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Pacific Symphony Sets Season


The Pacific Symphony will focus on contemporary composers in the "Year of the American Composers Festival," in its 2002-03 classical music season. The festival--which will be highlighted by a competition for new American music--will showcase the music of Pulitzer winner William Bolcom.

Carl St.Clair will conduct the first West Coast performances of Bolcom's "Songs of Innocence and of Experience"--settings of poems by William Blake that require more than 250 performers--on Feb. 5-6. Bolcom will be in residence at several Orange County universities and colleges.

Details about the residencies, the competition (which will involve the American Composers Forum based in St. Paul, Minn.) and other festival events will be announced. Guest artists for the season will include violinist Sarah Chang and pianists Andre Watts, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Christopher O'Riley, Arnaldo Cohen, Jonathan Biss and Martin Kasik. Guest conductors will include Angel Gil-Ordonez and Jean-Jacques Kantorow.

The orchestra will continue its chamber music series, with three concerts in Founders Hall at the Performing Arts Center and two at the Irvine Barclay Theatre. It will again offer its 3 p.m. "Classical Connections" concerts, each lasting about 90 minutes, at the center.

There will be two non-subscription programs: Handel's "Messiah" on Dec. 14 at the center and Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" on Jan. 28 at the Barclay.

Additionally, the Santa Ana-based orchestra will begin a series of adult-education projects, consisting of pre- and post-concert discussions, rehearsal attendances and a new three-part "Thoroughly Modern Music" series exploring contemporary music.


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