Glass & Shankar: Artists cover

Glass & Shankar: Artists


Through a highly prized invitation, Pacific Symphony makes its Carnegie Hall debut with this award-winning program during Carnegie’s yearlong celebration of Philip Glass’ 80th birthday. Originally commissioned, premiered and recorded by Pacific Symphony, “The Passion of Ramakrishna” is a work of quiet intensity and unforgettable power—scored for vocal soloists, chorus and large orchestra. Joining Pacific Symphony for this historic concert is sitar soloist Anoushka Shankar, daughter of Ravi Shankar.
Hear this landmark concert before Pacific Symphony presents it during its Carnegie Hall debut! Come early to enjoy live music and dance of India on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza from 6 - 7:45 p.m.
Box Office: (714) 755-5799
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman included.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.
To learn more about the Pacific Chorale, please click here.
Pacific Symphony

“Meetings Along the Edge” is a section from “Passages,” a collaborative record album of Philip Glass and the great Indian musician Ravi Shankar. Bringing together themes by both composers, “Meetings” has the racing rhythm, snazzy syncopation and ebullient pace that exemplified early Minimalism and made it so hard to resist.

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Anoushka Shankar - Sitar

Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar is a singular figure in the Indian classical and progressive world music scenes. Her dynamic and spiritual musicality has garnered several prestigious accolades, including five Grammy® Award nominations, recognition as the youngest—and first female—recipient of a British House of Commons Shield, credit as an Asian hero by TIME Magazine, and a Songlines’ Best Artist Award. Most recently, she became one of the first five female composers to have been added to the UK A-level music syllabus.

Deeply rooted in the Indian Classical music tradition, Shankar studied exclusively from the age of nine under her father and guru, the late Ravi Shankar, and made her professional debut as a classical sitarist at the age of 13. By the age of 20, she had made three classical recordings for EMI/Angel and received her first Grammy® nomination, thereby becoming the first Indian female and youngest-ever nominee in the World Music category.

In 2005, she released her self- produced breakthrough album Rise, which earned her a second Grammy® nomination. Following this nomination Shankar became the first Indian artist to perform at the Grammy® Awards.

As an international solo artist, she has performed in a range of distinguished venues such as Carnegie Hall, Barbican Centre, Sydney Opera House, Vienna Konzerthaus, Salle Pleyel, Royal Festival Hall, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Palais des Beaux-Arts and the KKL Luzern. Her event appearances include the Verbier Festival, the Prague Spring Festival, Boom Festival and the London Proms.

Today, from her home in London where she lives with her husband and two sons, Shankar’s career reflects her aim to constantly learn and grow as an artist. Across continents and demographics, people respond to what she calls the “honesty” in her music, which is integral to her work both in the classical and modern musical spheres. As Nitin Sawhney wrote, “no one embodies the spirit of innovation and experimentation more evidently than Anoushka Shankar.”

Elissa Johnston - Soprano

Recently cited by the Chicago Tribune for the “exquisite beauty, sensitivity and precision” of her singing, soprano Elissa Johnston enjoys performing repertoire ranging from Bach, Handel and Mozart to Messiaen, Carter, Ung and Lachenmann. This season Johnston will appear with the Long Beach Symphony in Mozart’s Requiem under conductor Robert Istad, with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in Stravinsky’s Les Noces, and in recital with Le Salon de Musiques in songs of Samuel Barber. She will also be a part of the new Peter Sellars staging of the Lagrime di San Pietro by Orlando di Lasso with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. She also sang Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915 with Orchestra Santa Monica under conductor Allen Gross.

Johnston returned to the chamber music series Le Salon de la Musiques to sing Strauss’ Four Last Songs with pianist Robert Thies, and appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in performances of Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, under conductor Grant Gershon.

Last summer she performed in the West Coast premiere of Elliott Carter’s What Are Years under conductor Jeff von der Schmidt at Southwest Chamber Music’s L.A. International New Music Festival at Walt Disney Hall’s REDCAT theater. With Southwest Chamber Music, she has also performed the world premiere of Some Things Do Not Move by Ann LeBaron, Unsuk Chin’s Akrostichon Wortspiel, Ravel’s Trois Poemes de Stéphane Mallarmé, as well as the world premiere of Chinary Ung’s Aura, also under conductor Jeff von der Schmidt.

Johnston has sung Messiaen’s epic song cycle Harawi with pianist Vicki Ray at both Jacaranda Music and Pianospheres, and will return to Pianospheres with Ray this season for the world premiere of Vicki Ray’s song cycle “The Elements.” Johnston has recorded Chinary Ung’s Aura with Southwest Chamber Music and toured with the ensemble in Vietnam and Cambodia, and can be heard on dozens of film soundtracks. She is featured in Danny Elfman’s Serenada Schizophrana, which was released on the Sony Classical label.

