• Jun 21, 2022

Release: GRAMMY-Winning Pacific Chorale, Led by Artistic Director Robert Istad, Announces 2022-2023 Season

Written by Natalie Hunter

DOWNLOAD 2022-2023 SEASON PHOTOS HERE: https://tinyurl.com/pacificchorale2022-23photos

Press Contact: Libby Huebner, libbyhuebner562@gmail.com, 562.799.6055


Highlights of 55th Season Include:


  • Chorale-Commissioned World Premiere by Saunder Choi;
  • West Coast Premiere of Florence Price’s Newly Discovered Choral Symphony Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight;
  • Jocelyn Hagen’s The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, a Multi-Media Work for Choir, Orchestra, and Projections Based on the Awe-Inspired Writings and Art Featured in the Renaissance Artist’s Personal Notebooks;
  • Seminal Choral Masterworks, including Duruflé’s Requiem, Haydn’s “Nelson Mass,” and Monteverdi’s “Vespers of 1610”;
  • Special Guests Pacific Symphony, Bach Collegium San Diego, and Its Founder, Organist Ruben Valenzuela;
  • Signature Candlelight and Family Holiday Programs;
  • Choir’s First International Tour in Seven Years, Including Appearances in Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom

COSTA MESA, CA (June 21, 2022) – Pacific Chorale’s 2022-2023 Season, announced today by Artistic Director Robert Istad and President & CEO Andrew Brown, features five wide-ranging programs of enthralling choral masterworks and contemporary works spanning six centuries, including the West Coast premiere of Florence Price’s newly discovered anti-war piece set to poetry about Abraham Lincoln and Jocelyn Hagen’s stunning multi-media work inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. The Grammy-winning choir, whose performances have been hailed as “ethereal” (LA Opus), “thrilling” and “sublime” (Classical Voice), also embarks on its first international tour in seven years, taking its artistry to leading venues in Austria, Germany and the United Kingdom during summer 2023. Istad will conduct all five programs as well as the tour performances.


The chorus’ 55th season opens with Jocelyn Hagen’s The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, a mesmerizing multi-media work for choir, orchestra and projections inspired by the writings and art featured in the iconic Renaissance artist’s personal notebooks. Composed to honor da Vinci’s remarkable legacy on the 500th anniversary of his death in 2019, the nine-movement piece is set to text from his notebooks, which draw on themes of art, science, nature, and technology. The concert also features Duruflé’s Requiem, widely considered to be the composer’s greatest work, which blends Gregorian chant and 20th century musical concepts, creating a transcendent choral tapestry of emotions. (Saturday, October 15, 2022, 8:00 pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.)


Pacific Chorale displays its considerable vocal dexterity when special guests Bach Collegium San Diego, one of the country’s premier early music ensembles, and its founder, organist Ruben Valenzuela, join the choir for a historically-informed performance of Monteverdi’s “Vespers of 1610,” a pillar of the Baroque music canon whose splendor and virtuosity has captivated audiences for centuries. (Saturday, March 4, 2023, 8:00 pm, Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Newport Beach.)


In the season finale, Istad leads the West Coast premiere of groundbreaking composer Florence Price’s newly discovered Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight, a setting of Springfield, Illinois-native Nicholas Vachel Lindsay’s ardent anti-war poem of the same name. The long-lost manuscript by Price, one of the first American women to be widely recognized as a symphonic composer, was recovered from an abandoned house in Illinois in 2009 and is thought to have been completed sometime between 1914 and 1949. Her work is paired with Haydn’s masterpiece Missa in Angustiis (Mass in Time of Anxiety) “Nelson Mass,” composed in 1798, at a time of tremendous turmoil when the citizens of Austria feared defeat by Napoleon’s troops. These works, although grounded in the new and old worlds respectively and composed more than a century apart, both address the futility of war. (Saturday, May 20, 2023, 5:00 pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.) The Chorale will also host its annual Gala immediately following the concert, to celebrate and benefit the upcoming European tour.


Pacific Chorale’s signature holiday programming returns with two performances of “Carols by Candlelight” – spotlighting timeless traditional and contemporary holiday music, including a choir-commissioned world premiere by noted LA-based Filipino composer Saunder Choi, a tenor in the chorus whose work has been described as “fresh and earnest” (San Francisco Classical Voice). (Saturday, December 3, 8:00 pm, and Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 8:00 pm, Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Newport Beach.)


