A Knight To Remember Mixed With Gaming Compositions

Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight with the Pacific Symphony April 19
Photo by Andy Ortega

Leading the Pacific Symphony for Knights’ performance will be Maestra Eímear Noone, an ingenious conductor and composer with an immense passion for conducting music from all genres, including video game scores.

Having recorded more than 38 albums and enjoyed No. 1 hits on the pop, R&B and adult contemporary charts, Knight enchants audiences with four generations of music, from her Motown days with Gladys Knight & The Pips to her four solo records. In addition to being recognized in multiple halls of fame, Knight has been a guest judge and performer on “American Idol” and a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars”; she has appeared in the Tyler Perry film, “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” and opened the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City with “This is Our Time.”

For this concert, she’ll be singing favorites such as “Midnight Train to Georgia,” “Every Beat of My Heart,” her James Bond single “License to Kill” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” all backed by the lush sounds of the full symphony orchestra. 

The concert’s first half features Russell Brower’s “Leah” from Blizzard Entertainment’s “Diablo III,” which she originally recorded with Pacific Symphony for the game’s highly successful release in 2012; also, Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and “Hoe Down” from “Rodeo”; Bernstein’s Overture to “Candide”; and Debussy’s haunting “Claire de Lune.” Then, the orchestra rocks out to an arrangement of AC/DC’s music by Emmy-nominated composer Craig Stuart Garfinkle, called “Back in Symphonic Black.”

“Ms. Knight fully embodies her title of ‘The Empress of Soul,’ and it is a great honor to be invited to share a stage with her,” says Noone. “Hers is a voice of the people. It belongs to us all. It puts sound to our deepest longings and heartaches, joys and great loves. She gives everything to her people on stage, a completely selfless and vulnerable passion in her performance and then, of course, there’s the soul… Only a true, fearless artist can perform with such soul.”

The star vocalist of the evening, Knight, began singing gospel music in the Mount Moriah Baptist Church in Georgia at age 4. Three years later, she won the grand prize on the television show, “Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour,” and the following year, she joined what would eventually become Gladys Knight & The Pips. In 1995, Knight earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1996, Gladys Knight & The Pips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a year later, they were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame.

Knight received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual BET Awards in 2004. 

“Of course I’m absolutely delighted to come back and work with such an incredible group of artists and exemplary human beings,” she continues. “One of the unexpected results of our collaboration has been numerous awards and nominations, so thank you, Pacific Symphony!”

Currently, Noone is touring as the conductor for The Zelda Symphony, a full four-movement symphony created from the iconic video game “Zelda.” Noone also recorded the “Zelda Symphony 25th Anniversary CD,” which was released by Nintendo as part of its newest “Zelda” game, “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.”

In 2011, she conducted and co-produced “This Is Ireland” at Royce Hall in Los Angeles for St. Patrick’s Day. Featuring orchestra, gospel choir, actors and soloists, the show starred Irish celebrites Pierce Brosnan and Roma Downey.

For more information or to purchase tickets call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org