Soka Performing Arts Center Announces 2019-2020 Season

Soka Performing Arts Center, on the campus of Soka University in Aliso Viejo, announces its 2019-2020 Season under the direction of new General Manager Renee Bodie.

"This season is all about highlighting the stunning sound quality of our hall and broadening the range of musical experience for our audience." Ms. Bodie says.

Soka Performing Arts Center was created by world renowned acoustician Yasuhisu Toyota, who famously created the acoustics for Disney Hall, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, among many others. "We have a world class listening experience in a much more intimate setting," Ms. Bodie says.

"My first focus was to spotlight that experience with exceptional classical pianists in our Great Pianists Series, which includes Murray Perahia, Daniil Trifonov, Yefim Bronfman, Beatrice Rana, and Behzod Abdraimov. Piano recitals in our hall are transcendent. We are also proud to continue our partnerships as the home of the Pacific Symphony Chamber Orchestra, whose stunning performances also highlight the beautiful acoustics in our concert hall, and this year will feature the violin concertos of Beethoven, Mozart, and Brahms."

"The next focus was to delight our audience with a breadth of musical artistry," Ms. Bodie says. "We added new series and expanded our offerings to include a new Blues Festival featuring Taj Mahal, a Legends Series which includes Arlo Guthrie, and special engagements such as our season opening concert with Sergio Mendes: The 60th Anniversary of Bossa Nova. We added a new Children's Concert Series, with Emmy Award and Grammy Award-winning children's artists who will engage young children in a musical experience and bring families together."

"When we opened this beautiful 1000 seat world-class venue eight years ago, we knew we had something really special. Now, with Renee onboard, we are confident that she will help guide the Soka Performing Arts Center to newer and greater heights," said Archibald E. Asawa, vice president of finance and administration.

Renee Bodie, general manager for Soka Performing Arts Center, is a seasoned arts professional with over 20 years of arts management experience, with a range of successes in production and arts programming. Ms. Bodie previously served as Executive Director of Levitt Pavilion Greater Los Angeles and Pasadena for six years, and has served on the Board of Folk Alliance International for nine years, serving as President of the Board for two of those years. As President of Bodie House Music Inc., a live music production company, she produced concerts, festivals, and major music conferences throughout the country for over 16 years. She also has over 25 years of business management experience.

Subscriptions to the 2019-2020 Season are on sale. Tickets to individual performances go on sale July 12, 2019. Visit Soka Performing Art Center's website at for more information. For inquiries about ticket discounts, call the Box Office at 949.480.4278.


Behzod Abduraimov | Daniil Trifonov | Murray Perahia | Yefim Bronfman | Beatrice Rana

5-Concert Subscription: $184/$236/$288/$328 | Concert Hall

The Great Pianists Series opens with Behzod Abduraimov (Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 8PM), whose performances combine an immense depth of musicality with phenomenal technique and breath-taking delicacy. There is already great acclaim for this phenomenal young pianist: in the words of one critic, he's "a super-virtuoso capable of real, delicate musicality." But it's his personal energy - the combination of super-charged skill and poetic freshness - that makes him perfectly suited for this varied program.

CHOPIN: 24 Preludes, Op. 28

DEBUSSY: Children's Corner

MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition

Grammy Award-winning pianist Daniil Trifonov (Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 3PM) - "one of the most spectacularly virtuosic pianists of the day" (The New York Times) - has made a spectacular ascent in the world of classical music as a solo artist, champion of the concerto repertoire, chamber and vocal collaborator, and composer. Combining consummate technique with rare sensitivity and depth, his performances are a perpetual source of awe that leave audiences astounded. Co-presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.


BACH/RACHMANINOV: Prelude, Gavotte and Gigue

BACH/LISZT: Fantasia & Fugue in G minor

BACH The Art of Fugue

Murray Perahia (Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 8PM) has been called "a musician of big ideas" who "relishes the opportunity to air them in a large public forum" (The New York Times). While his approach invariably draws attention to the music not the musician, he stands in the tradition of the great keyboard virtuosi as an artist armed with consummate technical skills, boundless imagination and near-mystical eloquence. This performance is sponsored by Dr. Kenneth and Sandra Tokita and the Parnassus Society. PROGRAM: TBD

Yefim Bronfman (Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 3PM) is "a marvel of digital dexterity, warmly romantic sentiment, and jaw-dropping bravura," raves the Chicago Tribune. "Listening to Bronfman play... is like being in a crowded room when suddenly a profound conversationalist begins to speak and everyone just steps back to listen with rapt attention." (Chicago Sun Times). What more needs to be said about this titan of the piano whose playing exhibits all the elements - humor, playfulness, roguishness, nobility, and passion - of Beethoven's sonatas.

BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No.5 in C minor, Op. 10, No.1

Piano Sonata No. 6 in F Major, Op. 10, No. 2

Piano Sonata No. 7 in N*E*R*D Major, Op. 10, No. 3

Piano Sonata No.23 in F minor, Op.57, Appassionata

Silver medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and Gramophone's 2017 Young Artist of the Year, Italian pianist Beatrice Rana (Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 8PM) is making waves on the international classical music scene, garnering admiration and interest from conductors, critics and audiences around the world. Her release of Bach's Goldberg Variations debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. classical charts and was roundly praised, winning her the prestigious Gramophone title. This performance is generously sponsored by Sam Ersan. PROGRAM: TBD


Carl St.Clair, conductor, with Simone Porter, violin

Carl St. Clair, conductor, with Benjamin Smolen, flute and Dennis Kim, violin

Carl St.Clair, conductor, with Elissa Lee Koljonen, violin

3-Concert Subscription: $108/$144/$180/$204 | Concert Hall

Soka Performing Arts Center is proud to be the home of the Pacific Symphony Chamber Ensemble. The Sundays@Soka with Pacific Symphony Series is a highlight to the programming offered at Soka Performing Arts Center. Sundays@Soka is a series of 70-minute, informal concerts by Pacific Symphony proven to be popular for both newcomers and long-time aficionados of classical music. Conductor and Music Director Carl St.Clair brings his vast knowledge of musical history to life with both his comments

and baton.

Pacific Symphony Plays Mozart and Brahms (Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 3PM). Acclaimed violinist, devoted chamber musician and Soka favorite, Simone Porter joins Carl St.Clair to kick of the series with a festive work by Mozart and Brahms only violin concerto.

Carl St.Clair, conductor

Simone Porter, violin

MOZART Overture to Marriage of Figaro

BRAHMS Violin Concerto

Pacific Symphony Plays Mozart (Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 3PM). This concert is truly a Pacific Symphony family affair. Joining Maestro St.Clair in this all-Mozart program is Pacific Symphony's Concert Master Dennis Kim and Benjamin Smolen who holds the symphony's Valerie and Hans Imhof Principal Flute Chair.

Carl St.Clair, conductor

Benjamin Smolen, flute

Dennis Kim, violin

MOZART Flute Concerto in G Major

Benjamin Smolen, flute

MOZART Violin Concerto No. 3

Dennis Kim, violin

Pacific Symphony Plays Ticheli and Beethoven (Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 3PM). Recognized as one of the most celebrated violinists of her generation, Elissa Lee Koljonen has thrilled audiences and critics throughout the world. The program includes Ticheli's piece of fragile beauty and quiet dignity, and Beethoven's only concerto for one of the most popular instruments of his day: the violin.

Carl St.Clair, conductor
Elissa Lee Koljonen, violin

TICHELI There Will Be Rest

BEETHOVEN Violin Concerto

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