The choir also presents two performances of its delightful family favorite “Tis the Season!,” celebrating the holidays with festive carols, seasonal gems, and a visit from The Man in Red, Santa Claus. (Sunday, December 18, 5:00 pm, and Monday, December 19, 2022, 7:30 pm, Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.)


During its European tour, July 12-24, 2023, the chorus performs alongside several regional orchestras the two pieces from its season finale, Price’s rediscovered masterwork, Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight, and Haydn’s Nelson Mass. The choir is slated to appear at such iconic venues as the Salzburg Cathedral, which holds one of Austria’s most important music archives, and, in the U.K., Salisbury Cathedral, which houses one of only four original copies of the Magna Carta known to exist, and Oxford University’s Sheldonian Theatre. Pacific Chorale also tours to Munich and Bath, among other locales.


“It is incredibly moving to begin and end Pacific Chorale’s season with major choral works inspired by two seminal historical figures – Leonardo da Vinci and Abraham Lincoln – both remembered for their indelible contributions to humanity,” says Istad. “They are extraordinary pieces by two exceptional female composers, and I am thrilled to be able share them with our audience. It promises to be a tour de force season as we showcase our outstanding singers on those important newer pieces as well as the enduring choral masterworks of Duruflé, Haydn and Monteverdi and other significant repertoire.”


“We are deeply grateful for the steadfast leadership of our Board of Directors, the generosity of our donors, and the enthusiasm and support of our audience members for helping to make possible a season of this scope as well as our upcoming international tour,” says Brown. “We also proudly recognize the outstanding talent and dedication of our singers and look forward to sharing Pacific Chorale’s remarkable artistry with audiences locally and abroad, sparking joy and passion as only music can and further cementing Pacific Chorale’s remarkable legacy.”


Guest Appearances

In addition to presenting its own concert series, the Chorale appears with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in “Amadeus Live in Concert,” conducted by Sarah Hicks at the Hollywood Bowl (August 23, 2022). The choir also makes guest appearances on five Pacific Symphony programs this season at the Reneé and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. They include Holst’s The Planets led by Karen Kamensek (November 17-19, 2022); Handel’s Messiah conducted by Pacific Chorale’s own Robert Istad (December 4, 2022); three presentations under the baton of Carl St.Clair – A Lunar New Year program (January 28, 2023), Verdi’s Rigoletto (April 20-25, 2023), and “Cathedrals of Sound,” featuring St.Clair conducting the world premiere of James MacMillan’s Fiat Lux, commissioned by Pacific Symphony for Pacific Chorale and Pacific Symphony, as well as Istad guest-conducting Allegri’s Miserere mei, Deus (June 15-17, 2023).

Health & Safety

With the health and safety of its patrons, artists, and community continuing to be a top priority, Pacific Chorale remains committed to flexibility and transparency in its ticket policies, including no-cost exchanges and refunds. For information on Pacific Chorale’s most current health and safety protocols, please visit https://www.pacificchorale.org/covid-returning-to-live-performances/.


Tickets/Information/Performance Venues

Season tickets are available in packages of 3 to 5 concerts, ranging in price from $64 to $498. Single tickets to individual performances, beginning at $25, go on sale on Tuesday, September 6, 2022. All Pacific Chorale concerts are presented in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, CA, except for “Carols by Candlelight” and “Monteverdi Vespers,” which are presented in Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach, CA. For tickets and information, visit www.pacificchorale.org or call 714-662-2345.



ROBERT ISTAD, a Grammy Award-winning conductor who “fashions fluent and sumptuous readings” (Voice of OC) with his “phenomenal” artistry (Los Angeles Times), was appointed Pacific Chorale’s Artistic Director in 2017. Under his leadership, the chorus continues to expand its reputation for excellence for delivering fresh, thought-provoking interpretations of beloved masterworks, rarely performed gems and newly commissioned pieces. His artistic impact can be heard on two recent recordings featuring Pacific Chorale, including the 2020 Grammy Award-winning “Mahler’s Eighth Symphony” with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel on Deutsche Grammophon (2021), for which he prepared the chorus. It won Best Choral Performance and also garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Engineered Album, Classical. Additionally, Istad conducted the Pacific Chorale’s recording “All Things Common: The Music of Tarik O’Regan” released on Yarlung Records (2020). Istad has prepared choruses for such renowned conductors as Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Williams, John Mauceri, Keith Lockhart, Nicholas McGegan, Vasilly Sinaisky, Sir Andrew Davis, Bramwell Tovey, Carl St.Clair, Eugene Kohn, Giancarlo Guerrero, Marin Alsop, George Fenton, and Robert Moody. He regularly conducts and collaborates with Pacific Symphony, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, Sony Classical Records, Yarlung Records, Berkshire Choral International, and Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. An esteemed educator, Istad is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Fullerton, where he was recognized as CSUF’s 2016 Outstanding Professor of the Year. He conducts the University Singers and manages a large graduate conducting program, in addition to teaching courses on conducting and performance practice. Istad, who is on the Executive Board of Directors of Chorus America and serves as Dean of Chorus America’s Conducting Academy, is in demand as guest conductor, lecturer, and clinician.

