Pacific Symphony Maps Its First Season Without Keith Clark

Times Staff Writer

The Pacific Symphony will enter its second decade with concert programs chosen for the first time by someone other than its founding music director, Keith Clark, who vacates that position in May.

The new season, announced Thursday, will include familiar repertory, including Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6; a less-frequently heard, large-scale choral work, Bruckner’s Te Deum, and several pieces new to Orange County, including John Corigliano’s “Variations on an Ostinato Theme.”

The orchestra’s 1990-91 season has been shaped largely by Kazimierz Kord, music director of the Warsaw Philharmonic, in collaboration with guest conductors who are under consideration to replace Clark. Kord is serving as interim music adviser and principal guest conductor while the Santa Ana-based orchestra continues its search for a permanent music director.

Soloists will include soprano Jill Gomez, mezzo-soprano Sondra Gelb, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers and four pianists, including Leon Fleisher.


Fleisher is a distinguished artist who, at the peak of his career in 1965, lost the use of his right hand because of a neurological ailment, carpal tunnel syndrome. He subsequently rebuilt his career by learning works for the left hand alone, commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein, the Austrian pianist who had lost his right arm during World War I.

Fleisher will be soloist in Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand.

Music adviser Kord will lead three pairs of classical subscription concerts. The remaining six will be led by guest conductors, all but one new to the orchestra. The Milwaukee Symphony’s music director, Zdenek Macal, who conducted the Pacific in the last New Year’s Eve program, will return Dec. 20 and 21.

Additionally, the music director of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, Vakhtang Jordania, who led the Pacific earlier this month, will conduct Handel’s “Messiah,” with the Pacific Chorale, in a non-subscription concert Dec. 23.

All the guest conductors, as well as Kord, will be considered by the orchestra’s board to fill the vacant position of music director.

Concerts will be held at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. Subscription concerts will begin at 8 p.m., with pre-concert lectures at 7 p.m.

Renewals for season subscribers will begin next week. General subscription tickets will goon sale mid-April. For information, call (714) 972-1300.



Here is Pacific Symphony’s programs for the next season:

-- Oct. 10 and 11: Monte Carlo Philharmonic music director Lawrence Foster; Peter Donohoe, piano: “The Moldau” from Smetana’s “Ma Vlast,” Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 1; Schubert’s Symphony No. 9.

-- Nov. 1 and 2: Kord, conductor; Sondra Gelb, mezzo-soprano: Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished”; Mahler’s “Kindertotenlieder”; Schumann’s Symphony No. 4.

-- Nov. 21 and 22: BBC Scottish Symphony director Christopher Seaman; Anne Akiko Meyers, violin; Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”; Barber’s Violin Concerto; Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10.


-- Dec. 20 and 21: Zdenek Macal, conductor; Alexander Toradze, piano: John Corigliano’s “Variations on an Ostinato Theme”; Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.

-- Jan. 31 & Feb. 1, 1990: Boston Symphony assistant conductor Carl St. Clair; Jill Gomez, soprano: Overture to Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro”; selections from “Nozze di Figaro” and Joseph Canteloube’s “Songs of the Auvergne”; Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, “Pathetique.”

-- March 28 and 29: Richard Buckley, former director of the Oakland Symphony; Barbara Northcutt, oboe; David Riddles, bassoon; Endre Granat, violin; Stephen Erdody, cello: Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat; Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.

-- April 18 and 19: Kord, conductor; Susan Hanson, soprano; Christine Meadows, mezzo-soprano; Michael Fiacco, tenor; James Moellenhoff, bass; Pacific Chorale: Mozart’s Requiem; Bruckner’s Te Deum.


-- May 2 and 3: Kord, conductor; Jose Feghali, piano: Debussy’s “Prelude a l’Apres-midi d’un Faune”; Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17; Brahms’ Symphony No. 4.

-- May 23 and 24: Sergiu Comissiona, conductor; Leon Fleisher, piano: Leonard Bernstein’s Divertimento; Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand; Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2.

Non-subscription concert:

-- Dec. 23, 1989, 4 p.m.: Vakhtang Jordania will conduct Handel’s “Messiah” with the Pacific Chorale. Soloists will be announced later.