Classically Trained: Philharmonic Society announces 2012-13 season lineup

The Philharmonic Society of Orange County has announced its 2012-13 season lineup that's going to be bringing a few A-list classical stars to local audiences.

Among the highlights is cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman and the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by Gustavo Dudamel. The repertoire throughout the season continues in the multiyear Beethoven celebration.

The Irvine-based nonprofit, now in its 59th season, is led by President and Artistic Director Dean Corey. He announced in a press release that he will be retiring in the summer of 2014.

"At the end of this upcoming season, I will have been with the Philharmonic Society for exactly 20 years, and I am selecting my remaining concerts with care," Corey said in a statement.

In addition to the Philharmonic Society events at their usual venues — namely the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa and the Irvine Barclay Theatre — this year the Soka Performing Arts Center has been added to the mix.

The wonderful hall in Aliso Viejo that opened in September has stunning acoustics in an intimate setting, with only about 1,000 seats.

The season begins with the London-based Philharmonia Orchestra playing on opening night, Nov. 14. Esa-Pekka Salonen, who led the L.A. Phil for more than 15 years and is now its conductor laureate, will be conducting the Philharmonia. It will be Salonen's first time performing in Orange County since his departure from the L.A. Phil in 2009.

Later in the season, Ma, the "superstar cellist," performs Feb. 2, 2013, at Soka alongside his longtime collaborator, pianist Kathryn Stott.

Perlman performs Feb. 10 in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. This concert also serves as a benefit with partner Rotary International to end polio, which has afflicted Perlman. Though he is completely recovered, Perlman uses an electric scooter or crutches for mobility and performs sitting down. The Philharmonic Society and Rotary International say they will be selling some seats to benefit the cause.

Philharmonic Society officials are touting that another London-based orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, will be making "a rare journey across the Atlantic with a repertoire steeped in national pride." The Feb. 12 concert is led by Keith Lockhart, the orchestra's principal conductor who also leads the Boston Pops.

Also visiting on March 18 is the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, which has not performed in Orange County in nearly two decades.

Other selections for 2013 include the Irvine Barclay Theatre performances featuring violinist Ray Chen on April 6 and the St. Lawrence String Quartet on April 21.

Then on May 24, the L.A. Phil, led by its charismatic Dudamel, makes its annual O.C. appearance.

For a complete concert and events listing, visit or call (949) 553-2422. Subscriptions are on sale now. Single tickets will be available in the summer.

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

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