“Well, it’s not really the beginning of our season,” says Keith Clark, music director of the Orange County Pacific Symphony, in reference to the Pops concert the orchestra will give Saturday night at 8 in Santa Ana High School Auditorium. “The season really starts Oct. 12.”

“But I guess you could say it’s the beginning, since its our first appearance of the year.”

And a peppy one, too, with the four guitar-playing Romeros scheduled to perform Rodrigo’s “Concierto Andaluz,” as well as a Flamenco group, and music by Copland, Bizet and Moncayo also on the program.

Clark, who founded this orchestra seven years ago, wants to talk about the program he has devised for Oct. 12. It contains three works: Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (with James Kanter as soloist), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Schoenberg’s “A Survivor From Warsaw.” What makes it fascinating is that Clark has chosen to place the Schoenberg piece within his performance of the Ninth Symphony.

“I’ve felt for years that ‘A Survivor From Warsaw’ related to the Ninth in a real sense, and that to put it between the slow movement and the finale would enhance both works,” the 45-year old Austrian-trained conductor explains.


“And it’s very much in the Viennese tradition of interpolation. As you know, Beethoven himself constructed entire programs by interpolating shorter works between the movements of larger ones. We will play the interpolation attacca (without pause), moving from the slow movement directly into the Schoenberg piece and then into the finale.”

“I really believe this will be shocking, but in the best sense of the word.”

OC Pacific Symphony this season will give 60 concerts, an increase, Clark says, of some 10 events. The orchestra’s budget of $1.25 million, “in cash, plus $150,000 in in-kind services,” makes the season “a crucial one. Always, in the past, we’ve avoided overhead costs outside of musical ones. Now, we have--and are expanding--our paid staff and are trying to institutionalize our administration. It’s tough.”

IN OPERA: The United States stage premiere of Oliver Knussen’s “Where the Wild Things Are,” a 45-minute fantasy opera based on Maurice Sendak’s picture book, will be given by Minnesota Opera and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra on Sept. 27 in the new Ordway Music Theatre in St. Paul. The companion piece: selections, in concert performance, from another Knussen/Sendak operatic collaboration, “Higgelty Pigglety Pop!” Pinchas Zukerman, music director of the SPCO, will make his operatic conducting debut in the former; composer Knussen will lead the latter. . . . Scheduled for world premiere performance by New York City Opera in September, 1986, the opera, “X,” based on the life of Malcolm X, by composer Anthony Davis, with book by Christopher Davis and libretto by Thulani Davis, will be given preview performances at the American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia on Oct. 9, 12 and 13. At NYCO next year, the work will be staged by Rhoda Levine, designed by John Conklin and conducted by NYCO Music Director Christopher Keene. Anthony Davis is a composer/pianist whose music has been heard in Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Academy and on the New York Philharmonic’s “Horizon” series. “X” will be the 21st world premiere in the 41-year history of City Opera.

COMPOSERS: Anthony Vazzana, professor of music at USC, recently completed residencies in Bellagio, Italy (writing a work for the Kronos Quartet), and the Dorland Mountain Colony (where he completed the major portion of a symphonic work titled “Odissea). In the summer of 1986, Vazzana will be in residence at the Montalvo Center for the Arts, where he plans to fulfill several commissions, including a setting for voice and chamber ensemble of poems by Jacob Zeitlin. . . . Benjamin Lees’ Symphony No. 4, subtitled “Memorial Candles,” and inspired by the Nobel Prize-winning poetry of Holocaust survivor Nelly Sachs (1891-1970), will receive its world premiere performance Oct. 10 by the Dallas Symphony. Eduardo Mata, music director of the orchestra, will conduct; soloists will be violinist Pinchas Zukerman and mezzo-soprano Zehava Gal. The Dallas Symphony will repeat the work Oct. 13 at the Kennedy Center in Washington. The work was commissioned by the DSO to observe the 40th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust.