In Thursday’s (5/20) Orange County Register (California), Timothy Mangan writes, “The Pacific Symphony threw a 20th anniversary party for its music director, Carl St.Clair, Tuesday night at Segerstrom Concert Hall. The conductor, 57, got to choose the musical agenda, a rambling, nostalgic affair featuring works with personal significance to him. Old friends were invited to perform. A celebrity violinist lent the thing star power. … When St.Clair became the Pacific Symphony’s music director in 1990, it was a decent regional ensemble that performed an abbreviated season in Segerstrom Hall. It is now a major player, the third largest orchestra in California (behind Los Angeles and San Francisco), the largest in the U.S. founded in the last 32 years. It performs an exponentially expanded season in a brand new, state-of-the-art concert hall. It is the subject, one of only five orchestras, of a new innovation study by the League of American Orchestras. … [The program] opened with the Mozart’s Overture to ‘The Marriage of Figaro,’ the first work that St.Clair performed with this orchestra in 1990.” Conductor John Alexander, violinist Joshua Bell, baritone Christòpheren Nomura, and conductor and pianist Benjamin Pasternack also made appearances, on a program which featured the music of Beethoven, Bernstein, Mahler, Mendelssohn, and others.

Posted May 20, 2010