The Soraya, located at the California State University, Northridge campus, announced it is celebrating both its 10th Anniversary and its reopening with a special gift of five free concerts to welcome back and thank its loyal audience.
These concerts will be presented throughout the fall season and feature the Saturday, Oct. 16 Opening Night with Afro Latin Jazz master Arturo O’Farrill, the L.A. Philharmonic’s Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen leading the Colburn School Orchestra, Christmas in Vienna with the legendary Vienna Boys Choir and the annual holiday celebration Nochebuena with Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéller.
These are just five of the nearly 50 performances that will be presented during The Soraya’s 2021-22 joy-filled season, one that offers a wide expanse of performing artists who connect with audiences and transcend the human experience.
Members at any level can secure guaranteed seating to all free concerts beginning July 27; non-member reservations (limit 4 per household) will be taken on a first-come-first-served basis starting Aug. 24 at www.thesoraya.org.
Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) is at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330. Phone: 818-677-3000.
“This coming fall, when you enter The Soraya’s doors, you know you will have made it—safe and sound, across the threshold into a new era, rejoining a community that embraces artistic excellence and the global expression of our joyful humanity,” said Thor Steingraber, The Soraya’s Executive and Artistic Director. “Reopening The Soraya is more than lighting the lights and unlocking the doors. It’s an invitation to open your hearts, minds, eyes, and ears.”
He continued, “In a little more than a decade, The Soraya has proven its resilience more than once, and in every instance, our audiences’ commitment to our exquisite home is exceptional. For our 10th anniversary, we’ve planned a homecoming for beloved and familiar artists who once graced our stage.”
2021-22 returning artists Include Esa-Pekka Salonen & the Colburn Orchestra, La Marisoul, Branford Marsalis, Stewart Copeland, Martha Graham Dance Company & Wild Up conducted by Christopher Rountree, Joshua Bell, Marco Beltrami, Vadym Kholodenko, Aida Cuevas, David Sedaris, John Eliot Gardiner, Megan Hilty, Joshua Henry, conductor Richard Kaufman, and The Soraya’s new Artist-in-Residence Étienne Gara.
“The long wait is finally over for all of us,” said CSUN’s new President, Erika D. Beck. “Audiences from every walk of life in LA’s vibrant cultural tapestry, the re-opening of The Soraya will be a momentous occasion, an opportunity to reunite as a community, to celebrate our resilience, and to emerge into a world made better by the awe-inspiring power of live performance.”
Highlights of The Soraya’s 2021-22 Season
Returning artists for the 2021-22 Season include La Marisoul and Aida Cuevas performing their Linda Ronstadt program; Branford Marsalis; Stewart Copeland in a unique performance of music of The Police, Deranged for Orchestra; Martha Graham Dance Company performing its Graham’s iconic Appalachian Spring with Wild Up conducted by Christopher Rountree; David Sedaris; YAMATO – the Drummers of Japan; and a Broadway evening with Megan Hilty (Broadway and Hollywood Wicked; NBC’s Smash) and Joshua Henry (Broadway Carousel, Tour Aaron Burr Hamilton). Also, The Count Basie Orchestra celebrates Ella Fitzgerald.
The Soraya’s new Artist-in-Residence, Étienne Gara, participates in two much anticipated programs: Delirium Musicum Chamber Orchestra with Gara performing works of two contemporary composers – Philip Glass and Max Richter, each in response to Vivaldi’s beloved Four Seasons. In a second program, film composer Marco Beltrami transforms Bach’s preludes also performed by Delirium Musicum.
The Soraya offers a sneak-peak at the 2021-22 Crescendo series, a wide ranging eleven classical music concerts including Esa-Pekka Salonen & the Colburn Orchestra performing Shostakovich and Bruckner; the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Vasily Petrenko in a program of Britten, Elgar and the Grieg Piano Concerto with piano soloist Olga Kern; the LA Jewish Symphony with violinist Lindsay Deutsch in a program inspired by the Violins of Hope; pianist Vadym Kholodenko; Russian National Orchestra playing the Tchaikovsky Fourth; Academy of St Marin in the Fields with Joshua Bell in its eighth Soraya performance; the St. Lawrence String Quartet; and Sir John Gardiner conducting a Baroque program of Haydn and Mozart. Tickets for the Crescendo series go on sale in September.
Additional Jazz, Dance, and other offerings for Spring, 2022, will be announced in September.
What’s New? Memberships to The Soraya!
This Season, audiences will have the opportunity to deepen their engagement with The Soraya by purchasing Memberships starting at just $10 per month which ensures a variety of ticketing, discount, and special events benefits throughout the year. The Soraya offers a home where diverse artists and audiences gather and create a thriving performing arts center that uplifts the spirits and forges a future for the greater LA community. Becoming a member will amplify patrons’ access to benefits and more at thesoraya.org.
