In addition, its classical offerings are top-heavy with big names, including the Vienna Philharmonic under Daniel Barenboim, making exclusive West Coast appearances for the society, rising Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel and solo piano recitals by composer Philip Glass and Ivo Pogorelich.
Continuing its healthy rebound from earlier budget and scheduling problems, the society is adding a new series of jazz concerts in north Orange County and will present a total of eight more performances next season than it did in 1995-96.
The new series will be held in Plummer Auditorium in Fullerton. The classical concerts will again be held at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa and at the Irvine Barclay Theatre.
The society also will expand its presentations of world music and diverse events, ranging from Finnish folk-pop to flamenco music and dance to Cajun music, in a new series to be held at, and cosponsored by, the Irvine Barclay.
"This season is going to be an absolute blast," said executive director Dean Corey, who has brought the society from a low of 19 concerts in 1994 to the 44 concerts announced for 1996-97. "And these are only the subscription programs. We'll be announcing other ones later."
The jazz series at Plummer, which includes performances by Marcus Roberts, Paco de Lucia, Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and the Charlie Mingus Big Band, came about because "we can't do jazz in the center," which presents three or four jazz concerts of its own each year.
"We were getting [offered] all these possibilities," Corey said, "and we've been thinking about Plummer Auditorium for a number of years. We started up there. Our first meeting was in Fullerton. We were getting just too many things we didn't have a home for."
In conjunction with the Irvine theater, the society will present Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, Finnish folk ensemble Varttina, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys Cajun band, and other events.
In conjunction with the performing arts center, the society will bring the Chieftains back for another evening of traditional Irish folk music.
The chamber-music series cosponsored with the Laguna Chamber Music Society will continue at the Irvine theater.
In addition to the Vienna Philharmonic, orchestras will include the St. Paul and Los Angeles chamber orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the State Symphony of Russia and the Minnesota Orchestra, among others.
Soloists will include soprano Kathleen Battle; violinists Gil Shaham and Iona Brown; and pianists Ivo Pogorelich, Peter Serkin, Louis Lortie and Glass.
As previously announced, the society will present the West Coast premiere of the video opera "The Cave," with music by Steve Reich and video by Beryl Korot. There also will be a screening of Carl Dreyer's 1928 silent film about the trial and execution of Joan of Arc, with a new score by Richard Einhorn; and two other silent films, featuring Charlie Chaplin and Clara Bow, respectively, with new music composed and conducted by Carl Davis.
"The whole art scene is in a huge transition," Corey said. "Attitudes are the biggest change. The highbrow versus lowbrow kind of thing is a conception of the past. We're doing away with that.
" 'Classical' means the best in any genre," he said. "That's our definition. Today's audiences are very intelligent. They want variety. They want a balance of things. At the same time, when we do classical stuff, we want the best you can get your hands on."
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PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY OF ORANGE COUNTY
The '96-97 Season at the Orange County Performing Arts Center
* Thursday, Oct. 10 (A); Friday, Oct. 11 (B); 8 p.m.: "Voices of Light: The Passion of Joan of Arc." Carl Dreyer's 1928 silent film accompanied by Richard Einhorn's score "Voices of Light." Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, I Cantori and Anonymous 4; Lucinda Carver, conductor.
* Sunday, Oct. 20, 3 p.m.: State Symphony of Russia; Yevgeny Svetlanov and Igor Golovchin, conductors; Vladimir Ovchinikov, piano. Tchaikovsky program, including "Marche Slave"; Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 56; Orchestral Suite No. 3. (A)
* Thursday, Oct. 24: Baritone Bryn Terfel. Program TBA. (C)
* Friday, Oct. 25: St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Hugh Wolff, conductor; Gil Shaham, violin. Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons"; Beethoven's Symphony No. 4. (B)
* Thursday, Nov. 21: Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Iona Brown, conductor and violin. Handel's Concerti Grossi, Opus 3 (complete). (A)
* Saturday, Jan. 18: Los Angeles Philharmonic; Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor; Joan Rodgers, soprano. Bartok's "Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta"; Mahler's Symphony No. 4. (A)
* Monday, Jan. 27: Budapest Festival Orchestra; Ivan Fischer, conductor. Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra; Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2. (B)