Following his appearance in 2004, Italian talent Fabio Luisi returns to the Pacific Music Festival this year as principal conductor. Luisi’s dynamic baton and the PMF Orchestra will cap the festival’s finale with a colorful and narrative program, featuring Richard Strauss’ symphonic poem “Don Quixote” and Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique.” The part of Don Quixote will be performed by young German cellist Jan Vogler, accompanied by PMF professor Daniel Foster’s viola solo as Sancho Panza. The PMF Orchestra brings together young talents from around the world who participate in this educational festival, launched in 1990 by the late great U.S. conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, whose 90th birthday will be celebrated at a special gala concert at the festival.

Also check out: “Turangalila- Symphonie,” a monumental work by French composer Messian (1908-92), marking the centennial of his birth, will be conducted by Jun Markl.

The setting: The festival centers around Sapporo, although concerts including the same program will be also performed in Tokyo and Osaka. The program ensures a lively, youthful energy.

When/where: Luisi performs July 27 at Sapporo Art Park Outdoor Stage; July 29 at The Symphony Hall, Osaka; and July 31 at Suntory Hall, Tokyo. Markl performs July 12 at Sapporo Concert Hall; and July 13 at Sapporo Art Park Outdoor Stage. www.pmf.or.jp/index_en.html

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