Jacobs Masterworks: Photo of Rafael Payare conducting

This season, we once more invite you to come along on a journey of exploration. Through the artistry of Music Director Rafael Payare, the musicians of the San Diego Symphony, and the world’s finest guest artists, we will discover the world around us— and within ourselves. In 2020-21, we continue our celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, gaining new perspectives on his influence through performances of his works and of pieces written under the shadow of his influence. We discover the rich contributions that immigrant musicians have made to American culture, and the many iconic works created in America that wouldn’t exist without those who left their homelands. Through our three-week January festival, "In the Name of the Earth, we explore the deep connection musicians have long had with nature as history’s greatest masterpieces transport us from the depths of the oceans to the highest mountain peaks. The seaon is filled with inspiring music, incredible artistry, and moving stories. We hope you’ll join us.

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Alisa Weilerstein

Fri Oct 9, 8PM | Sat Oct 10, 8PM | Sun Oct 11, 2PM

SEASON OPENER: BEETHOVEN & SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jeff Thayer, violin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Reinaldo Moya: Siempre lunes, siempre marzo (Always Monday, Always March)
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Rafael Payare and the San Diego Symphony begin the season with Shostakovich’s epic Fifth symphony, a drama of triumph over adversity shaped by the composer’s own life in a totalitarian society. But first, discover the iridescent beauty of Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya’s musical depiction of Gabriel García MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude. Concertmaster Jeff Thayer, Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan then take centerstage in Beethoven’s jubilant Triple Concerto.

Johanthan Biss

Fri Oct 16, 8PM | Sun Oct 18, 2PM

BISS, DEAN & BEETHOVEN'S EMPEROR

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2
Brett Dean: Piano Concerto,
Gneixendorf Music – A Winter's Journey
(West Coast premiere)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5: Emperor

Beethoven’s final piano concerto is one of the most majestic and demanding works in the pianist’s repertoire. Renowned for his gripping interpretations of the composer’s music, pianist Jonathan Biss brings his artistry to this iconic work, as well as a piece composed in response to the Emperor Concerto: Brett Dean’s Gneixendorf Music — A Winter’s Journey, which imagines the thoughts and feelings of an aging Beethoven.

Rafael Payare

Fri Nov 6, 8PM | Sat Nov 7, 8PM

PAYARE, BEETHOVEN, SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8

Music Director Rafael Payare leads the San Diego Symphony in masterpieces by two of history’s greatest symphonic composers. In his first symphony, Beethoven paid homage to his classical predecessors while also introducing the trademark elements he would eventually use to revolutionize symphonic form. Payare continues his exploration of the symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich with his Symphony No. 8. Composed while Russia was under invasion during World War II and banned for many years by the Soviet Union, it is known as one of Shostakovich’s most powerful and affecting works.

Veronika Eberle

Fri Nov 13, 8PM | Sat Nov 14, 8PM | Sun Nov 15, 2PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS SALONEN & BEETHOVEN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Veronika Eberle, violin

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN: Nyx
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

In Nyx, Esa-Pekka Salonen drew inspiration from the mysterious Greek goddess of the Night. The result is a symphonic poem praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “rich and dazzling musical invention.” German star violinist Veronika Eberle performs Prokofiev’s colorful and dream-like First Violin Concerto. We conclude with the exuberant and playful dance rhythms of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Garrick Ohlsson

Sat Dec 5, 8PM | Sun Dec 6, 2PM

DE WAART CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN & ELGAR

Edo de Waart, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Elgar: Symphony No. 1

Principal Guest Conductor Edo de Waart and the esteemed Garrick Ohlsson join forces for Beethoven's dramatic Piano Concerto No. 3. Elgar’s Symphony No. 1, with its glorious melodies and noble strength, in a distinctly British contribution to the symphonic tradition of Beethoven and Brahms.

Steven Schick

Fri Jan 15, 8PM | Sun Jan 17, 2PM

BECOME DESERT & STRAVINSKY’S FIREBIRD

Steven Schick, conductor
San Diego Master Chorale

ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR: Metacosmos
STRAVINSKY: Suite from The Firebird
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS: Become Desert (SDSO co-commission & premiere)

Explore the austere mystery of the desert as we begin our January annual festival, "In the Name of the Earth." Based on a Russian fairy tale, The Firebird is a dramatic story of courage and redemption. Stravinsky’s brilliant and colorful fairy tale ballet is bookended by tone poems depicting the vast and beautiful solitude of landscapes: Icelandic composer and UC San Diego alumna Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Metacosmos and John Luther AdamsBecome Desert— the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer's new work where the orchestra surrounds the audience in an unforgettable experience.

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Gemma New

Sat Jan 23, 8PM | Sun Jan 24, 2PM

Water Concerto & Scheherezade

Gemma New, conductor
Steven Schick, percussion

Britten: "Four Sea Interludes" from Peter Grimes
Tan Dun: Water Concerto
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

In the Name of the Earth continues with meditations on the nature of water, our planet’s most precious resource. Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes depicts the many moods of Earth’s oceans, from peaceful moonlit waves to the menacing power of its storms. In Tan Dun’s Water Concerto, water literally takes center stage, as percussionist and festival curator Steven Schick performs on instruments filled with this life-giving substance. We conclude with Rimsky-Korsakov’s musical portrayal of the story of Sinbad the Sailor’s adventures.

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Michelle DeYoung

Fri Jan 29, 8PM | Sat Jan 30, 8PM

Humans & Nature: Mahler's Song of the Earth

Rafael Payare, conductor
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo soprano
Stefan Vinke, tenor

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6, Pastoral
MAHLER: Das Lied von der Erde  (The Song of the Earth)

"No one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear," wrote Beethoven. His Pastoral Symphony captures the joy and awe we feel when encountering nature. Written a century later, Mahler’s The Song of the Earth is a reflective look at these majestic but fragile landscapes. This pivotal, grand orchestral composition features the added power of vocal expression as the mezzo soprano sings, “The dear earth everywhere blooms in spring and grows green once more! The horizon is lit everywhere and forever blue! Forever… Forever...”

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Matthias Pintscher

Fri Feb 5, 8PM | Sun Feb 7, 1PM

BEETHOVEN & RACHMANINOFF

Matthias Pintscher, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 8
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2

In his Eighth Symphony, Beethoven pays homage to the cleverness and humours wit of Mozart and Haydn's Classical Style. Then the passion and drama of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony demonstrate why this work is an enduring favorite of audiences everywhere, filled with the composer’s trademark memorable melodies and rich harmonies.

Paul Huang

Fri Feb 26, 8PM | Sat Feb 27, 8PM | Sun Feb 28, 2PM

SCOTTISH FANTASY & PEER GYNT

Jahja Ling, conductor
Paul Huang, violin

CHEN YI: Ge xu (Antiphony)
BRUCH: Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra
GRIEG: Selections from Peer Gynt

Some of the most popular melodies in classical music come to Copley Hall in this lively concert. Rising-star violinist Paul Huang brings us the folk melodies of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. The San Diego Symphony then explores the Nordic fairy-tale world of Grieg’s Peer Gynt, in a version specially arranged by conductor laureate Jahja Ling. From the relaxed beauty of “Morning Mood” to the sneaky mischief of “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” you’re sure to remember these evocative tunes.

Trevor Pinnock

Sat Mar 6, 8PM | Sun Mar 7, 2PM

GABRIELI, DVOŘÁK, MOZART

Trevor Pinnock, conductor

Gabrieli: Selected Canzonas for Brass
Dvořák: Serenade for Strings
MOZART: Serenade No. 10 for Winds: Gran Partita
STRAVINSKY: Scherzo fantastique

Each instrument group of the San Diego Symphony takes their turn at centerstage in the special program. Renowned British conductor and early music expert Trevor Pinnock opens with Baroque music for brass that once rang through St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. We then encounter Dvořák’s bucolic Serenade for Strings, and Mozart’s sublime Serenade for Winds. Stravinsky’s early Scherzo fantastique gathers the whole orchestra back together for a rousing finale.

Marc-André Hamelin

Fri Mar 12, 8PM | Sat Mar 13, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS LISZT & BARTÓK

Rafael Payare, conductor
Marc-André Hamelin, piano

WAGNER: “Prelude and Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2
BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra

Experience the full power of orchestral drama with three pieces that pushed the boundaries of music. The tragic yearning of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde includes some of the most passionate music ever written. Marc-André Hamelin brings his renowned virtuosity to the intricate melodic evolutions of Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto. And in Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra - originally commissioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra - the virtuosity and artistry of our own San Diego Symphony’s musicians are on full display.

