St.Clair reflects on 20 years with Pacific Symphony

Posted on: June 4, 2010

In Thursday’s (6/3) Los Angeles Times, Mike Boehm writes, “Carl St.Clair leaned casually on a black concert grand piano, microphone dangling from one hand, as if he were Harry Connick Jr. or Barry Manilow, holding forth cozily for the fans. And why not be at ease? This was his night, a special concert two weeks ago, celebrating his 20 years as music director of the Pacific Symphony that sat behind him. … But St.Clair, who grew up on a cotton farm in a South Texas hamlet of 35 souls and who never saw an orchestra until he found himself playing the trumpet in one at 17, can reach for the lofty and the profound in his public appearances. ‘I’d like you to make a solemn promise to never let the sound of this orchestra be silenced,’ he said. … St.Clair said that the bad economy and the havoc it can wreak in the arts—notably the collapse of Opera Pacific 18 months ago—had something to do with his having struck that urgent note at the concert. … Under St.Clair, the Pacific has had a consistent commitment to performing and commissioning new music, especially from American composers. Working with living composers, he said, ‘is the closest thing I’m going to get to knowing Beethoven.’ ”

Posted June 4, 2010