I-Chin Lee - Alto

I-Chin “Betty” Lee currently sings professionally with Pacific Chorale and was the cantor at St. Paul’s Cathedral Center in Echo Park near downtown Los Angeles from 2012 to 2017. Lee has performed as a chorister and soloist with Pacific Chorale on numerous occasions, appearing as an alto soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Bach’s St. John Passion, Mozart’s Requiem, The Passion of Ramakrishna by Philip Glass, Rachmaninov’s Vespers, Durufle’s Requiem, Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, which was praised by Timothy Mangan of The Orange County Register as “delicate and aristocratic singing in her solos.”

Among her Southland solo performances are Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah with the Camerata Singers of Long Beach and The National Children’s Choir at The Broad Stage of Santa Monica. Lee’s most recent solo work includes Mozart’s Requiem with Pacific Chorale and Pacific Symphony in March 2017. Lee’s international debuts include Denmark in July 2012 and El Salvador in February 2012. Her recent solo engagements include Beethoven’s 9th with the Long Beach Symphony in April 2017 and Carnegie Hall in April 2018 in celebration of Philip Glass’ 80th birthday.

Nicholas Preston - Tenor

Paised by The Orange County Register as being “resonant and warm,” and by the classical music site Bachtrack as “a ringing stentorian tenor,” Hawaii native Nicholas Preston is in demand as a soloist in Southern California and beyond, having performed throughout California, and touring as a soloist in France, Italy, and Spain. He has been a member of Pacific Chorale since 2002, and has frequently appeared as a soloist with the Chorale as well as with Pacific Symphony. Preston currently resides in Brea with his wife, Dr. Kathleen Preston, and their daughter, Zelda.

Christòpheren Nomura - Baritone

Baritone Christòpheren Nomura has earned a prominent place on the operatic, concert and recital stages, appearing with many of the leading North American orchestras, in wide-ranging repertoire: the Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Utah Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and the Boston Pops under internationally renowned conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, Sergiu Comissiona, Christof Perick, Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, Ton Koopman, Bruno Weil, Paul Goodman, Jane Glover, Andrew Parrott and Nicholas McGegan.

He has become a regular guest artist with a number of orchestras including Pacific Symphony under Carl St.Clair, the North Carolina Symphony with Grant Llewellyn and the National Philharmonic. In 2006 he sang the title role in the premiere of Philip Glass’ The Passion of Ramakrishna for Pacific Symphony’s inaugural concerts in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, reprised and recorded there in 2011. He also gave the premiere of Alva Henderson’s From Greater Light with Pacific Symphony in 2009. That season brought the first of several appearances with the Oregon Bach Festival in Haydn’s Creation under Helmuth Rilling. Highlights of 2018 include a reprise of Philip Glass’ The Passion of Ramakrishna with Pacific Symphony, Handel’s Esther with Music of the Baroque and Bach’s B Minor Mass with the Mexico City Philharmonic.

Donovan Singletary - Bass Baritone

Bass Baritone Donovan Singletary, who recently finished the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera and Juilliard School, has been praised by Opera News for his “bright baritone.” A highlight of the 2017-2018 season includes performances with Pacific Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

Recent seasons are highlighted by performances with The Metropolitan Opera in their productions of Julius Caesar, Un Ballo in Maschera, Macbeth, Salome, Don Carlo, Pelleas & Melisande, Tosca, La Boheme, The Enchanted Island, The Tales of Hoffmann and The Bartered Bride, as well as performances with Seattle Opera of Zuniga in Carmen, Monterone in Rigoletto and Jake in Porgy and Bess, where he provided “a beautiful and powerful bass-baritone” (The Sun Break).

He portrayed the title role in Boito’s Mefistofele with Knoxville Opera, Achilla in Giulio Cesare as well as Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro with Fort Worth Opera, where he was praised for his “comic timing and strong vocal presence” (D Magazine), and joined Aspen Opera Theater as the title role in Don Giovanni. With Kentucky Opera, he portrayed Leporello in Don Giovanni “in a role that requires both humor and empathy, Singletary gracefully pulls off both. His aria, ‘Madamina, il catalogo è questo’ is both wry and sympathetic” (

Robert Istad - Artistic Director of Pacific Chorale

Robert Istad is the Artistic Director of Pacific Chorale and director of choral studies at California State University, Fullerton, where he conducts the University Singers and Concert Choir, in addition to teaching courses in conducting, advanced interpretation and literature. He has prepared choruses for Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carl St.Clair and Pacific Symphony, Sir Andrew Davis and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, as well as conductors Bramwell Tovey, Eric Whitacre, Giancarlo Guerrero, Marin Alsop, George Fenton, John Alexander, William Dehning, David Lockington and Mark Mandarano. Istad received his bachelor of arts degree in music from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., his master of music degree in choral conducting from California State University, Fullerton, and his doctor of musical arts degree in choral music at the University of Southern California.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

To learn more about the Pacific Chorale, please click here.