Dorothea Röschmann

Sat Mar 20, 8PM | Sun Mar 21, 2PM

PAYARE, RÖSCHMANN, DEBUSSY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Dorothea Röschmann, soprano

Mozart: Symphony No. 29
STRAUSS: Four Last Songs
Debussy: Images

In vibrant bursts of sonic color, Images demonstrates why Debussy remains the unmatched master of atmospheric soundscapes. With sonorous harmonies and playful folk songs, the composer paints scenes from England, Spain, and his native French countryside. Soprano Dorothea Röschmann returns and joins the San Diego Symphony in performing Strauss’ sublime swansong Four Last Songs, that soars with lyricism. You’ll be enchanted by the expressive brilliance of these stunning works.

Ingrid Fliter

Fri Apr 9, 8PM | Sat Apr 10, 8PM | Sun Apr 11, 2PM

RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCES

Edo de Waart, conductor
Ingrid Fliter, piano

Anna Clyne: Abstractions
Schumann: Piano Concerto
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

In his only Piano Concerto, Schumann gave us an intimate portrait of the love he shared with his wife, Clara. Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter joins us as soloist in this iconic Romantic work. Then, experience a work praised by the Baltimore Sun for its “clarity and expressive nuance”. Anna Clyne’s atmospheric tone poem, Abstractions, paints musical portraits of five works of contemporary visual art. Rachmaninoff’s vibrant Symphonic Dances - the only piece he composed in America - brings the concert to an energetic finale.

Joélle Harvey

Fri Apr 16, 8PM | Sat Apr 17, 8PM

BRAHMS’ GERMAN REQUIEM

Edo de Waart, conductor
Joélle Harvey, soprano
John Moore, baritone
San Diego Master Chorale

Haydn: Symphony No. 96, The Miracle
Brahms: A German Requiem

Music is at its most compelling when it brings us face to face with our own humanity. With A German Requiem, Brahms gave voice to the grief he felt upon the loss of his mother. Yet this work strives to do more than mourn the dead. With its powerful setting of biblical texts, Brahms’ masterpiece for voices and orchestra brings a poignant message of comfort and hope to the living.

Harry Bicket

Fri May 7, 8PM | Sat May 8, 8PM | Sun May 9, 2PM

HANDEL'S WATER MUSIC & MUSIC FOR THE ROYAL FIREWORKS

Harry Bicket, conductor
Rose Lombardo, flute

Rameau: Suite from Les Boréades
Handel: Selections from Water Music
J.S. BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 2
HANDEL: Selections from Music for the Royal Fireworks

Renowned British Conductor and Baroque music specialist Harry Bicket is joined by principal flutist Rose Lombardo and the San Diego Symphony in this joyful celebration of Baroque music. Handel’s Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks convey the exuberant celebration of the royal parties for which they were written. Then, enjoy the sensuous music of Rameau’s opera Les Boréades and the dances of Bach’s atmospheric Orchestral Suite.

Guy Braunstein

Fri May 14, 8PM | Sun May 16, 2PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS TCHAIKOVSKY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Guy Braunstein, violin

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Janáček: Taras Bulba
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2: Little Russian

Ukranian folk songs then fill the hall in Tchaikovsky’s charming and poignant Little Russian Symphony. The concert begins with Tchaikovsky’s melodious Violin Concerto, performed by Guy Braunstein, the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. Join Tchaikovsky and Janáček as these two Slavic composers explore the rich culture of the Ukranian people. Based on a novel by Nikolai Gogol, Taras Bulba portrays the deeds of a legendary Ukranian Cossack folk hero.

Rafael Payare

Fri May 21, 8PM | Sat May 22, 8PM | Sun May 23, 2PM

SEASON FINALE: PAYARE & WEILERSTEIN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

R. STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4

Our season comes to a dramatic conclusion with guest cellist Alisa Weilerstein and three incredible works! Richard Strauss’ witty and comical Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks contrasts with Elgar’s soul-stirring and moving Cello Concerto. The concert closes with Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, teeming with defiance and hope, set against fate.

Subscription Packages

Alisa Weilerstein

Fri Oct 9, 8PM

SEASON OPENER: BEETHOVEN & SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jeff Thayer, violin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Reinaldo Moya: Siempre lunes, siempre marzo (Always Monday, Always March)
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Rafael Payare and the San Diego Symphony begin the season with Shostakovich’s epic Fifth symphony, a drama of triumph over adversity shaped by the composer’s own life in a totalitarian society. But first, discover the iridescent beauty of Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya’s musical depiction of Gabriel García MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude. Concertmaster Jeff Thayer, Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan then take centerstage in Beethoven’s jubilant Triple Concerto.

Johanthan Biss

Fri Oct 16, 8PM

BISS, DEAN & BEETHOVEN'S EMPEROR

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2
Brett Dean: Piano Concerto,
Gneixendorf Music – A Winter's Journey
(West Coast premiere)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5: Emperor

Beethoven’s final piano concerto is one of the most majestic and demanding works in the pianist’s repertoire. Renowned for his gripping interpretations of the composer’s music, pianist Jonathan Biss brings his artistry to this iconic work, as well as a piece composed in response to the Emperor Concerto: Brett Dean’s Gneixendorf Music — A Winter’s Journey, which imagines the thoughts and feelings of an aging Beethoven.

Rafael Payare

Fri Nov 6, 8PM

PAYARE, BEETHOVEN, SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8

Music Director Rafael Payare leads the San Diego Symphony in masterpieces by two of history’s greatest symphonic composers. In his first symphony, Beethoven paid homage to his classical predecessors while also introducing the trademark elements he would eventually use to revolutionize symphonic form. Payare continues his exploration of the symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich with his Symphony No. 8. Composed while Russia was under invasion during World War II and banned for many years by the Soviet Union, it is known as one of Shostakovich’s most powerful and affecting works.

Veronika Eberle

Fri Nov 13, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS SALONEN & BEETHOVEN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Veronika Eberle, violin

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN: Nyx
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

In Nyx, Esa-Pekka Salonen drew inspiration from the mysterious Greek goddess of the Night. The result is a symphonic poem praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “rich and dazzling musical invention.” German star violinist Veronika Eberle performs Prokofiev’s colorful and dream-like First Violin Concerto. We conclude with the exuberant and playful dance rhythms of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Steven Schick

Fri Jan 15, 8PM

BECOME DESERT & STRAVINSKY’S FIREBIRD

Steven Schick, conductor
San Diego Master Chorale

ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR: Metacosmos
STRAVINSKY: Suite from The Firebird
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS: Become Desert (SDSO co-commission & premiere)

Explore the austere mystery of the desert as we begin our January annual festival, "In the Name of the Earth." Based on a Russian fairy tale, The Firebird is a dramatic story of courage and redemption. Stravinsky’s brilliant and colorful fairy tale ballet is bookended by tone poems depicting the vast and beautiful solitude of landscapes: Icelandic composer and UC San Diego alumna Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Metacosmos and John Luther AdamsBecome Desert— the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer's new work where the orchestra surrounds the audience in an unforgettable experience.

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Michelle DeYoung

Fri Jan 29, 8PM

Humans & Nature: Mahler's Song of the Earth

Rafael Payare, conductor
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo soprano
Stefan Vinke, tenor

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6, Pastoral
MAHLER: Das Lied von der Erde  (The Song of the Earth)

"No one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear," wrote Beethoven. His Pastoral Symphony captures the joy and awe we feel when encountering nature. Written a century later, Mahler’s The Song of the Earth is a reflective look at these majestic but fragile landscapes. This pivotal, grand orchestral composition features the added power of vocal expression as the mezzo soprano sings, “The dear earth everywhere blooms in spring and grows green once more! The horizon is lit everywhere and forever blue! Forever… Forever...”

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Matthias Pintscher

Fri Feb 5, 8PM

BEETHOVEN & RACHMANINOFF

Matthias Pintscher, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 8
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2

In his Eighth Symphony, Beethoven pays homage to the cleverness and humours wit of Mozart and Haydn's Classical Style. Then the passion and drama of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony demonstrate why this work is an enduring favorite of audiences everywhere, filled with the composer’s trademark memorable melodies and rich harmonies.

Paul Huang

Fri Feb 26, 8PM

SCOTTISH FANTASY & PEER GYNT

Jahja Ling, conductor
Paul Huang, violin

CHEN YI: Ge xu (Antiphony)
BRUCH: Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra
GRIEG: Selections from Peer Gynt

Some of the most popular melodies in classical music come to Copley Hall in this lively concert. Rising-star violinist Paul Huang brings us the folk melodies of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. The San Diego Symphony then explores the Nordic fairy-tale world of Grieg’s Peer Gynt, in a version specially arranged by conductor laureate Jahja Ling. From the relaxed beauty of “Morning Mood” to the sneaky mischief of “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” you’re sure to remember these evocative tunes.

Marc-André Hamelin

Fri Mar 12, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS LISZT & BARTÓK

Rafael Payare, conductor
Marc-André Hamelin, piano

WAGNER: “Prelude and Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2
BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra

Experience the full power of orchestral drama with three pieces that pushed the boundaries of music. The tragic yearning of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde includes some of the most passionate music ever written. Marc-André Hamelin brings his renowned virtuosity to the intricate melodic evolutions of Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto. And in Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra - originally commissioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra - the virtuosity and artistry of our own San Diego Symphony’s musicians are on full display.

