Classically Trained: Seeing off a career in style

Visits from the Vienna Philharmonic and the Boston Pops Orchestra are a few of the highlights ahead in the 2013-14 Philharmonic Society of Orange County concert season.

The season for the Irvine-based nonprofit, which has presented world-class music for the county's music lovers since 1954, is also the last for Dean Corey, its president and artistic director since 1993.

Last summer, Corey told me he plans to retire in the south of France after a lifetime of organizing music in a behind-the-scenes capacity. He's set to retire in June 2014.

But before he does, he and his staff have put together another impressive lineup that also includes the Los Angeles Philharmonic (April 26, 2014), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Jan. 22), Irish Chamber Orchestra (Nov. 11) and USC Thornton Symphony (Nov. 24).

Vienna, widely heralded as one of the finest orchestras in the world, plays March 3, 2014. It last played in O.C. in March 2011 in Costa Mesa's Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. It was both divine and sold out, so I recommend buying your tickets for that one as soon as they come on sale.

The Boston Pops play Nov. 22. Their program includes music by Leonard Bernstein and John Williams, who was Boston's principal pops conductor for more than 10 years and is now its conductor laureate.

Famed soloists, including pianist Yuja Wang on Oct. 13, are scheduled as well.

Two other ensembles coming to Orange County are Israel's Haifa Symphony Orchestra (March 12, 2014) and the English Concert (Jan. 27), a London-based Baroque orchestra.

The tribute to Beethoven continues with the "Late Great" celebration of the composer's later works. On May 15, 2014, Beethoven's Ninth will be performed by Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra and choirs from Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and Chapman University. The concert also includes a new work, "Frieze," by English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage.

"This season's lineup includes a few familiar faces from my tenure here in Orange County," said Corey in a prepared statement. "We certainly have the stars — Yuja Wang, Sir James Galway, Pinchas Zukerman, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Boston Pops — and a few special projects, including music and artists we've never presented before, and works by some of my favorite composers."

Subscriptions are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale this summer.

The concerts are scheduled to be in either the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall or Irvine Barclay Theatre.

For more information, including the scheduled repertoire and concert times, visit or call (949) 553-2422.

BRADLEY ZINT is a classically trained musician. Email him story ideas at

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