San Diego Symphony performed its first concert on December 6, 1910. In the 99 years since its inception, San Diego Symphony has become one of the leading orchestras in the United States. 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. The Symphony offers wide range of concert experiences and performs over 100 concerts each season. In 2008-09 the Symphony performed with Yefim Bronfman, Anne-Marie McDermott, Chris Botti., Kathleen Battle, Lang Lang, Michael Feinstein, Jon Kimura Parker and San Diego Master Chorale. San Diego Symphony performances include the Masterworks series, offering traditional classical repertoire and featuring such guest artists as the Takács Quartet, Julie Albers, Anthony Dean Griffey and Garrick Ohlsson; the Winter Pops series, featuring popular guest artists such as Julie Budd, Kevin Cole, Michael Cavanugh, Bill Conti and Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch as well as annual holiday programs; a Family Festival series that presents family-friendly concerts; and Symphony Exposed, a fascinating series of concerts examining closely great works of classical music from entertaining and thought-provoking angles, hosted by Nuvi Mehta. Each year, from July through September, the Symphony presents an outdoor Summer Pops season at Embarcadero Marina Park South. Summer Pops mixes classical favorites and pop music in a festive, outdoor atmosphere on San Diego’s picturesque waterfront. San Diego Symphony has produced ten highly acclaimed recordings on the Naxos and Proarte 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.” Beginning in 2008, a new series of CD releases of live San Diego Symphony performances under Music Director Jahja Ling features music of Tchaikovsky, Schumann, Rimsky-Korsakov and others. The Symphony’s latest studio album, Never Far Away: The Music of Bright Sheng (released by Telarc/Concord) featuring harpist Yolanda Kondonassis has garnered glowing reviews in music journals around the world. 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 (known then as The Fox Theater), this lush, French Rococo/ Spanish Colonial blend-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. 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. 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 pledged bequest ever made to a Symphony Orchestra, totaling $120 million. The pledged 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. Shortly after this news, San Diego Symphony announced, after an extended search, the hiring of current Music Director Jahja Ling, who is now contracted with the Symphony through 2012.