Ingrid Fliter

Fri Apr 9, 8PM

RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCES

Edo de Waart, conductor
Ingrid Fliter, piano

Anna Clyne: Abstractions
Schumann: Piano Concerto
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

In his only Piano Concerto, Schumann gave us an intimate portrait of the love he shared with his wife, Clara. Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter joins us as soloist in this iconic Romantic work. Then, experience a work praised by the Baltimore Sun for its “clarity and expressive nuance”. Anna Clyne’s atmospheric tone poem, Abstractions, paints musical portraits of five works of contemporary visual art. Rachmaninoff’s vibrant Symphonic Dances - the only piece he composed in America - brings the concert to an energetic finale.

Joélle Harvey

Fri Apr 16, 8PM

BRAHMS’ GERMAN REQUIEM

Edo de Waart, conductor
Joélle Harvey, soprano
John Moore, baritone
San Diego Master Chorale

Haydn: Symphony No. 96, The Miracle
Brahms: A German Requiem

Music is at its most compelling when it brings us face to face with our own humanity. With A German Requiem, Brahms gave voice to the grief he felt upon the loss of his mother. Yet this work strives to do more than mourn the dead. With its powerful setting of biblical texts, Brahms’ masterpiece for voices and orchestra brings a poignant message of comfort and hope to the living.

Harry Bicket

Fri May 7, 8PM

HANDEL'S WATER MUSIC & MUSIC FOR THE ROYAL FIREWORKS

Harry Bicket, conductor
Rose Lombardo, flute

Rameau: Suite from Les Boréades
Handel: Selections from Water Music
J.S. BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 2
HANDEL: Selections from Music for the Royal Fireworks

Renowned British Conductor and Baroque music specialist Harry Bicket is joined by principal flutist Rose Lombardo and the San Diego Symphony in this joyful celebration of Baroque music. Handel’s Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks convey the exuberant celebration of the royal parties for which they were written. Then, enjoy the sensuous music of Rameau’s opera Les Boréades and the dances of Bach’s atmospheric Orchestral Suite.

Guy Braunstein

Fri May 14, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS TCHAIKOVSKY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Guy Braunstein, violin

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Janáček: Taras Bulba
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2: Little Russian

Ukranian folk songs then fill the hall in Tchaikovsky’s charming and poignant Little Russian Symphony. The concert begins with Tchaikovsky’s melodious Violin Concerto, performed by Guy Braunstein, the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. Join Tchaikovsky and Janáček as these two Slavic composers explore the rich culture of the Ukranian people. Based on a novel by Nikolai Gogol, Taras Bulba portrays the deeds of a legendary Ukranian Cossack folk hero.

Rafael Payare

Fri May 21, 8PM

SEASON FINALE: PAYARE & WEILERSTEIN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

R. STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4

Our season comes to a dramatic conclusion with guest cellist Alisa Weilerstein and three incredible works! Richard Strauss’ witty and comical Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks contrasts with Elgar’s soul-stirring and moving Cello Concerto. The concert closes with Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, teeming with defiance and hope, set against fate.

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Alisa Weilerstein

Fri Oct 9, 8PM

SEASON OPENER: BEETHOVEN & SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jeff Thayer, violin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Reinaldo Moya: Siempre lunes, siempre marzo (Always Monday, Always March)
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Rafael Payare and the San Diego Symphony begin the season with Shostakovich’s epic Fifth symphony, a drama of triumph over adversity shaped by the composer’s own life in a totalitarian society. But first, discover the iridescent beauty of Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya’s musical depiction of Gabriel García MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude. Concertmaster Jeff Thayer, Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan then take centerstage in Beethoven’s jubilant Triple Concerto.

Rafael Payare

Fri Nov 6, 8PM

PAYARE, BEETHOVEN, SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8

Music Director Rafael Payare leads the San Diego Symphony in masterpieces by two of history’s greatest symphonic composers. In his first symphony, Beethoven paid homage to his classical predecessors while also introducing the trademark elements he would eventually use to revolutionize symphonic form. Payare continues his exploration of the symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich with his Symphony No. 8. Composed while Russia was under invasion during World War II and banned for many years by the Soviet Union, it is known as one of Shostakovich’s most powerful and affecting works.

Steven Schick

Fri Jan 15, 8PM

BECOME DESERT & STRAVINSKY’S FIREBIRD

Steven Schick, conductor
San Diego Master Chorale

ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR: Metacosmos
STRAVINSKY: Suite from The Firebird
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS: Become Desert (SDSO co-commission & premiere)

Explore the austere mystery of the desert as we begin our January annual festival, "In the Name of the Earth." Based on a Russian fairy tale, The Firebird is a dramatic story of courage and redemption. Stravinsky’s brilliant and colorful fairy tale ballet is bookended by tone poems depicting the vast and beautiful solitude of landscapes: Icelandic composer and UC San Diego alumna Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Metacosmos and John Luther AdamsBecome Desert— the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer's new work where the orchestra surrounds the audience in an unforgettable experience.

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Paul Huang

Fri Feb 26, 8PM

SCOTTISH FANTASY & PEER GYNT

Jahja Ling, conductor
Paul Huang, violin

CHEN YI: Ge xu (Antiphony)
BRUCH: Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra
GRIEG: Selections from Peer Gynt

Some of the most popular melodies in classical music come to Copley Hall in this lively concert. Rising-star violinist Paul Huang brings us the folk melodies of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. The San Diego Symphony then explores the Nordic fairy-tale world of Grieg’s Peer Gynt, in a version specially arranged by conductor laureate Jahja Ling. From the relaxed beauty of “Morning Mood” to the sneaky mischief of “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” you’re sure to remember these evocative tunes.

Marc-André Hamelin

Fri Mar 12, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS LISZT & BARTÓK

Rafael Payare, conductor
Marc-André Hamelin, piano

WAGNER: “Prelude and Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2
BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra

Experience the full power of orchestral drama with three pieces that pushed the boundaries of music. The tragic yearning of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde includes some of the most passionate music ever written. Marc-André Hamelin brings his renowned virtuosity to the intricate melodic evolutions of Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto. And in Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra - originally commissioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra - the virtuosity and artistry of our own San Diego Symphony’s musicians are on full display.

Ingrid Fliter

Fri Apr 9, 8PM

RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCES

Edo de Waart, conductor
Ingrid Fliter, piano

Anna Clyne: Abstractions
Schumann: Piano Concerto
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

In his only Piano Concerto, Schumann gave us an intimate portrait of the love he shared with his wife, Clara. Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter joins us as soloist in this iconic Romantic work. Then, experience a work praised by the Baltimore Sun for its “clarity and expressive nuance”. Anna Clyne’s atmospheric tone poem, Abstractions, paints musical portraits of five works of contemporary visual art. Rachmaninoff’s vibrant Symphonic Dances - the only piece he composed in America - brings the concert to an energetic finale.

Guy Braunstein

Fri May 14, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS TCHAIKOVSKY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Guy Braunstein, violin

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Janáček: Taras Bulba
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2: Little Russian

Ukranian folk songs then fill the hall in Tchaikovsky’s charming and poignant Little Russian Symphony. The concert begins with Tchaikovsky’s melodious Violin Concerto, performed by Guy Braunstein, the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. Join Tchaikovsky and Janáček as these two Slavic composers explore the rich culture of the Ukranian people. Based on a novel by Nikolai Gogol, Taras Bulba portrays the deeds of a legendary Ukranian Cossack folk hero.

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Johanthan Biss

Fri Oct 16, 8PM

BISS, DEAN & BEETHOVEN'S EMPEROR

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2
Brett Dean: Piano Concerto,
Gneixendorf Music – A Winter's Journey
(West Coast premiere)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5: Emperor

Beethoven’s final piano concerto is one of the most majestic and demanding works in the pianist’s repertoire. Renowned for his gripping interpretations of the composer’s music, pianist Jonathan Biss brings his artistry to this iconic work, as well as a piece composed in response to the Emperor Concerto: Brett Dean’s Gneixendorf Music — A Winter’s Journey, which imagines the thoughts and feelings of an aging Beethoven.

Veronika Eberle

Fri Nov 13, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS SALONEN & BEETHOVEN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Veronika Eberle, violin

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN: Nyx
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

In Nyx, Esa-Pekka Salonen drew inspiration from the mysterious Greek goddess of the Night. The result is a symphonic poem praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “rich and dazzling musical invention.” German star violinist Veronika Eberle performs Prokofiev’s colorful and dream-like First Violin Concerto. We conclude with the exuberant and playful dance rhythms of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Michelle DeYoung

Fri Jan 29, 8PM

Humans & Nature: Mahler's Song of the Earth

Rafael Payare, conductor
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo soprano
Stefan Vinke, tenor

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6, Pastoral
MAHLER: Das Lied von der Erde  (The Song of the Earth)

"No one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear," wrote Beethoven. His Pastoral Symphony captures the joy and awe we feel when encountering nature. Written a century later, Mahler’s The Song of the Earth is a reflective look at these majestic but fragile landscapes. This pivotal, grand orchestral composition features the added power of vocal expression as the mezzo soprano sings, “The dear earth everywhere blooms in spring and grows green once more! The horizon is lit everywhere and forever blue! Forever… Forever...”

