For release: October 29, 2019


Andrew Brown, President & CEO

Ryan McSweeney, Director of Marketing & Box Office


Concert on November 9th will feature the Chorale and Pacific Symphony in Johannes Brahms’ “A German Requiem” and Arvo Pärt’s “Te Deum.”

Followed by “It’s De-Lovely” Gala at the Westin South Coast Plaza to raise funds for Pacific Chorale’s artistic and education programs.

Costa Mesa, CA – On November 9, 2019 at 3:00 p.m., in the opening concert of their 2019-2020 artistic season, Orange County’s Pacific Chorale will perform Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem) by Johannes Brahms and Te Deum by Arvo Pärt at Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Artistic Director Robert Istad will conduct the 140-voice Chorale with Pacific Symphony and guest soloists Camille Zamora, soprano, and Alexander Dobson, baritone.

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was commissioned by the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (West German Broadcasting) in Cologne, Germany, to write Te Deum in 1984. Drawing inspiration from Byzantine and Eastern Orthodox church traditions, Pärt delivered a multi-layered work that requires three separate choirs—one female, one male, and one mixed. The voices are accompanied by string orchestra, along with two highly unusual instruments: prepared piano (the instrument’s usual timbre is altered by inserting screws between selected strings), and a prerecorded drone generated by a wind harp.

Composed between 1857 and 1868, and first performed in 1869, Johannes Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45, was a breakthrough work for the composer, and remains one of the most beloved choral works in the literature. Unlike most musical Requiems written to that date (though others have since followed its example), A German Requiem does not draw upon the Latin text from the Mass for the Dead, but instead uses passages from Martin Luther’s German translation of the Bible. Omitting the customary depictions of the Last Judgment that provided dramatic inspiration to composers such as Mozart and Berlioz, Brahms instead used his text selections to bring focus to the poignant suffering and consolation of those mourning in the here-and-now. In addition to its rich writing for the chorus and orchestra, A German Requiem includes two prominent vocal solo parts, performed here by American soprano Camille Zamora and British-Canadian baritone Alexander Dobson.

The Brahms Requiem has long been a signature work of Pacific Chorale and this will be the first time Artistic Director Robert Istad will lead the ensemble in a performance of the masterwork. “It is a challenge,” Istad admits. “The Requiem is the first piece I studied with my teacher—who happens to be the former artistic director of Pacific Chorale, John Alexander—and his interpretation is imprinted on my soul. Brahms’ Requiem was life-changing for me at a number of points in my development as a conductor and a musician. The singers have come along with me on the journey as I’ve tried to create my own personal and meaningful approach to interpreting it.”

The concert will be immediately followed by Pacific Chorale’s annual gala fundraiser. This year, the fundraiser, titled “It’s De-Lovely,” will transform the Terrace Pavilion at The Westin South Coast Plaza hotel into a 1920s supper club. The Art Deco-themed gala will feature dinner, live music and dancing, and a live auction, with the revenue supporting the Chorale’s award-winning artistic, education, and community programs.

The swinging entertainment for the evening will be provided by the Jennifer Keith Sextet, a frequently requested mainstay at clubs and events across Southern California. Ms. Keith and her combo have also been featured in residence at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas.

Floral design is being provided by award-winning designer David Navarro of Jacob Maarse Florist. Navarro’s work was recently showcased in the South Coast Plaza’s Fleur de Villes floral couture exhibition.

“This is a truly exciting time for Pacific Chorale, and we wanted to create a gala event that matches the level of excitement, artistic quality, and growth that this organization is experiencing right now,” shared Andrew Brown, President of Pacific Chorale. “We are truly grateful for all of our Gala sponsors and patrons who continue to invest in this organization, our award-winning educational programs, and our mission of bringing the highest level of performances for Orange County.”

Brahms German Requiem & Pärt Te Deum
Date & Time: Saturday, November 9 at 3:00 p.m. | Concert preview with Brian Lauritzen of Classical KUSC at 2:00 p.m.
Conductor: Robert Istad, Artistic Director
Featuring: Pacific Chorale
Pacific Symphony
Camille Zamora, soprano
Alexander Dobson, baritone
Location: Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tickets: From $25 to $120
Call 714/662-2345 or visit

Pacific Chorale gratefully acknowledges its generous season sponsors:

Platinum Season Sponsor:
Phillip N. and Mary A. Lyons

Silver Season Sponsor:
Charles and Ling Zhang

It’s De-Lovely Gala
Date & Time: Saturday, November 9 at 5:30pm
Location: Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel
686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tickets: From $300 (including concert tickets)
Call 714/662-2345 or visit

Dr. Robert Istad has served as Pacific Chorale’s Artistic Director since July 1, 2017. He has prepared choruses for many of the world’s leading orchestral conductors, and has been featured on a number of recordings including The John Williams Collection on Sony Classical and Nostos: The Homecoming of Music on Yarlung Records. He continues in his role as Professor of Music, Director of Choral Studies, California State University, Fullerton. He is also serving as the President of the California Choral Directors Association and was recently elected to the board of directors of the national choral industry’s association, Chorus America.

Pacific Chorale has delighted national and international audiences with concerts of great choral music performed at the highest musical standards since 1968. Under the artistic leadership of Robert Istad, the organization produces a series of concerts each year at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, where it serves as the sole resident choir. The mission of Pacific Chorale is to inspire our community through artistry and innovation in choral music performances and education programs.

Pacific Chorale is recognized for exceptional artistic expression, preserving and performing classical choral music as well as stimulating American-focused programming. Pacific Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. Pacific Chorale has infused an Old World art form with California’s hallmark innovation and cultural independence, developing innovative new concepts in programming, and expanding the traditional concepts of choral repertoire and performance. The organization boasts over 30 world premieres and has released 14 self-produced recordings.

In addition to its long-standing partnership with Pacific Symphony, with whom Pacific Chorale made its Carnegie Hall debut in April 2018, the Chorale has performed with such renowned American ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and Musica Angelica.

Pacific Chorale has also toured extensively to more than 19 countries in Europe, South America and Asia, and has collaborated with the London Symphony, the Munich Symphony, L’Orchestre Lamoureux and L’Orchestre de St-Louis-en-l’Île of Paris, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the China National Symphony, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Estonian National Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina.

Pacific Chorale also places a significant emphasis on choral music education, offering grades 1-6 after-school programs, a high school student summer camp, and a community-wide singing event at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.


Posted Under: Press Release