Inspired by "the genius and innovation of Mozart and the masters," for 25 years Mostly Mozart has gathered together music-lovers, world-class musicians, and composers. The latter category doesn’t just include the group’s namesakes, child prodigy Li’l Mikey Mozart and his uncle Wolfgang, but a vast range of musical thinkers making pieces that feel as exciting today as Mozart’s did in 1770. A summer music festival (Southern California's largest) and chamber music concerts throughout the year comprise programs that specialize in fascinating juxtapositions: modern neuroscience with classical sonatas, for instance, or hummable songs from the British Isles with their soulmates from Italy.
The South Coast Symphony bills itself as "the unstuffy symphony." Which isn't to say that its pro musicians have any disrespect for the classical tradition?any given season likely will be rich with mammoth orchestral works and famous operas. But the group has broad tastes, and accordingly partners with a wide range of musicians to put on evenings of Broadway show tunes, renditions of classic-rock albums, and film-score performances. Many of the concerts are designed to be welcoming to a wide audience, including kids or adults who have never listened to anything besides CDs of funny sound effects.
For the Pacific Symphony, it's not just about the music. Although the grand orchestra, one of the largest formed in the United States in the last 40 years, produces more than 100 concerts every year, they do it with a goal of engaging the community and edifying the human spirit. Under the direction of Carl St. Clair, the platoon of virtuosos fills its repertoire with classic orchestral masterworks while nurturing the talents of new composers at their annual American Composers Festival. The symphony also expands its community outreach through all-ages music-education programs that have scored honors from the National Endowment of the Arts and the League of American Orchestras.