art-symphony-hall-remodelA CULTURAL ICON

To the outside world, San Diego is known for its beaches, weather and tourist attractions. For years, San Diego is seen as a sleepy seaside town devoid of culture and arts. This perception is fading as museums and performing arts organizations are taking the spotlight and becoming part of our city’s tapestry. In the years to come, we will have our cultural points of interest on the same playing field as our tourist attractions!

The San Diego Symphony has been leading the way in cultural and artistic recognition for the region. The Symphony started more than one hundred years ago as a summer orchestra playing at the Spreckel’s Organ Pavilion and has now evolved to a Tier 1 Orchestra performing over 110 concerts every year. There is the Jacob’s Masterworks Series, The City Lights in Symphony Hall and the world famous Summer Pops at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

This fall, San Diego Symphony is becoming a world-class touring symphony as it is embarking on an ambitious tour. First, the San Diego Symphony, conducted by Jahja Ling performing with Lang Lang, will make their Carnegie Hall debut in New York on October 29. Following this performance, the Symphony will fly to China for a ten day Friendship Tour touring with violin soloists Joshua Bell and Augustin Hadelich. The tour will visit Yantai, San Diego’s sister city, Shanghai and Beijing, where they will perform at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, a 5,452 person theatre made of titanium and glass completely surrounded by an artificial lake. Few arts organizations in the world go on world tours, even fewer visit China.

While on tour, the Symphony will be keeping busy here in San Diego. Copley Symphony Hall is undergoing a remodel. This stately theatre built as The Fox Theatre in 1929, became the Symphony’s permanent home in the 1980’s. Since then, there have been minor improvements, but nothing will compare to the complete remodel. The upper and lower lobbies, the private reception room, along with a new café and box office will await patrons for Fall of 2013.

You might think that after going on a world tour, remodeling the theatre, and creating the cities most talked about arts destination, the Symphony would sit on its laurels. Hardly the case. As part of the plan to become the leading arts organization and fulfill its destiny as a cultural icon for the region, the Symphony is beginning work on a permanent site for the Summer Pops.

The Summer Pops is a San Diego tradition that has spanned 30 years. At these summer concerts, the Symphony musicians play alongside artists offering a mix of pop, rock, Broadway, Motown and family entertainment. Every year, the concert venue, and stage is built and removed at the end of the season. However, the Symphony is working to create a permanent site at Marina Park South that will become a permanent concert and community venue for the city.

We congratulate the San Diego Symphony for their ambitious plans and prestige they are bringing to our region.