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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  

San Diego Symphony's Music Connects Program: Bringing Music to All

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Music Connects is San Diego Symphony’s program dedicated to the accessibility of classical music. From free tickets to performances for San Diego’s most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods to special events for active and veteran military members and their family, we understand the value of inclusion and connection in supporting a thriving arts community.  

Donor Spotlight: The Power of Friendship in Philanthropy

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Earlier this month, The San Diego Symphony performed a free concert in Tijuana, Mexico, at CECUT, the country’s second largest cultural center. Orchestrating this concert took a lot of work and cooperation between the city government of Tijuana, the San Diego Symphony, and its supporters. Three friends in particular, Monica Fimbres (left), Sandra den Ujil (left center) and Elisa Jaime (far right) with San Diego Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer (center), went above and beyond to help raise money for this program. The three women met through their work with the Ronald McDonald Foundation and have since become avid supporters of the San Diego Symphony and a formidable unit of philanthropy. “Together we are a pretty strong force,” said Sandra, “that’s for sure.”

Musician Spotlight: Aaron Blick, Bass

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Aaron Blick began his musical studies on the piano at age 5. By age 11, Aaron's musical interests had shifted to the double bass, and he began formal study at age 14 in both classical and jazz. Aaron then earned his Bachelor of Music in 2018 from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music studying with Andrew Raciti, Associate Principal Bass of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Consequently, he returned to his hometown of Los Angeles to study with Los Angeles Philharmonic bassist David Allen Moore at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, earning his Master’s Degree in Music Performance in 2020. He continued his studies with Mr. Moore at USC as part of the Graduate Certificate program until Spring of 2022.