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Matthias Pintscher

Fri Feb 5, 8PM

BEETHOVEN & RACHMANINOFF

Matthias Pintscher, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 8
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2

In his Eighth Symphony, Beethoven pays homage to the cleverness and humours wit of Mozart and Haydn's Classical Style. Then the passion and drama of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony demonstrate why this work is an enduring favorite of audiences everywhere, filled with the composer’s trademark memorable melodies and rich harmonies.

Joélle Harvey

Fri Apr 16, 8PM

BRAHMS’ GERMAN REQUIEM

Edo de Waart, conductor
Joélle Harvey, soprano
John Moore, baritone
San Diego Master Chorale

Haydn: Symphony No. 96, The Miracle
Brahms: A German Requiem

Music is at its most compelling when it brings us face to face with our own humanity. With A German Requiem, Brahms gave voice to the grief he felt upon the loss of his mother. Yet this work strives to do more than mourn the dead. With its powerful setting of biblical texts, Brahms’ masterpiece for voices and orchestra brings a poignant message of comfort and hope to the living.

Harry Bicket

Fri May 7, 8PM

HANDEL'S WATER MUSIC & MUSIC FOR THE ROYAL FIREWORKS

Harry Bicket, conductor
Rose Lombardo, flute

Rameau: Suite from Les Boréades
Handel: Selections from Water Music
J.S. BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 2
HANDEL: Selections from Music for the Royal Fireworks

Renowned British Conductor and Baroque music specialist Harry Bicket is joined by principal flutist Rose Lombardo and the San Diego Symphony in this joyful celebration of Baroque music. Handel’s Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks convey the exuberant celebration of the royal parties for which they were written. Then, enjoy the sensuous music of Rameau’s opera Les Boréades and the dances of Bach’s atmospheric Orchestral Suite.

Rafael Payare

Fri May 21, 8PM

SEASON FINALE: PAYARE & WEILERSTEIN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

R. STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4

Our season comes to a dramatic conclusion with guest cellist Alisa Weilerstein and three incredible works! Richard Strauss’ witty and comical Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks contrasts with Elgar’s soul-stirring and moving Cello Concerto. The concert closes with Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, teeming with defiance and hope, set against fate.

Subscribe Now

Alisa Weilerstein

Sat Oct 10, 8PM

SEASON OPENER: BEETHOVEN & SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jeff Thayer, violin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Reinaldo Moya: Siempre lunes, siempre marzo (Always Monday, Always March)
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Rafael Payare and the San Diego Symphony begin the season with Shostakovich’s epic Fifth symphony, a drama of triumph over adversity shaped by the composer’s own life in a totalitarian society. But first, discover the iridescent beauty of Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya’s musical depiction of Gabriel García MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude. Concertmaster Jeff Thayer, Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan then take centerstage in Beethoven’s jubilant Triple Concerto.

Rafael Payare

Sat Nov 7, 8PM

PAYARE, BEETHOVEN, SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8

Music Director Rafael Payare leads the San Diego Symphony in masterpieces by two of history’s greatest symphonic composers. In his first symphony, Beethoven paid homage to his classical predecessors while also introducing the trademark elements he would eventually use to revolutionize symphonic form. Payare continues his exploration of the symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich with his Symphony No. 8. Composed while Russia was under invasion during World War II and banned for many years by the Soviet Union, it is known as one of Shostakovich’s most powerful and affecting works.

Veronika Eberle

Sat Nov 14, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS SALONEN & BEETHOVEN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Veronika Eberle, violin

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN: Nyx
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

In Nyx, Esa-Pekka Salonen drew inspiration from the mysterious Greek goddess of the Night. The result is a symphonic poem praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “rich and dazzling musical invention.” German star violinist Veronika Eberle performs Prokofiev’s colorful and dream-like First Violin Concerto. We conclude with the exuberant and playful dance rhythms of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Garrick Ohlsson

Sat Dec 5, 8PM

DE WAART CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN & ELGAR

Edo de Waart, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Elgar: Symphony No. 1

Principal Guest Conductor Edo de Waart and the esteemed Garrick Ohlsson join forces for Beethoven's dramatic Piano Concerto No. 3. Elgar’s Symphony No. 1, with its glorious melodies and noble strength, in a distinctly British contribution to the symphonic tradition of Beethoven and Brahms.

Gemma New

Sat Jan 23, 8PM

Water Concerto & Scheherezade

Gemma New, conductor
Steven Schick, percussion

Britten: "Four Sea Interludes" from Peter Grimes
Tan Dun: Water Concerto
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

In the Name of the Earth continues with meditations on the nature of water, our planet’s most precious resource. Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes depicts the many moods of Earth’s oceans, from peaceful moonlit waves to the menacing power of its storms. In Tan Dun’s Water Concerto, water literally takes center stage, as percussionist and festival curator Steven Schick performs on instruments filled with this life-giving substance. We conclude with Rimsky-Korsakov’s musical portrayal of the story of Sinbad the Sailor’s adventures.

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Michelle DeYoung

Sat Jan 30, 8PM

Humans & Nature: Mahler's Song of the Earth

Rafael Payare, conductor
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo soprano
Stefan Vinke, tenor

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6, Pastoral
MAHLER: Das Lied von der Erde  (The Song of the Earth)

"No one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear," wrote Beethoven. His Pastoral Symphony captures the joy and awe we feel when encountering nature. Written a century later, Mahler’s The Song of the Earth is a reflective look at these majestic but fragile landscapes. This pivotal, grand orchestral composition features the added power of vocal expression as the mezzo soprano sings, “The dear earth everywhere blooms in spring and grows green once more! The horizon is lit everywhere and forever blue! Forever… Forever...”

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Paul Huang

Sat Feb 27, 8PM

SCOTTISH FANTASY & PEER GYNT

Jahja Ling, conductor
Paul Huang, violin

CHEN YI: Ge xu (Antiphony)
BRUCH: Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra
GRIEG: Selections from Peer Gynt

Some of the most popular melodies in classical music come to Copley Hall in this lively concert. Rising-star violinist Paul Huang brings us the folk melodies of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. The San Diego Symphony then explores the Nordic fairy-tale world of Grieg’s Peer Gynt, in a version specially arranged by conductor laureate Jahja Ling. From the relaxed beauty of “Morning Mood” to the sneaky mischief of “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” you’re sure to remember these evocative tunes.

Trevor Pinnock

Sat Mar 6, 8PM

GABRIELI, DVOŘÁK, MOZART

Trevor Pinnock, conductor

Gabrieli: Selected Canzonas for Brass
Dvořák: Serenade for Strings
MOZART: Serenade No. 10 for Winds: Gran Partita
STRAVINSKY: Scherzo fantastique

Each instrument group of the San Diego Symphony takes their turn at centerstage in the special program. Renowned British conductor and early music expert Trevor Pinnock opens with Baroque music for brass that once rang through St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. We then encounter Dvořák’s bucolic Serenade for Strings, and Mozart’s sublime Serenade for Winds. Stravinsky’s early Scherzo fantastique gathers the whole orchestra back together for a rousing finale.

Marc-André Hamelin

Sat Mar 13, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS LISZT & BARTÓK

Rafael Payare, conductor
Marc-André Hamelin, piano

WAGNER: “Prelude and Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2
BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra

Experience the full power of orchestral drama with three pieces that pushed the boundaries of music. The tragic yearning of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde includes some of the most passionate music ever written. Marc-André Hamelin brings his renowned virtuosity to the intricate melodic evolutions of Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto. And in Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra - originally commissioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra - the virtuosity and artistry of our own San Diego Symphony’s musicians are on full display.

Dorothea Röschmann

Sat Mar 20, 8PM

PAYARE, RÖSCHMANN, DEBUSSY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Dorothea Röschmann, soprano

Mozart: Symphony No. 29
STRAUSS: Four Last Songs
Debussy: Images

In vibrant bursts of sonic color, Images demonstrates why Debussy remains the unmatched master of atmospheric soundscapes. With sonorous harmonies and playful folk songs, the composer paints scenes from England, Spain, and his native French countryside. Soprano Dorothea Röschmann returns and joins the San Diego Symphony in performing Strauss’ sublime swansong Four Last Songs, that soars with lyricism. You’ll be enchanted by the expressive brilliance of these stunning works.

