“The idea that Pacific Symphony would choose an India-centric program for its Carnegie Hall debut might seem curious,” writes Mark Swed in Friday’s (4/13) Los Angeles Times. “That is the way the Orange County orchestra plans to introduce itself to New York April 21 [at Carnegie Hall]. Turns out, it’s not so quirky. Orange Country competes with the Tri-State area for the size of its Indian population. [On] Thursday night—the first of three performances of Ravi Shankar’s Sitar Concerto No. 3 and Philip Glass’ ‘The Passion of Ramakrishna’—excellent performers in the center’s new Argyros Plaza provided a free festival of Indian music and dance before the concert…. Glass’ ‘Ramakrishna’ … was commissioned by the Pacific Symphony to open Segerstrom in 2006…. It is obviously about time for Carl St.Clair, in his 28th year as Pacific Symphony music director, to show off his orchestra to the Big Apple. It has toured Europe. It is about to embark on a tour of China. It will soon be featured on the PBS series ‘Great Performances.’ … In ‘Ramakrishna,’ [St.Clair brought] ferocious, exhausting tension … to what now can be heard as a magnificent musical representation of the indescribable process of enlightenment.”

Posted April 16, 2018

Pictured: Carl St.Clair conducts the Pacific Symphony at Segerstrom Concert Hall, April 12. Photo by Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times