The Soraya Tickets and Covid Protocols
The Soraya’s Safe and Sound pledge: We offer the basics of human bonding, a return to days when a community wasn’t a herd, when social wasn’t only social distance, and when your health and welfare included joy and celebration. At The Soraya, you can be Safe and enjoy the Sound!
The Soraya will offer performance-goers a variety of seating options to choose from including a fully vaccinated section, a socially distanced seating section, and some outdoor seating options. Our Fall season will be performed at 75% capacity to ensure we provide a variety of seating choices for our patrons. Masks will be required for all unvaccinated patrons.
Any updates and recommended guidance from our public health experts; further information and updates will be posted here.
About Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)
The 2021-22 Season marks the 10th Anniversary for the celebrated Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) located on the vibrant and diverse campus of California State University in the heart of Los Angeles’ equally diverse San Fernando Valley.
Under the leadership of Executive and Artistic Director Thor Steingraber, The Soraya continues its vigorous commitment to innovating, exceling, and amplifying access by offering a wide variety of performances that include new and original work from the Los Angeles region as well as work from around the world that appeals to LA’s many distinctive communities.
After enduring a year without live performances, the 2021-22 season will offer a joy-filled reunion featuring a vibrant program of nearly 50 classical and popular music, dance, theater, family, and international events that will further establish The Soraya as one of the top arts companies in Southern California that uplifts and inspires its audiences.
The Soraya’s 2021-22 Season
The Soraya’s 10th anniversary gift to the community – five FREE concerts including the long-awaited Opening Night, a victory lap from conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, and ALL holiday programming including The Vienna Boys Choir and Nochebuena. Members at any level secure guaranteed seating to all Free concerts. Non-member reservations (limit 4 per household) will be taken on a first-come-first-served basis starting Aug. 24 at thesoraya.org.
SAT | OCT 16 | 8PM | FREE
Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Fandango at the Wall
with Special Guests the Villalobos Brothers and the Conga Patria Son Jarocho Collective
In his second appearance at The Soraya, Afro Latin jazz master Arturo O’Farrill and special guests pour their heart and soul into a message of unity and breaking down walls – real and imagined.
SAT | NOV 13 | 8PM | FREE
The Colburn Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen, Conductor
Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1
Bruckner: Symphony No. 6
SUN | NOV 20 | 3PM | FREE
Vienna Boys Choir
Christmas in Vienna
One of the world’s most beloved choirs revisits The Soraya, reveling in the acoustic glory of its Great Hall. Ring in the holidays with the pristine, angelic sound of the choir that has been entertaining worldwide audiences for six centuries.
SAT | DEC 4 | 3PM | FREE
Disney’s FANTASIA Live in Concert
Richard Kaufman, Conductor
Disney’s 1940 film in brilliant, restored color, accompanied by the CSUN orchestra conducted by Richard Kaufman
FRI | DEC 10 | 8PM | FREE & SAT | DEC 11 | 3PM | FREE
Nochebuena, Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles, and Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéller
In what has become a popular holiday tradition at The Soraya, the lively Nochebuena celebration returns live on stage with favorite Artists that are part of The Soraya family.
THE SORAYA SIGNATURE SERIES
Featuring The Soraya’s one-of-a-kind programming mix, but it’s more than a sampling of what we do best. The entire series will be available free to our members of $500 or more. These five performances are the heart of our anniversary celebration.
SAT | OCT 23 | 8PM
A Concert Tribute to Linda Ronstadt: Aida Cuevas and La Marisoul
Cheche Alara, Musical Director and Producer
Featuring Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuéllar
Linda Ronstadt’s legendary voice had no limits. She commanded pop, country, and traditional Mexican music as well as the Broadway stage. La Marisoul and Aida Cuevas pay tribute in this expanded live performance based on the successful 2020 television broadcast produced by The Soraya and PBS SoCal.
THU | OCT 28 | 8PM
An Evening with Branford Marsalis
One of the world’s best-known saxophonists takes the stage for a second time, performing with his Grammy-nominated jazz quartet.
SAT | NOV 19 | 8PM
Martha Graham Dance Company
Appalachian Spring by Martha Graham
Janet Eilber, Artistic Director
Wild Up, Christopher Rountree, Conductor
The gold standard of modern dance returns for the fourth time with Appalachian Spring, accompanied with live music by Wild Up. Enjoy Copland’s iconic score, played live with Graham’s most iconic choreography.
WED | JAN 13 | 8PM
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko, Conductor
Olga Kern, Piano
Britain’s pre-eminent ensemble returns with a program of British composers Britten and Elgar; pianist Olga Kern joins to perform Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor.