Ingrid Fliter

Sat Apr 10, 8PM

RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCES

Edo de Waart, conductor
Ingrid Fliter, piano

Anna Clyne: Abstractions
Schumann: Piano Concerto
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

In his only Piano Concerto, Schumann gave us an intimate portrait of the love he shared with his wife, Clara. Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter joins us as soloist in this iconic Romantic work. Then, experience a work praised by the Baltimore Sun for its “clarity and expressive nuance”. Anna Clyne’s atmospheric tone poem, Abstractions, paints musical portraits of five works of contemporary visual art. Rachmaninoff’s vibrant Symphonic Dances - the only piece he composed in America - brings the concert to an energetic finale.

Joélle Harvey

Sat Apr 17, 8PM

BRAHMS’ GERMAN REQUIEM

Edo de Waart, conductor
Joélle Harvey, soprano
John Moore, baritone
San Diego Master Chorale

Haydn: Symphony No. 96, The Miracle
Brahms: A German Requiem

Music is at its most compelling when it brings us face to face with our own humanity. With A German Requiem, Brahms gave voice to the grief he felt upon the loss of his mother. Yet this work strives to do more than mourn the dead. With its powerful setting of biblical texts, Brahms’ masterpiece for voices and orchestra brings a poignant message of comfort and hope to the living.

Harry Bicket

Sat May 8, 8PM

HANDEL'S WATER MUSIC & MUSIC FOR THE ROYAL FIREWORKS

Harry Bicket, conductor
Rose Lombardo, flute

Rameau: Suite from Les Boréades
Handel: Selections from Water Music
J.S. BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 2
HANDEL: Selections from Music for the Royal Fireworks

Renowned British Conductor and Baroque music specialist Harry Bicket is joined by principal flutist Rose Lombardo and the San Diego Symphony in this joyful celebration of Baroque music. Handel’s Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks convey the exuberant celebration of the royal parties for which they were written. Then, enjoy the sensuous music of Rameau’s opera Les Boréades and the dances of Bach’s atmospheric Orchestral Suite.

Rafael Payare

Sat May 22, 8PM

SEASON FINALE: PAYARE & WEILERSTEIN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

R. STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4

Our season comes to a dramatic conclusion with guest cellist Alisa Weilerstein and three incredible works! Richard Strauss’ witty and comical Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks contrasts with Elgar’s soul-stirring and moving Cello Concerto. The concert closes with Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, teeming with defiance and hope, set against fate.

Subscribe Now

Alisa Weilerstein

Sat Oct 10, 8PM

SEASON OPENER: BEETHOVEN & SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jeff Thayer, violin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Reinaldo Moya: Siempre lunes, siempre marzo (Always Monday, Always March)
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Rafael Payare and the San Diego Symphony begin the season with Shostakovich’s epic Fifth symphony, a drama of triumph over adversity shaped by the composer’s own life in a totalitarian society. But first, discover the iridescent beauty of Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya’s musical depiction of Gabriel García MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude. Concertmaster Jeff Thayer, Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan then take centerstage in Beethoven’s jubilant Triple Concerto.

Rafael Payare

Sat Nov 7, 8PM

PAYARE, BEETHOVEN, SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8

Music Director Rafael Payare leads the San Diego Symphony in masterpieces by two of history’s greatest symphonic composers. In his first symphony, Beethoven paid homage to his classical predecessors while also introducing the trademark elements he would eventually use to revolutionize symphonic form. Payare continues his exploration of the symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich with his Symphony No. 8. Composed while Russia was under invasion during World War II and banned for many years by the Soviet Union, it is known as one of Shostakovich’s most powerful and affecting works.

Michelle DeYoung

Sat Jan 30, 8PM

Humans & Nature: Mahler's Song of the Earth

Rafael Payare, conductor
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo soprano
Stefan Vinke, tenor

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6, Pastoral
MAHLER: Das Lied von der Erde  (The Song of the Earth)

"No one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear," wrote Beethoven. His Pastoral Symphony captures the joy and awe we feel when encountering nature. Written a century later, Mahler’s The Song of the Earth is a reflective look at these majestic but fragile landscapes. This pivotal, grand orchestral composition features the added power of vocal expression as the mezzo soprano sings, “The dear earth everywhere blooms in spring and grows green once more! The horizon is lit everywhere and forever blue! Forever… Forever...”

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Paul Huang

Sat Feb 27, 8PM

SCOTTISH FANTASY & PEER GYNT

Jahja Ling, conductor
Paul Huang, violin

CHEN YI: Ge xu (Antiphony)
BRUCH: Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra
GRIEG: Selections from Peer Gynt

Some of the most popular melodies in classical music come to Copley Hall in this lively concert. Rising-star violinist Paul Huang brings us the folk melodies of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. The San Diego Symphony then explores the Nordic fairy-tale world of Grieg’s Peer Gynt, in a version specially arranged by conductor laureate Jahja Ling. From the relaxed beauty of “Morning Mood” to the sneaky mischief of “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” you’re sure to remember these evocative tunes.

Marc-André Hamelin

Sat Mar 13, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS LISZT & BARTÓK

Rafael Payare, conductor
Marc-André Hamelin, piano

WAGNER: “Prelude and Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2
BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra

Experience the full power of orchestral drama with three pieces that pushed the boundaries of music. The tragic yearning of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde includes some of the most passionate music ever written. Marc-André Hamelin brings his renowned virtuosity to the intricate melodic evolutions of Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto. And in Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra - originally commissioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra - the virtuosity and artistry of our own San Diego Symphony’s musicians are on full display.

Ingrid Fliter

Sat Apr 10, 8PM

RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCES

Edo de Waart, conductor
Ingrid Fliter, piano

Anna Clyne: Abstractions
Schumann: Piano Concerto
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

In his only Piano Concerto, Schumann gave us an intimate portrait of the love he shared with his wife, Clara. Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter joins us as soloist in this iconic Romantic work. Then, experience a work praised by the Baltimore Sun for its “clarity and expressive nuance”. Anna Clyne’s atmospheric tone poem, Abstractions, paints musical portraits of five works of contemporary visual art. Rachmaninoff’s vibrant Symphonic Dances - the only piece he composed in America - brings the concert to an energetic finale.

Joélle Harvey

Sat Apr 17, 8PM

BRAHMS’ GERMAN REQUIEM

Edo de Waart, conductor
Joélle Harvey, soprano
John Moore, baritone
San Diego Master Chorale

Haydn: Symphony No. 96, The Miracle
Brahms: A German Requiem

Music is at its most compelling when it brings us face to face with our own humanity. With A German Requiem, Brahms gave voice to the grief he felt upon the loss of his mother. Yet this work strives to do more than mourn the dead. With its powerful setting of biblical texts, Brahms’ masterpiece for voices and orchestra brings a poignant message of comfort and hope to the living.

Subscribe Now

Veronika Eberle

Sat Nov 14, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS SALONEN & BEETHOVEN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Veronika Eberle, violin

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN: Nyx
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

In Nyx, Esa-Pekka Salonen drew inspiration from the mysterious Greek goddess of the Night. The result is a symphonic poem praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “rich and dazzling musical invention.” German star violinist Veronika Eberle performs Prokofiev’s colorful and dream-like First Violin Concerto. We conclude with the exuberant and playful dance rhythms of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Garrick Ohlsson

Sat Dec 5, 8PM

DE WAART CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN & ELGAR

Edo de Waart, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Elgar: Symphony No. 1

Principal Guest Conductor Edo de Waart and the esteemed Garrick Ohlsson join forces for Beethoven's dramatic Piano Concerto No. 3. Elgar’s Symphony No. 1, with its glorious melodies and noble strength, in a distinctly British contribution to the symphonic tradition of Beethoven and Brahms.

Gemma New

Sat Jan 23, 8PM

Water Concerto & Scheherezade

Gemma New, conductor
Steven Schick, percussion

Britten: "Four Sea Interludes" from Peter Grimes
Tan Dun: Water Concerto
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

In the Name of the Earth continues with meditations on the nature of water, our planet’s most precious resource. Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes depicts the many moods of Earth’s oceans, from peaceful moonlit waves to the menacing power of its storms. In Tan Dun’s Water Concerto, water literally takes center stage, as percussionist and festival curator Steven Schick performs on instruments filled with this life-giving substance. We conclude with Rimsky-Korsakov’s musical portrayal of the story of Sinbad the Sailor’s adventures.

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Trevor Pinnock

Sat Mar 6, 8PM

GABRIELI, DVOŘÁK, MOZART

Trevor Pinnock, conductor

Gabrieli: Selected Canzonas for Brass
Dvořák: Serenade for Strings
MOZART: Serenade No. 10 for Winds: Gran Partita
STRAVINSKY: Scherzo fantastique

Each instrument group of the San Diego Symphony takes their turn at centerstage in the special program. Renowned British conductor and early music expert Trevor Pinnock opens with Baroque music for brass that once rang through St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. We then encounter Dvořák’s bucolic Serenade for Strings, and Mozart’s sublime Serenade for Winds. Stravinsky’s early Scherzo fantastique gathers the whole orchestra back together for a rousing finale.

