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The San Diego Symphony

History and Performances

Through a rich mixture of innovative and educational programming designed to appeal to all ages and cultures, the Symphony makes music an integral part of the cultural and intellectual fabric of the San Diego Region.

In the years since its inception in 1910, the San Diego Symphony has become one of the leading orchestras in the United States, and the first in California to reach the landmark of 100 years of performance history. It is committed to providing musical experiences of superior quality for the greater San Diego community and beyond. Through a rich mixture of innovative and educational programming designed to appeal to all ages and cultures, the Symphony makes music an integral part of the cultural and intellectual fabric of the San Diego Region, valued by and relevant to all its residents.

Conductors

Many renowned conductors have held the position of Music Director of San Diego Symphony, including Earl Bernard Murray, David Atherton and Yoav Talmi. Robert Shaw was Music Director of the Symphony from 1953-1958. Jahja Ling has been Music Director of the San Diego Symphony since 2004.

Performances

The Symphony performs over 100 concerts each season, with artists as varied as Yo-Yo Ma, Yes, Charlotte Church, and Cirque Eloise. The San Diego Symphony performances include the Masterworks series, offering traditional classical repertoire and featuring guest artists as Pinchas Zukerman, Hilary Hahn and Angel Romero; the Winter Pops series, featuring popular guest artists such as Dave Brubeck, Johnny Mathis and Arturo Sandoval, as well as annual holiday programs; and a Family Festival series that presents family-friendly concerts. Each year, from late June through early September, the Symphony presents an outdoor Summer Pops season, which mixes classical favorites and pop music in a festive, outdoor atmosphere on San Diego's picturesque waterfront. Former Summer Pops guests have included Burt Bacharach, Chris Botti, and Frank Sinatra, Jr.

Recordings

In 2012, the Symphony, with the conducting of Music Director Jahja Ling, released Never Far Away – Music of Bright Sheng. Years in the making, this studio release features a world premiere performance on CD of Bright Sheng’s "Never Far Away," his harp concerto especially written for the soloist on this recording, Yolanda Kondonassis.

Prior to that, the San Diego Symphony produced ten highly acclaimed recordings on the Naxos, Pro Arte and Telarc labels. Recordings include "Masters of Mayhem," a collection of works from Hitchcock movies, Berlioz’ "Romeo and Juliet," Brahms’ "Four Serious Songs" and a transcription of Sextet No.1 for orchestra, Gliere’s Symphony No. 3, and a collection of music from children’s films and cartoons, entitled "The Magical Mystical Mouse."

Copley Symphony Hall

Historic Copley Symphony Hall, home of the San Diego Symphony, is regarded as one of the finest classical music venues on the West Coast. Originally built in 1929 as a premiere movie house (Fox Theater), this lush, French Rococo-style hall was conferred to the Symphony in 1984. The beauty and majesty of this historic hall has added to the stature and artistic growth of San Diego Symphony.

Awards and Recognition

In 1983, San Diego Symphony’s then composer-in-residence, Bernard Rands, won the Pulitzer Prize, furthering the outstanding reputation of San Diego Symphony. In 1992, the Symphony commemorated the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ landing with a televised concert in Mexico’s Chichen Itza ruins. In 1998 the Symphony toured the West Coast with Andrea Bocelli.

On January 14, 2002, the San Diego Symphony celebrated the announcement of the single largest donation ever made to a Symphony Orchestra, totaling $120 million. The gift, generously given by Joan and Irwin Jacobs, launched the Symphony’s New World Endowment Campaign, designed to ensure the future stability of the orchestra. The New York Times declared the San Diego Symphony “placed firmly on the nation’s musical landscape” as a result of this news.


Get more information about the San Diego Symphony and a Complete Performance Schedule. To purchase tickets, call 619-235-0804.

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