The Pacific Symphony began in 1979 and offers a well-rounded array of programs and concerts, from its Classical and Pops series—featuring the works of Vivaldi, Mendelssohn, Mahler, and Paul McCartney, among others, Café Ludwig chamber music series, and Sunday orchestral series “Classical Connections”, to the multimedia series Music Unwound and its annual, ASCAP-award winning American Composers Festival, which has included commissioned works by Philip Glass, Chen Yi, Tobias Picker, and others.
The orchestra’s outreach programs include “All We Do Is Play!”, which fosters music-making through its public pianos project “OC Can You Play?” and encourages community members’ collaboration with the ensemble through its “OC Can You Sing?” contest and “OC Can You Play With Us?” event. To complement its Family Music Mornings series, Pacific offers a free-activities fair before and after the concerts called Music Carnival. The orchestra also boasts multiple youth ensembles and “Symphony in the Cities” free concert series in various locations in the Orange County community.
- Venues: The Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and the Samueli Theater at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts (615 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa); Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (8808 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine)
- Public Transportation: Good for both locations. Segerstrom Center for the Arts (easily accessible by OCTA buses 51, 76, 86, 145, 172, 173, 211, 216, 464, and 794 at the South Coast Plaza, which is across the street from the Center). Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (a short walk from OCTA buses 90, 188, and 188A at the Irvine Center stop)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Classical Series/Classical Connections–46 performances, 22 programs. Pops–18 concerts, 6 programs; Family–5 concerts; Summer Festival–4 concerts
- Ticket Prices: Vary based on series, event, and seating selection, usually $25–$150
- Subscriptions: Summer Festival ($54–$354); twelve-concert Maestro’s Series ($231–$1,677); six-concert Classical Escapes ($129–$915); six-concert Romantic Nights ($129–$915); four-concert Sizzling Strings, Visions & Voices, or Keyboard Classics ($90–$620); four-concert Classical Connections ($85–$305); three-concert Café Ludwig ($153–$198); and three-concert Pedals & Pipes ($39–$189). Subscriber benefits include free ticket exchanges, discounts on extra tickets, and same seats
- Membership/Donors: Several donor levels are available: Supporters’ Circle ($100–$299); Musicians’ Circle ($300–$499); Principals’ Circle ($500–$999); Concertmaster’s Circle ($1,000–$1,999); Performer’s Circle ($2,000–$2,999); Soloist’s Circle ($3,000–$4,999); Composer’s Circle ($5,000–$9,999); Conductor’s Circle ($10,000–$14,999); Chairman’s Circle ($15,000–$19,999); Virtuoso Circle ($20,000–$29,999); Stradivarius Circle ($30,000–$49,999); Founders’ Circle ($50,000–$99,999); Bernstein Society ($100,000+). Benefits are tiered with every member receiving recognition in a concert program book for a set of Classics and Pops concerts and an invitation for two to the Annual Donor Appreciation Event
- Other Benefits: At the Principals’ Circle level ($500–$999) members also receive a backstage tour of the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and presentation by leadership or a musician and an invitation to purchase tickets to the Classics Opening Night Party. At the Performer’s Circle level ($2,000–$2,999) members receive an invitation for two to a reception and dress rehearsal for Classics or Pops concerts.