Dorothea Röschmann

Sat Mar 20, 8PM

PAYARE, RÖSCHMANN, DEBUSSY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Dorothea Röschmann, soprano

Mozart: Symphony No. 29
STRAUSS: Four Last Songs
Debussy: Images

In vibrant bursts of sonic color, Images demonstrates why Debussy remains the unmatched master of atmospheric soundscapes. With sonorous harmonies and playful folk songs, the composer paints scenes from England, Spain, and his native French countryside. Soprano Dorothea Röschmann returns and joins the San Diego Symphony in performing Strauss’ sublime swansong Four Last Songs, that soars with lyricism. You’ll be enchanted by the expressive brilliance of these stunning works.

Harry Bicket

Sat May 8, 8PM

HANDEL'S WATER MUSIC & MUSIC FOR THE ROYAL FIREWORKS

Harry Bicket, conductor
Rose Lombardo, flute

Rameau: Suite from Les Boréades
Handel: Selections from Water Music
J.S. BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 2
HANDEL: Selections from Music for the Royal Fireworks

Renowned British Conductor and Baroque music specialist Harry Bicket is joined by principal flutist Rose Lombardo and the San Diego Symphony in this joyful celebration of Baroque music. Handel’s Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks convey the exuberant celebration of the royal parties for which they were written. Then, enjoy the sensuous music of Rameau’s opera Les Boréades and the dances of Bach’s atmospheric Orchestral Suite.

Rafael Payare

Sat May 22, 8PM

SEASON FINALE: PAYARE & WEILERSTEIN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

R. STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4

Our season comes to a dramatic conclusion with guest cellist Alisa Weilerstein and three incredible works! Richard Strauss’ witty and comical Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks contrasts with Elgar’s soul-stirring and moving Cello Concerto. The concert closes with Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, teeming with defiance and hope, set against fate.

Subscribe Now

Alisa Weilerstein

Sun Oct 11, 2PM

SEASON OPENER: BEETHOVEN & SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jeff Thayer, violin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Reinaldo Moya: Siempre lunes, siempre marzo (Always Monday, Always March)
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Rafael Payare and the San Diego Symphony begin the season with Shostakovich’s epic Fifth symphony, a drama of triumph over adversity shaped by the composer’s own life in a totalitarian society. But first, discover the iridescent beauty of Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya’s musical depiction of Gabriel García MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude. Concertmaster Jeff Thayer, Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan then take centerstage in Beethoven’s jubilant Triple Concerto.

Johanthan Biss

Sun Oct 18, 2PM

BISS, DEAN & BEETHOVEN'S EMPEROR

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2
Brett Dean: Piano Concerto,
Gneixendorf Music – A Winter's Journey
(West Coast premiere)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5: Emperor

Beethoven’s final piano concerto is one of the most majestic and demanding works in the pianist’s repertoire. Renowned for his gripping interpretations of the composer’s music, pianist Jonathan Biss brings his artistry to this iconic work, as well as a piece composed in response to the Emperor Concerto: Brett Dean’s Gneixendorf Music — A Winter’s Journey, which imagines the thoughts and feelings of an aging Beethoven.

Veronika Eberle

Sun Nov 15, 2PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS SALONEN & BEETHOVEN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Veronika Eberle, violin

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN: Nyx
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

In Nyx, Esa-Pekka Salonen drew inspiration from the mysterious Greek goddess of the Night. The result is a symphonic poem praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “rich and dazzling musical invention.” German star violinist Veronika Eberle performs Prokofiev’s colorful and dream-like First Violin Concerto. We conclude with the exuberant and playful dance rhythms of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Garrick Ohlsson

Sun Dec 6, 2PM

DE WAART CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN & ELGAR

Edo de Waart, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Elgar: Symphony No. 1

Principal Guest Conductor Edo de Waart and the esteemed Garrick Ohlsson join forces for Beethoven's dramatic Piano Concerto No. 3. Elgar’s Symphony No. 1, with its glorious melodies and noble strength, in a distinctly British contribution to the symphonic tradition of Beethoven and Brahms.

Steven Schick

Sun Jan 17, 2PM

BECOME DESERT & STRAVINSKY’S FIREBIRD

Steven Schick, conductor
San Diego Master Chorale

ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR: Metacosmos
STRAVINSKY: Suite from The Firebird
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS: Become Desert (SDSO co-commission & premiere)

Explore the austere mystery of the desert as we begin our January annual festival, "In the Name of the Earth." Based on a Russian fairy tale, The Firebird is a dramatic story of courage and redemption. Stravinsky’s brilliant and colorful fairy tale ballet is bookended by tone poems depicting the vast and beautiful solitude of landscapes: Icelandic composer and UC San Diego alumna Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Metacosmos and John Luther AdamsBecome Desert— the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer's new work where the orchestra surrounds the audience in an unforgettable experience.

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Gemma New

Sun Jan 24, 2PM

Water Concerto & Scheherezade

Gemma New, conductor
Steven Schick, percussion

Britten: "Four Sea Interludes" from Peter Grimes
Tan Dun: Water Concerto
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

In the Name of the Earth continues with meditations on the nature of water, our planet’s most precious resource. Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes depicts the many moods of Earth’s oceans, from peaceful moonlit waves to the menacing power of its storms. In Tan Dun’s Water Concerto, water literally takes center stage, as percussionist and festival curator Steven Schick performs on instruments filled with this life-giving substance. We conclude with Rimsky-Korsakov’s musical portrayal of the story of Sinbad the Sailor’s adventures.

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Matthias Pintscher

Sun Feb 7, 1PM

BEETHOVEN & RACHMANINOFF

Matthias Pintscher, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 8
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2

In his Eighth Symphony, Beethoven pays homage to the cleverness and humours wit of Mozart and Haydn's Classical Style. Then the passion and drama of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony demonstrate why this work is an enduring favorite of audiences everywhere, filled with the composer’s trademark memorable melodies and rich harmonies.

Paul Huang

Sun Feb 28, 2PM

SCOTTISH FANTASY & PEER GYNT

Jahja Ling, conductor
Paul Huang, violin

CHEN YI: Ge xu (Antiphony)
BRUCH: Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra
GRIEG: Selections from Peer Gynt

Some of the most popular melodies in classical music come to Copley Hall in this lively concert. Rising-star violinist Paul Huang brings us the folk melodies of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. The San Diego Symphony then explores the Nordic fairy-tale world of Grieg’s Peer Gynt, in a version specially arranged by conductor laureate Jahja Ling. From the relaxed beauty of “Morning Mood” to the sneaky mischief of “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” you’re sure to remember these evocative tunes.

Trevor Pinnock

Sun Mar 7, 2PM

GABRIELI, DVOŘÁK, MOZART

Trevor Pinnock, conductor

Gabrieli: Selected Canzonas for Brass
Dvořák: Serenade for Strings
MOZART: Serenade No. 10 for Winds: Gran Partita
STRAVINSKY: Scherzo fantastique

Each instrument group of the San Diego Symphony takes their turn at centerstage in the special program. Renowned British conductor and early music expert Trevor Pinnock opens with Baroque music for brass that once rang through St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. We then encounter Dvořák’s bucolic Serenade for Strings, and Mozart’s sublime Serenade for Winds. Stravinsky’s early Scherzo fantastique gathers the whole orchestra back together for a rousing finale.

Dorothea Röschmann

Sun Mar 21, 2PM

PAYARE, RÖSCHMANN, DEBUSSY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Dorothea Röschmann, soprano

Mozart: Symphony No. 29
STRAUSS: Four Last Songs
Debussy: Images

In vibrant bursts of sonic color, Images demonstrates why Debussy remains the unmatched master of atmospheric soundscapes. With sonorous harmonies and playful folk songs, the composer paints scenes from England, Spain, and his native French countryside. Soprano Dorothea Röschmann returns and joins the San Diego Symphony in performing Strauss’ sublime swansong Four Last Songs, that soars with lyricism. You’ll be enchanted by the expressive brilliance of these stunning works.

Ingrid Fliter

Sun Apr 11, 2PM

RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCES

Edo de Waart, conductor
Ingrid Fliter, piano

Anna Clyne: Abstractions
Schumann: Piano Concerto
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

In his only Piano Concerto, Schumann gave us an intimate portrait of the love he shared with his wife, Clara. Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter joins us as soloist in this iconic Romantic work. Then, experience a work praised by the Baltimore Sun for its “clarity and expressive nuance”. Anna Clyne’s atmospheric tone poem, Abstractions, paints musical portraits of five works of contemporary visual art. Rachmaninoff’s vibrant Symphonic Dances - the only piece he composed in America - brings the concert to an energetic finale.

Harry Bicket

Sun May 9, 2PM

HANDEL'S WATER MUSIC & MUSIC FOR THE ROYAL FIREWORKS

Harry Bicket, conductor
Rose Lombardo, flute

Rameau: Suite from Les Boréades
Handel: Selections from Water Music
J.S. BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 2
HANDEL: Selections from Music for the Royal Fireworks

Renowned British Conductor and Baroque music specialist Harry Bicket is joined by principal flutist Rose Lombardo and the San Diego Symphony in this joyful celebration of Baroque music. Handel’s Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks convey the exuberant celebration of the royal parties for which they were written. Then, enjoy the sensuous music of Rameau’s opera Les Boréades and the dances of Bach’s atmospheric Orchestral Suite.

Guy Braunstein

Sun May 16, 2PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS TCHAIKOVSKY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Guy Braunstein, violin

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Janáček: Taras Bulba
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2: Little Russian

Ukranian folk songs then fill the hall in Tchaikovsky’s charming and poignant Little Russian Symphony. The concert begins with Tchaikovsky’s melodious Violin Concerto, performed by Guy Braunstein, the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. Join Tchaikovsky and Janáček as these two Slavic composers explore the rich culture of the Ukranian people. Based on a novel by Nikolai Gogol, Taras Bulba portrays the deeds of a legendary Ukranian Cossack folk hero.

Rafael Payare

Sun May 23, 2PM

SEASON FINALE: PAYARE & WEILERSTEIN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

R. STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4

Our season comes to a dramatic conclusion with guest cellist Alisa Weilerstein and three incredible works! Richard Strauss’ witty and comical Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks contrasts with Elgar’s soul-stirring and moving Cello Concerto. The concert closes with Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, teeming with defiance and hope, set against fate.

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Alisa Weilerstein

Sun Oct 11, 2PM

SEASON OPENER: BEETHOVEN & SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jeff Thayer, violin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Reinaldo Moya: Siempre lunes, siempre marzo (Always Monday, Always March)
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Rafael Payare and the San Diego Symphony begin the season with Shostakovich’s epic Fifth symphony, a drama of triumph over adversity shaped by the composer’s own life in a totalitarian society. But first, discover the iridescent beauty of Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya’s musical depiction of Gabriel García MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude. Concertmaster Jeff Thayer, Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan then take centerstage in Beethoven’s jubilant Triple Concerto.

Garrick Ohlsson

Sun Dec 6, 2PM

DE WAART CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN & ELGAR

Edo de Waart, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Elgar: Symphony No. 1

Principal Guest Conductor Edo de Waart and the esteemed Garrick Ohlsson join forces for Beethoven's dramatic Piano Concerto No. 3. Elgar’s Symphony No. 1, with its glorious melodies and noble strength, in a distinctly British contribution to the symphonic tradition of Beethoven and Brahms.

Steven Schick

Sun Jan 17, 2PM

BECOME DESERT & STRAVINSKY’S FIREBIRD

Steven Schick, conductor
San Diego Master Chorale

ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR: Metacosmos
STRAVINSKY: Suite from The Firebird
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS: Become Desert (SDSO co-commission & premiere)

Explore the austere mystery of the desert as we begin our January annual festival, "In the Name of the Earth." Based on a Russian fairy tale, The Firebird is a dramatic story of courage and redemption. Stravinsky’s brilliant and colorful fairy tale ballet is bookended by tone poems depicting the vast and beautiful solitude of landscapes: Icelandic composer and UC San Diego alumna Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Metacosmos and John Luther AdamsBecome Desert— the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer's new work where the orchestra surrounds the audience in an unforgettable experience.

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Paul Huang

Sun Feb 28, 2PM

SCOTTISH FANTASY & PEER GYNT

Jahja Ling, conductor
Paul Huang, violin

CHEN YI: Ge xu (Antiphony)
BRUCH: Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra
GRIEG: Selections from Peer Gynt

Some of the most popular melodies in classical music come to Copley Hall in this lively concert. Rising-star violinist Paul Huang brings us the folk melodies of Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy. The San Diego Symphony then explores the Nordic fairy-tale world of Grieg’s Peer Gynt, in a version specially arranged by conductor laureate Jahja Ling. From the relaxed beauty of “Morning Mood” to the sneaky mischief of “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” you’re sure to remember these evocative tunes.

Trevor Pinnock

Sun Mar 7, 2PM

GABRIELI, DVOŘÁK, MOZART

Trevor Pinnock, conductor

Gabrieli: Selected Canzonas for Brass
Dvořák: Serenade for Strings
MOZART: Serenade No. 10 for Winds: Gran Partita
STRAVINSKY: Scherzo fantastique

Each instrument group of the San Diego Symphony takes their turn at centerstage in the special program. Renowned British conductor and early music expert Trevor Pinnock opens with Baroque music for brass that once rang through St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. We then encounter Dvořák’s bucolic Serenade for Strings, and Mozart’s sublime Serenade for Winds. Stravinsky’s early Scherzo fantastique gathers the whole orchestra back together for a rousing finale.

Ingrid Fliter

Sun Apr 11, 2PM

RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCES

Edo de Waart, conductor
Ingrid Fliter, piano

Anna Clyne: Abstractions
Schumann: Piano Concerto
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

In his only Piano Concerto, Schumann gave us an intimate portrait of the love he shared with his wife, Clara. Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter joins us as soloist in this iconic Romantic work. Then, experience a work praised by the Baltimore Sun for its “clarity and expressive nuance”. Anna Clyne’s atmospheric tone poem, Abstractions, paints musical portraits of five works of contemporary visual art. Rachmaninoff’s vibrant Symphonic Dances - the only piece he composed in America - brings the concert to an energetic finale.

Guy Braunstein

Sun May 16, 2PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS TCHAIKOVSKY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Guy Braunstein, violin

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Janáček: Taras Bulba
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2: Little Russian

Ukranian folk songs then fill the hall in Tchaikovsky’s charming and poignant Little Russian Symphony. The concert begins with Tchaikovsky’s melodious Violin Concerto, performed by Guy Braunstein, the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. Join Tchaikovsky and Janáček as these two Slavic composers explore the rich culture of the Ukranian people. Based on a novel by Nikolai Gogol, Taras Bulba portrays the deeds of a legendary Ukranian Cossack folk hero.

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Johanthan Biss

Sun Oct 18, 2PM

BISS, DEAN & BEETHOVEN'S EMPEROR

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2
Brett Dean: Piano Concerto,
Gneixendorf Music – A Winter's Journey
(West Coast premiere)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5: Emperor

Beethoven’s final piano concerto is one of the most majestic and demanding works in the pianist’s repertoire. Renowned for his gripping interpretations of the composer’s music, pianist Jonathan Biss brings his artistry to this iconic work, as well as a piece composed in response to the Emperor Concerto: Brett Dean’s Gneixendorf Music — A Winter’s Journey, which imagines the thoughts and feelings of an aging Beethoven.

Veronika Eberle

Sun Nov 15, 2PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS SALONEN & BEETHOVEN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Veronika Eberle, violin

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN: Nyx
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

In Nyx, Esa-Pekka Salonen drew inspiration from the mysterious Greek goddess of the Night. The result is a symphonic poem praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “rich and dazzling musical invention.” German star violinist Veronika Eberle performs Prokofiev’s colorful and dream-like First Violin Concerto. We conclude with the exuberant and playful dance rhythms of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Gemma New

Sun Jan 24, 2PM

Water Concerto & Scheherezade

Gemma New, conductor
Steven Schick, percussion

Britten: "Four Sea Interludes" from Peter Grimes
Tan Dun: Water Concerto
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

In the Name of the Earth continues with meditations on the nature of water, our planet’s most precious resource. Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes depicts the many moods of Earth’s oceans, from peaceful moonlit waves to the menacing power of its storms. In Tan Dun’s Water Concerto, water literally takes center stage, as percussionist and festival curator Steven Schick performs on instruments filled with this life-giving substance. We conclude with Rimsky-Korsakov’s musical portrayal of the story of Sinbad the Sailor’s adventures.

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Matthias Pintscher

Sun Feb 7, 1PM

BEETHOVEN & RACHMANINOFF

Matthias Pintscher, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 8
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2

In his Eighth Symphony, Beethoven pays homage to the cleverness and humours wit of Mozart and Haydn's Classical Style. Then the passion and drama of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony demonstrate why this work is an enduring favorite of audiences everywhere, filled with the composer’s trademark memorable melodies and rich harmonies.

Dorothea Röschmann

Sun Mar 21, 2PM

PAYARE, RÖSCHMANN, DEBUSSY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Dorothea Röschmann, soprano

Mozart: Symphony No. 29
STRAUSS: Four Last Songs
Debussy: Images

In vibrant bursts of sonic color, Images demonstrates why Debussy remains the unmatched master of atmospheric soundscapes. With sonorous harmonies and playful folk songs, the composer paints scenes from England, Spain, and his native French countryside. Soprano Dorothea Röschmann returns and joins the San Diego Symphony in performing Strauss’ sublime swansong Four Last Songs, that soars with lyricism. You’ll be enchanted by the expressive brilliance of these stunning works.