Britten: Four Sea Interludes from “Peter Grimes”
Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16
Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations, Op. 36
SAT | JAN 29 | 8PM
Broadway Celebrates The Soraya: Megan Hilty and Joshua Henry
Richard Kaufman, Conductor
Our 10th anniversary concert grand finale lights up the stage with three of the brightest and best performers the great white way has to offer: Megan Hilty (Wicked) and Joshua Henry (Hamilton)
THUR | NOV 4 | 8PM
Stewart Copeland: Police Deranged for Orchestra
Music of The Police
Cheche Alara, Conductor
with the Matt Jones Orchestra
Stewart Copeland, the Rhythmatist of rockstars, returns to The Soraya to dominate his drum kit alongside an orchestral reimagining of his band The Police’s chart-topping hits, including “Roxanne,” “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” and “Message in a Bottle.”
WED | NOV 10 | 8PM
An Evening with David Sedaris
With only a podium, a mic, and a wicked sense of humor, Sedaris turns over-sharing into a fine art that leaves audiences breathless from laughter.
WED | NOV 16 | 8PM
The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra
Directed by Scotty Barnhart
The Music of Ella Fitzgerald
Featuring Lizz Wright
Harlem’s legendary orchestra honors “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald.
SUN | DEC 12 | 3PM
LA Jewish Symphony: Violins of Hope with Lindsay Deutsch
The violins from the Holocaust were on their way to The Soraya when their concert was interrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. The instruments remained hidden under The Soraya stage for months. These historic violins stand as testament to resilience, now more than ever, in their triumphant return. The concert marks a celebration of perseverance and music’s power to transcend.
SUN | JAN 23 | 3PM
YAMATO – The Drummers of Japan
Yamato travels all over the word with Japan’s traditional Wadaiko drums, putting its very souls into the unusual instruments, whose sound stirs the hearts of people everywhere.
CRESCENDO SERIES (on sale in September)
The Soraya’s exceptional acoustics are a magnet for artists and audiences alike. The glorious Great Hall will resound again with the talents of familiar artists and a few new ones, including The Soraya’s Resident Artist, Etienne Gara. Members will have first access to tickets and other benefits.
FRI | JAN 21 | 8PM
Delirium Musicum Chamber Orchestra with Artist in Residence Etienne Gara
The signature style of a young artist shaking up the classical music scene, violinist Etienne Gara leads an ensemble known for its fearless interpretations. A rare opportunity to experience the works of two contemporary composers – Philip Glass and Max Richter – each in response to Vivaldi’s beloved Four Seasons.
Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons
Philip Glass’ The American Four Season
THU | FEB 3 | 8PM
Vadym Kholodenko’s last performance at The Soraya in 2016 was unforgettable. So sensitive and moving, there was barely a dry eye in the house, even through the thunderous ovation he so richly deserved.
Tchaikovsky: Theme and Variations in F Major, Op. 19, No. 6
Mozart: Fantasia in c minor, K. 475 and Sonata in c minor, K. 457
Liszt: Miserere de Trovatore, S. 433
Beethoven/Liszt: An die ferne Geliebte, S. 469
Beethoven/Liszt: Adelaide, S. 466
Liszt: Reminiscences de Norma, S. 394
WED | FEB 23 | 8PM
Russian National Orchestra
Mikhail Pletnev, Piano
Kirill Karabits, Conductor
Called “a living symbol of the best in Russian art,” by the Miami Herald, The Russian National Orchestra takes The Soraya stage, returning with their big bold sound.
Beethoven: Fidelio Overture
Schumann: Piano Concerto
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4
THU | MAR 3 | 8PM
Marco Beltrami: The Bach Project With over 100 films to his credit, Marco Beltrami is one of today’s most celebrated composers. He steps nto the concert hall to reimagine and transform Bach’s preludes, performed by Delirium Musicum.
THU | MAR 10 | 8PM
Academy St Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell
The final performance in The Soraya’s Great Hall before COVID, in March 2020, was Bell and his ensemble performing Beethoven’s Ninth. Two years later, Bell makes his 8th appearance at The Soraya, and brings us full circle.
THU | MAR 30 | 8PM
St. Lawrence String Quartet
The Los Angeles Times calls them “a modern string quartet that brings flexibility, dramatic fire and…a hint of rock ‘n’ roll energy…” Their previous appearance at The Soraya was a high-water mark, inaugurating a new era of chamber music.
THU | APR 13 | 8PM
Sir John Eliot Gardiner / Baroque
Gardiner’s interpretations of Baroque and Classical music have brought him worldwide acclaim, with many recordings and appearances at major concert halls. He is the master without equal. Under his baton, Mozart will find a pristine home at The Soraya.
Haydn: Symphony N. 103 in E-Flat Major
Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante K 364
Mozart: Symphony No. 39 in E-Flat Major, K543