Rach 3 & Boléro: Artists
Opening Night! The brilliant Olga Kern returns to Orange County with the “Mount Everest” of piano concertos, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. And be amazed by the artistry of solo Pacific Symphony musicians as they sweep you away with Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and Ravel's intoxicating "Boléro." The concert opens with "Shooting Stars" by Frank Ticheli, originally commissioned for Pacific Symphony's 25th anniversary and now extended in celebration of the orchestra's 40th anniversary.
Preview Talk with Alan Chapman included!
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The 2018–19 season piano soloists are generously sponsored by The Michelle F. Rohé Distinguished Piano Fund.
Saturday’s concert will be recorded for later broadcast on 91.5 KUSC.
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Dennis Kim is the new concertmaster of Pacific Symphony, performing his first concert in the position Sept. 8, 2018. A citizen of the world, Kim was born in Korea, raised in Canada and educated in the United States. He has spent more than a decade leading orchestras in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Most recently, he was concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in New York. He was first appointed concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra at the age of 22. He then served as the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, before going on to lead the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland.
As guest concertmaster, Kim has performed on four continents, leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Montpelier Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of Navarra. He served as guest concertmaster with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra on their 10‑city tour of the United Kingdom and led the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in their BBC Proms debut in 2014.
After making his solo debut at the age of 14 with the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, Kim has gone on to perform as a soloist with many of the most important orchestras in China and Korea. Highlights include performing on 10 hours’ notice to replace an ailing William Preucil, performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons 20 times in one week and touring Japan with the Busan Philharmonic in 2008.
During his tenure as concertmaster with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, he was featured annually as a soloist. Over the last two seasons, he was a guest soloist with the Lebanon Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra NOW, with repertoire ranging from Mozart and Haydn, to Glass and Penderecki. Future engagements include those with the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.
A dedicated teacher, Kim was recently on the faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada’s PRISMA festival and the Interlochen Center for the Arts as Valade Concertmaster in the World Youth Symphony Orchestra summer program. He has also been on the faculty of the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Korean National University of the Arts, Yonsei University, Tampere Conservatory and the Bowdoin International Music Festival, Atlantic Music Festival and Suolahti International Music Festival.
His students have been accepted to the Curtis Institute of Music, Colburn School, Juilliard School, Peabody Conservatory and the Queen Elizabeth College of Music and play in orchestras around the world. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and Yale School of Music, Kim’s teachers include Jaime Laredo, Aaron Rosand, Peter Oundjian, Paul Kantor, Victor Danchenko and Yumi Ninomiya Scott.
He plays the 1701 ex‑Dushkin Stradivarius, on permanent loan from a generous donor.
Violist Meredith Crawford, a Maine native, studied under the tutelage of Professor Peter Slowik at Oberlin College and Conservatory. She graduated in 2009 after completing Oberlin’s double‑degree program with both a Bachelor of Music in viola performance and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature. After being inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda honor society, she received the prestigious Prize for Musicianship, awarded to students judged to be “the most outstanding of those elected to Pi Kappa Lambda.”
Crawford was the first‑prize winner of the Ohio Viola Society’s annual competition in 2007, the 2009 Skokie Valley Symphony Annual Young Artist Competition and the 2009‑10 Oberlin Conservatory Competition—the first win for a violist in over a decade.
At the age of 22—before the completion of her senior year at Oberlin Conservatory— she won her first orchestral audition and a seat with Pacific Symphony. In September 2012, she was awarded the position of assistant principal viola and five years later, she won her current position with the orchestra as principal viola.
Additionally, she has been performing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic since April 2010, and more recently with the Riverside Philharmonic (as principal viola), the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Irvine’s Mozart Classical Orchestra. Crawford is also an active chamber musician, performing frequently with the L.A.‑based Salastina Music Society, the Historic Portsmouth Chamber Music Series in Portsmouth, N.H. and the High Desert Chamber Music series in Bend, Ore.
Crawford is also on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, where she is assistant principal viola of the faculty orchestra under the baton of Gerard Schwarz. She currently resides in beautiful Belmont Shore (where her neighbors include Pacific Symphony’s Principal Flutist Benjamin Smolen and Principal Oboist Jessica Pearlman) with her two cats, Twinkie and Rahula.
Russian‑American pianist Olga Kern is now recognized as one of her generation’s great pianists. She jump started her U.S. career with her historic gold‑medal win at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Tx., as the first woman to do so in more than 30 years. First prize winner of the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at 17, Kern is a laureate of many international competitions.
In 2016 she served as Jury Chairman of both the seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition and the first Olga Kern International Piano Competition, where she also holds the title of artistic director.
Kern served as artist‑in‑residence to the San Antonio Symphony’s 2017‑18 season, appearing in two subscription weeks as well as solo recital. She also performed last season with Madison Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Copenhagen Philharmonic, Austin Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Arizona Musicfest Orchestra, Colorado Symphony and Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. Kern will premiere her first American concerto, Barber’s Piano Concerto, with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin.
She will give recitals at the University of Arizona, the Lied Center in Lincoln, Neb., the Sanibel Music Festival in Sanibel, Fla., and abroad in Mainz and Turin. Additionally, Kern will perform in the Huntington Estate Music Festival with Musica Viva in Australia.
In addition to opening the Baltimore Symphony’s 2015‑16 centennial season with Marin Alsop, Kern has appeared with the Royal Philharmonic, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Rochester Philharmonic, Orchestre National De Lyon, and the San Antonio, Detroit, Nashville, Madison, New Mexico, Austin and NHK symphonies. She has toured South Africa with the Cape and KwaZulu Natal Philharmonics and Israel with the Israel Symphony. As an avid recitalist, she has appeared in solo and collaborative recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Symphony Hall in Osaka, Salzburger Festspielhaus, La Scala in Milan, Tonhalle in Zurich, Chatelet in Paris, Van Wezel Hall in Sarasota, 92nd Street Y, Meany Hall in Seattle, and the University of Kansas’ Lied Center.
Kern’s discography includes her Grammy‑nominated recording of Rachmaninoff’s Corelli Variations and other transcriptions (2004), Brahms Variations (2007) and Chopin Piano Sonatas Nos. 2 and 3 (2010).
She was featured in the award‑winning documentary about the 2001 Cliburn Competition, “Playing on the Edge.”
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.