If you like classical music, I’d like to clue you in on one of Orange County’s best kept secrets: the Pacific Symphony Salon Series.
Formerly known as the Symphony Supper Club, Salon Series is a special support group of the Pacific Symphony whose members are treated to intimate recital-style concerts in elegant private homes throughout coastal Orange County, and the best part is that the dues for Salon Series goes directly to support the Symphony’s vital arts and education programming.
The Sunday afternoon concerts feature performances by world renowned guest artists in town to perform with the Pacific Symphony at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, and the immensely talented members of the Symphony.
Over the years, I have had the pleasure to see the likes of virtuoso violinist Sarah Chang, the Pacific Symphony’s principal pops conductor Richard Kaufmann, Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra pianist Alexander Toradze, French pianist Jean Phillipe Collard, and “Phantom of the Opera” mega-star Davis Gaines up close and personal during these special performances.
Davis singing his touching rendition of “Music of the Night” two feet from our table was a jaw dropping experience, and even the men in the room had to give it up during the applause that followed as Davis’ voice magically trailed off in to the heavens as the song’s delicate ending concluded. It sends chills up my spine to think back on that lovely evening.
And even better, each time I attend one of the events I have the good fortune to meet the artists, make new friends and spend quality time with other members I’ve gotten to know during the season.
While conversing with other music-minded listeners, we typically enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres before the performance, and coffee and dessert afterwards. It is a relaxing and informal afternoon that is as sophisticated as it is simple.
Symphony supporters are a family, and all are welcome. It is a group of intelligent, fun and philanthropic minded people who all love music and feel supporting the Pacific Symphony education programs are critical to Orange County’s arts and culture offerings.
Membership dues are $300 per person (or $600 per couple), include membership in the Pacific Symphony League and are tax deductible.
Tickets to each event typically run $65 and include heavy hors d’oeuvres and wine or other beverages. Membership includes four concerts each year, and the good news is that there is still time to join the 2010-2011 series. Due to the fact that most private homes can only hold so many guests, membership is limited to 150 each season, and a waiting list is typically started for those who don’t get on board in time.
This year’s series will start on Oct. 10 and concerts will feature performances by Pacific Symphony Assistant Principal Second Violin Jessica Guideri, visiting pianist Jeffrey Biegel, Pacific Symphony Principal Timpani Rob Slack on Marimba and will conclude with a visiting artist as yet to be determined.
For more information, log on to www.pacificsymphony.org or contact Elizabeth Ton at (714) 876-2338.
Residing in Newport Beach, Lynn Selich is a weekly columnist and society editor for the Newport Beach Independent, and Associate Publisher of Newport Beach magazine. She can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Facebook at Lynn Selich-Columnist or http://twitter.com/LynnSelich.