Find Your Music™ On The Go

Donor Spotlight: Dr. Robert "Bob" Rubenstein and Marie Raftery

Monday, April 15, 2024

Some people may not think of a dental office as a particularly romantic setting, between the root canals, fillings, and X-rays. For Dr. Robert “Bob” Rubenstein and Marie Raftery, it is where they began their relationship 38 years ago. “He was a patient in the dental office where I was working,” said Marie. “He had a nice sense of humor and beautifully dressed, so when he asked me out, I thought, ‘this could be interesting.’” Marie and Bob come from two very different worlds. She grew up in Boston attending the symphony and the ballet, while he grew up in New Mexico attending the rodeo and listening to country western and mariachi. But one thing they both share is their love of music. “If you think back to Henry David Thoreau, said Bob, “even though people may march to the beat of a different drum, they still all have a beat.” 

Volunteer Spotlight: Suanne Pauley

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

April is National Volunteer Month. To celebrate, we are turning the spotlight on one of our many wonderful and hardworking volunteers, Suanne Pauley. Suanne has been ushering with the San Diego Symphony since 2014 and finds fulfillment in donating her time to causes that connect her with the outdoors and with people. The San Diego Symphony thanks all of our volunteers who generously donate their time to help us make music possible. 

Musician Spotlight: Ai Nihira Awata, Violin

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Ai started the violin at age four in Seattle, Washington, with Mihoko Hirata. Ai later moved to Los Angeles, California, where she studied with Margaret Shimizu, Richard Schwabe and Henry Gronnier at the Colburn School of Performing Arts. Originally starting as a long-term substitute accompanying the Symphony on their China Friendship Tour in 2013, Ai eventually won a permanent spot in 2018. Read more about Ai below:

Dr. William and Evelyn Lamden Masterclass with Pacho Flores

Thursday, February 29, 2024

“He’s like a showman. He loves going on stage. It’s an absolute joy to make music with him.” Music Director Rafael Payare speaks affectionately about his colleague and former roommate in Venezuela, Pacho Flores. Most recently, this month Pacho performed with the San Diego Symphony for the West Coast premiere of Altar de Bronce, a piece composed for him by Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz as part of the Symphony's Jacobs Masterworks series. Internationally acclaimed for his engaging presence on stage, Pacho is also an artistic tour de force behind the scenes, engaging the musical community around him. During his time in San Diego he took on the role of teacher as part of the Dr. William and Evelyn Lamden Masterclass series where he led a group of local student musicians in artistic demonstrations to a full house of attendees. Stephen Salts, San Diego Symphony’s Director of Learning and Leadership recounts this special occasion of musical mentorship:

Donor Spotlight: Julie and Steve Tierney

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

“There are two things that make San Diego spectacular,” says Steve Tierney. “One is the Pacific Ocean, and the other is the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.” Steve, pictured above with his wife Julie, was born in San Mateo, California and has lived all around the world from Dearborn, Michigan; to London, England; and New Delhi, India. “I have heard a few world class orchestras in my time, and I would say the San Diego Symphony is very competitive!”

Musician Spotlight: Andrea Overturf, English Horn

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Andrea Overturf has served as San Diego Symphony's English Horn since 2009. A Seattle native, Andrea earned her musical degrees from the Eastman School of music as well as The Juilliard School. In addition to performing with the San Diego Symphony, Andrea has also appeared as a guest soloist across the United States and Asia and participated in numerous music festivals including La Jolla Music Society's SummerFest. Andrea will also be featured in San Diego Symphony's presentation of Ned Rorem's Concerto for English Horn and Orchestra as part of the program entitled "Musical Masterpieces: Pictures at an Exhibition" on March 9th at The California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Read on as Andrea discusses her artistry both on and offstage. 

My Playlist #184

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

The San Diego Union Tribune's 2023 Year in Review of Classical Music

Monday, January 29, 2024

The San Diego Symphony experienced one of the most exciting and historic years in recent history. From its triumphant return to the hallowed stage of Carnegie Hall for the first time in 10 years, to its headlining and instrumental role in the first ever California Festival, the organization had a definitive year to remember. Read more about how the San Diego Symphony set a new precedent for classical music making in the city and beyond:

Musician Spotlight: Sarah Skuster, Principal Oboe

Thursday, January 11, 2024

If you’ve ever been to a classical music performance, whether at the San Diego Symphony or any other orchestra in the world, you will have noticed that before the concert begins, there is a ritualistic tuning process onstage. It starts with a high-pitched note to which all the other instruments tune to in order to ensure the most harmonious sound. That instrument responsible for that tuning note and for the intonation of the entire orchestra is the oboe. To read more about why oboes are chosen for this role, read more here on