Pacific Symphony Celebrates Beethoven’s 250th Birthday

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Carl St.Clair conducts the Pacific Symphony at a previous concert.
— Photo courtesy of Pacific Symphony ©

With three nights next month dedicated to Beethoven, the Pacific Symphony is celebrating the beloved composer’s 250th birthday in a big way.

Boasting a different Beethoven-only program every night March 19–21, the extravaganza features all five of the composer’s piano concertos, performed by spectacular guest pianist Alexander Romanovsky. Carl St.Clair conducts the Symphony.

The celebration starts off on Thursday, with a night of overtures featuring “Coriolan” and “Prometheus” alongside Beethoven’s first and fourth piano concertos.

Continuing with Romanovsky’s performances of the 2nd and 3rd piano concertos, Friday night welcomes Concertmaster Dennis Kim as soloist for “Romance No. 1” and “Romance No. 2,” both written for violin and orchestra.

Saturday night’s grand finale opens the concert hall doors to Beethoven’s lighthearted Symphony No. 8 before the orchestra and Romanovsky tackle the monumental “Emperor” concerto together.

Described by Carlo Maria Giulini as “extraordinarily gifted,” Romanovsky is a riveting, distinct and subtle performer. At the age of 17, he won first prize at the prestigious Busoni Competition in Italy. The New York Times praised his artistry as “special, not just an extraordinary technician with a flair for color and fantasy, but also a sensitive musician and lucid interpreter.”

Carl St.Clair conducts the Pacific Symphony at a previous concert.
— Photo courtesy of Pacific Symphony ©

Romanovsky regularly performs with major orchestras throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas including the UK’s Royal Philharmonic, English Chamber, Hallé and Bournemouth Symphony orchestras; Italy’s Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and Milan’s Filarmonica della Scala; Russia’s Mariinsky and Russian National orchestras and St. Petersburg and National philharmonics.

In 2007, he was invited to give a concert at the Papal Residence in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI in celebration of the 110th Anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s birth.

Kim is the concertmaster of Pacific Symphony. He has spent more than a decade leading orchestras in the United States, Europe and Asia. Most recently, he was concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in New York. He was first appointed concertmaster of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra at the age of 22. He then served as the youngest concertmaster in the history of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, before going on to lead the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland.

As guest concertmaster, Kim has performed on four continents, leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lille, KBS Symphony Orchestra, Montpelier Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Western Australia Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of Navarra.

“Beethoven’s Piano Concertos” is scheduled to run March 19–21, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets start at $35. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. A preview talk with Alan Chapman begins at 7 p.m. There is a matinee performance featuring Romanovsky on March 22 of Beethoven’s fourth and fifth piano concertos, starting at 3 p.m.

These concerts are part of the Symphony’s 2019-20 Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series.

For more information, call (714) 755-5799 or visit


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