Classically Trained: Best-selling pianist to play three concerts

The romance-filled piano playing of Jim Brickman will fill the sound waves of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall next week.

The 8 p.m. concerts May 12 to 14 at Costa Mesa's Segerstrom Center for the Arts will have a second half that features the famed pianist. The first half will just be pops conductor Richard Kaufman leading the Pacific Symphony.

The Costa Mesa-based orchestra and its longtime pops leader have a varied program that includes some film music classics like Henry Mancini's "Pennywhistle Jig" from the 1970 film "The Molly Macguires" and Ennio Morricone's "Gabriel's Oboe" from the 1986 film "The Mission."

If names like Mancini and Morricone don't sound familiar, surely some of the projects they scored do: for the jazzy Mancini, "The Pink Panther" series and "Breakfast at Tiffany's"; for the innovative Morricone, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and "The Untouchables."

Brickman has achieved a notoriety uncommon among the classically trained. The Ohio native is the best-selling solo pianist ever, with six Gold and Platinum albums and 28 charted radio hits. After his training at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he got his start writing commercial jingles for clients like McDonald's and Pontiac.

"It gave me an opportunity to create in many musical styles because each client wanted something completely different," Brickman said in a release. "That was a very fun period in my life. Fortunately, it brought me out to L.A., where I got my first record deal."

Also performing with Brickman are his longtime collaborators Tracy Silverman on electric violin and singer Anne Cochran. The BBC dubbed Silverman "the greatest living exponent of the electric violin," whose work on the 6-stringed instrument has been influential, according to the program notes.

Tickets for these concerts start at $25.

Over at Orange Coast College, the school's Chamber Singers, Chorale and symphony orchestra are performing at 8 p.m. May 14 in the Robert B. Moore Theatre, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa.

The classical masterworks evening features pieces by Mozart and Haydn. The program includes Mozart's "Clarinet Concerto in A major" with soloist Lea Steffens and Haydn's "Lord Nelson Mass" with soprano Marlissa Hudson. Making his OCC guest conducting debut at OCC is Joseph Modica, a former teacher at Chapman University and the University of South Carolina.

Tickets are $10 in advance by calling (714) 432-5880, at or at the door.

Two of the Pacific Symphony's youth groups perform May 15 in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

At 3 p.m., the Santiago Strings celebrates its 20th anniversary. Conducted by Irene Kroesen, the group of players from grades 6 to 9 will perform a program that includes Handel's "Passacaile," which will have alumni of the ensemble founded in 1991 playing alongside their younger colleagues.

At 6 p.m., the Youth Wind Ensemble performs a program that includes the premiere of "Forgotten Highway," by Paul Dooley. The composition won the Pacific Symphony's American Composers Competition in March 2010.

For information about the Pacific Symphony and its youth concerts, visit or call (714) 755-5799.

BRADLEY ZINT is a copy editor for the Daily Pilot and a classically trained musician. E-mail him story ideas at

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World