Symphony at Salk.

When polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk began planning the biological research institute in La Jolla that would bear his name, he envisioned a “crucible of creativity,” a place where brilliant minds could do scientific work within a work of art. The Louis Kahn-designed institute has since become a renowned architectural landmark, drawing thousands of visitors every year from around the globe. Salk began thinking of his institute as a place where art, science and philosophy could address basic questions about life and the future of humanity. Thus began the Institute’s long tradition of melding science and art.

An independent, nonprofit organization, the Salk Institute is the embodiment of Jonas Salk’s mission to dare to turn dreams into reality. It is home to a highly collaborative cadre of scientists who delve into a broad range of research areas, from aging, cancer and immunology to diabetes, brain science and plant biology. They are supported by on-campus research centers and facilities equipped with powerful, cutting-edge technology.

The Institute hosts more than 300 symposia and cultural events every year for scientific and general audiences alike. On August 20, the Institute celebrates the 21st annual Symphony at Salk, its signature concert under the stars. The gala evening on the courtyard will showcase the incomparable San Diego Symphony led by guest conductor Maestro Thomas Wilkins and Broadway luminary Kelli O’Hara, who will perform show-stopping tunes from the Great American Songbook.

One of the country’s most distinguished conductors, Maestro Wilkins will lead the San Diego Symphony Orchestra for the 12th successive year. Meanwhile, O’Hara’s portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of The King and I garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. Since her Broadway debut in Jekyll & Hyde in 2000, she has moved from one success to another, earning numerous Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations. A recent New York Times review of her operatic turn in Dido and Aeneas stated, “Ms. O’Hara can sign a Rodgers and Hammerstein number as if she were talking to you, while still bringing exquisite sound to her phrases.”

Tickets are on sale now at All proceeds from this signature summer event support the Institute’s wide-ranging scientific inquiries that have yielded more than 50 years of life-changing discoveries, directly influencing areas as diverse as cancer, Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s, metabolic diseases, ALS, schizophrenia, autism, spinal cord injuries, crop yields and world hunger. Proceeds also support Salk’s award-winning educational outreach programs that have helped generations of students discover their passion for research and explore careers in science.
The Salk Institute hosts numerous other events as well, ranging from daily architecture tours to the popular Salk Science & Music Series – Sunday afternoon concerts featuring classical and jazz music from established and emerging artists, as well as talks by the Institute’s world-renowned scientists. The season begins October 2.

For more information on how to visit and connect with the Institute, call (858) 453-4100 or visit