PACIFIC CHORALE, a Grammy Award-winning Orange County “treasure” with a “fresh viewpoint” that “can sing anything you put in front of it, with polish, poise and tonal splendor” (Orange County Register) has “risen to national prominence” (Los Angeles Times) since its inception in 1968. Hailed for delivering “thrilling entertainment” (Voice of OC), the resident choir at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is noted for its artistic innovation and commitment to expanding the choral repertoire. It has given the world, U.S., and West Coast premieres of more than 35 works, including numerous commissions, by such lauded composers as John Adams, Jake Heggie, James Hopkins, David Lang, Morten Lauridsen, Ravel, Tarik O’Regan, Karen Thomas, Frank Ticheli, András Gábor Virágh, and Eric Whitacre. In addition to presenting its own concert series each season, Pacific Chorale enjoys a long-standing partnership with Pacific Symphony, with whom the choir made its highly anticipated Carnegie Hall debut in 2018. The chorus also regularly appears with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with which it won the 2022 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance as well as a Grammy nomination for Best Engineered Album, Classical, for its contribution to the live classical recording of “Mahler: Symphony No. 8, ‘Symphony of A Thousand,’” conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, featuring Leah Crocetto, Mihoko Fujimura, Ryan McKinny, Erin Morley, Tamara Mumford, Simon O’Neill, Morris Robinson and Tamara Wilson; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles Master Chorale, National Children’s Chorus and Pacific Chorale. The choir has performed with such leading orchestras as the Boston Symphony, National Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, and Musica Angelica, among others. Pacific Chorale has garnered international acclaim as well, having toured extensively to more than 19 countries in Europe, South America, and Asia, and through collaborations with the London Symphony, Munich Symphony, L’Orchestre Lamoureux and L’Orchestre de St-Louis-en-l’Île of Paris, National Orchestra of Belgium, China National Symphony, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Estonian National Symphony, and Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina, among others. Deeply committed to making choral music accessible to people of all ages, the organization, which has a discography of 14 self-produced recordings and an extensive collection of exceptional free digital offerings, places a significant emphasis on choral music education, providing after-school vocal programs for elementary school students, a choral summer camp for high school students, and an annual community-wide singing event at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. www.pacificchorale.org

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Duruflé + Hagen

Saturday, October 15, 2022, 8:00 pm

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

Robert Istad, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Pacific Symphony

Isaac Gale and Joseph Midthun, film makers/video projections


DURUFLÉ                     Requiem                      

Jocelyn HAGEN                        The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci


Carols by Candlelight

Saturday, December 3, 2022, 8:00 pm

Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 8:00 pm

Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Newport Beach

Robert Istad, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Piano & Guest Instrumentalists TBA


Saunder CHOI               World Premiere

+ timeless traditional and contemporary seasonal repertoire



Tis the Season!

Sunday, December 18, 2022,  5:00 pm

Monday, December 19, 2022, 7:30 pm

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

Robert Istad, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Members of Pacific Symphony

Southern California Children’s Chorus


A family-friendly program replete with festive carols, holiday favorites and a visit from The Man in Red, Santa Claus


Monteverdi Vespers

Saturday, March 4, 2023, 8:00 pm

Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, Newport Beach

Robert Istad, conductor

Members of Pacific Chorale

Ruben Valenzuela, organ

Bach Collegium San Diego, Ruben Valenzuela, Artistic Director


MONTEVERDI               Vespro della Beata Vergine “Vespers of 1610”


Haydn + Price

Saturday, May 20, 2023, 5:00 pm

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Costa Mesa

Robert Istad, conductor

Pacific Chorale

Pacific Symphony


HAYDN             Missa in Angustiis “Nelson Mass”

PRICE              Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight (West Coast Premiere)




Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, Segerstrom Center for the Arts

600 Town Center Drive

Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church

2100 Mar Vista Drive

Newport Beach, CA 92660


Season subscriptions available; single tickets, beginning at $25, go on sale September, 2022


Artists, dates, programs and venues subject to change