Harry Bicket

Sun May 9, 2PM

HANDEL'S WATER MUSIC & MUSIC FOR THE ROYAL FIREWORKS

Harry Bicket, conductor
Rose Lombardo, flute

Rameau: Suite from Les Boréades
Handel: Selections from Water Music
J.S. BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 2
HANDEL: Selections from Music for the Royal Fireworks

Renowned British Conductor and Baroque music specialist Harry Bicket is joined by principal flutist Rose Lombardo and the San Diego Symphony in this joyful celebration of Baroque music. Handel’s Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks convey the exuberant celebration of the royal parties for which they were written. Then, enjoy the sensuous music of Rameau’s opera Les Boréades and the dances of Bach’s atmospheric Orchestral Suite.

Rafael Payare

Sun May 23, 2PM

SEASON FINALE: PAYARE & WEILERSTEIN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

R. STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4

Our season comes to a dramatic conclusion with guest cellist Alisa Weilerstein and three incredible works! Richard Strauss’ witty and comical Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks contrasts with Elgar’s soul-stirring and moving Cello Concerto. The concert closes with Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, teeming with defiance and hope, set against fate.

Subscribe Now

Alisa Weilerstein

Fri Oct 9, 8PM

SEASON OPENER: BEETHOVEN & SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jeff Thayer, violin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Reinaldo Moya: Siempre lunes, siempre marzo (Always Monday, Always March)
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Rafael Payare and the San Diego Symphony begin the season with Shostakovich’s epic Fifth symphony, a drama of triumph over adversity shaped by the composer’s own life in a totalitarian society. But first, discover the iridescent beauty of Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya’s musical depiction of Gabriel García MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude. Concertmaster Jeff Thayer, Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan then take centerstage in Beethoven’s jubilant Triple Concerto.

Rafael Payare

Fri Nov 6, 8PM

PAYARE, BEETHOVEN, SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 1
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8

Music Director Rafael Payare leads the San Diego Symphony in masterpieces by two of history’s greatest symphonic composers. In his first symphony, Beethoven paid homage to his classical predecessors while also introducing the trademark elements he would eventually use to revolutionize symphonic form. Payare continues his exploration of the symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich with his Symphony No. 8. Composed while Russia was under invasion during World War II and banned for many years by the Soviet Union, it is known as one of Shostakovich’s most powerful and affecting works.

Veronika Eberle

Fri Nov 13, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS SALONEN & BEETHOVEN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Veronika Eberle, violin

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN: Nyx
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

In Nyx, Esa-Pekka Salonen drew inspiration from the mysterious Greek goddess of the Night. The result is a symphonic poem praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “rich and dazzling musical invention.” German star violinist Veronika Eberle performs Prokofiev’s colorful and dream-like First Violin Concerto. We conclude with the exuberant and playful dance rhythms of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Michelle DeYoung

Fri Jan 29, 8PM

Humans & Nature: Mahler's Song of the Earth

Rafael Payare, conductor
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo soprano
Stefan Vinke, tenor

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6, Pastoral
MAHLER: Das Lied von der Erde  (The Song of the Earth)

"No one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear," wrote Beethoven. His Pastoral Symphony captures the joy and awe we feel when encountering nature. Written a century later, Mahler’s The Song of the Earth is a reflective look at these majestic but fragile landscapes. This pivotal, grand orchestral composition features the added power of vocal expression as the mezzo soprano sings, “The dear earth everywhere blooms in spring and grows green once more! The horizon is lit everywhere and forever blue! Forever… Forever...”

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Marc-André Hamelin

Fri Mar 12, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS LISZT & BARTÓK

Rafael Payare, conductor
Marc-André Hamelin, piano

WAGNER: “Prelude and Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2
BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra

Experience the full power of orchestral drama with three pieces that pushed the boundaries of music. The tragic yearning of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde includes some of the most passionate music ever written. Marc-André Hamelin brings his renowned virtuosity to the intricate melodic evolutions of Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto. And in Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra - originally commissioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra - the virtuosity and artistry of our own San Diego Symphony’s musicians are on full display.

Guy Braunstein

Fri May 14, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS TCHAIKOVSKY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Guy Braunstein, violin

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
Janáček: Taras Bulba
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2: Little Russian

Ukranian folk songs then fill the hall in Tchaikovsky’s charming and poignant Little Russian Symphony. The concert begins with Tchaikovsky’s melodious Violin Concerto, performed by Guy Braunstein, the youngest-ever concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. Join Tchaikovsky and Janáček as these two Slavic composers explore the rich culture of the Ukranian people. Based on a novel by Nikolai Gogol, Taras Bulba portrays the deeds of a legendary Ukranian Cossack folk hero.

Rafael Payare

Fri May 21, 8PM

SEASON FINALE: PAYARE & WEILERSTEIN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

R. STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4

Our season comes to a dramatic conclusion with guest cellist Alisa Weilerstein and three incredible works! Richard Strauss’ witty and comical Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks contrasts with Elgar’s soul-stirring and moving Cello Concerto. The concert closes with Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, teeming with defiance and hope, set against fate.

Subscribe Now

Alisa Weilerstein

Sat Oct 10, 8PM

SEASON OPENER: BEETHOVEN & SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jeff Thayer, violin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Reinaldo Moya: Siempre lunes, siempre marzo (Always Monday, Always March)
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Rafael Payare and the San Diego Symphony begin the season with Shostakovich’s epic Fifth symphony, a drama of triumph over adversity shaped by the composer’s own life in a totalitarian society. But first, discover the iridescent beauty of Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya’s musical depiction of Gabriel García MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude. Concertmaster Jeff Thayer, Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan then take centerstage in Beethoven’s jubilant Triple Concerto.

Garrick Ohlsson

Sat Dec 5, 8PM

DE WAART CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN & ELGAR

Edo de Waart, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Elgar: Symphony No. 1

Principal Guest Conductor Edo de Waart and the esteemed Garrick Ohlsson join forces for Beethoven's dramatic Piano Concerto No. 3. Elgar’s Symphony No. 1, with its glorious melodies and noble strength, in a distinctly British contribution to the symphonic tradition of Beethoven and Brahms.

Marc-André Hamelin

Sat Mar 13, 8PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS LISZT & BARTÓK

Rafael Payare, conductor
Marc-André Hamelin, piano

WAGNER: “Prelude and Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 2
BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra

Experience the full power of orchestral drama with three pieces that pushed the boundaries of music. The tragic yearning of Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde includes some of the most passionate music ever written. Marc-André Hamelin brings his renowned virtuosity to the intricate melodic evolutions of Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto. And in Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra - originally commissioned for the Boston Symphony Orchestra - the virtuosity and artistry of our own San Diego Symphony’s musicians are on full display.

Ingrid Fliter

Sat Apr 10, 8PM

RACHMANINOFF’S SYMPHONIC DANCES

Edo de Waart, conductor
Ingrid Fliter, piano

Anna Clyne: Abstractions
Schumann: Piano Concerto
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

In his only Piano Concerto, Schumann gave us an intimate portrait of the love he shared with his wife, Clara. Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter joins us as soloist in this iconic Romantic work. Then, experience a work praised by the Baltimore Sun for its “clarity and expressive nuance”. Anna Clyne’s atmospheric tone poem, Abstractions, paints musical portraits of five works of contemporary visual art. Rachmaninoff’s vibrant Symphonic Dances - the only piece he composed in America - brings the concert to an energetic finale.

Subscribe Now

Steven Schick

Fri Jan 15, 8PM

BECOME DESERT & STRAVINSKY’S FIREBIRD

Steven Schick, conductor
San Diego Master Chorale

ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR: Metacosmos
STRAVINSKY: Suite from The Firebird
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS: Become Desert (SDSO co-commission & premiere)

Explore the austere mystery of the desert as we begin our January annual festival, "In the Name of the Earth." Based on a Russian fairy tale, The Firebird is a dramatic story of courage and redemption. Stravinsky’s brilliant and colorful fairy tale ballet is bookended by tone poems depicting the vast and beautiful solitude of landscapes: Icelandic composer and UC San Diego alumna Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Metacosmos and John Luther AdamsBecome Desert— the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer's new work where the orchestra surrounds the audience in an unforgettable experience.

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Michelle DeYoung

Sat Jan 30, 8PM

Humans & Nature: Mahler's Song of the Earth

Rafael Payare, conductor
Michelle DeYoung, mezzo soprano
Stefan Vinke, tenor

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 6, Pastoral
MAHLER: Das Lied von der Erde  (The Song of the Earth)

"No one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear," wrote Beethoven. His Pastoral Symphony captures the joy and awe we feel when encountering nature. Written a century later, Mahler’s The Song of the Earth is a reflective look at these majestic but fragile landscapes. This pivotal, grand orchestral composition features the added power of vocal expression as the mezzo soprano sings, “The dear earth everywhere blooms in spring and grows green once more! The horizon is lit everywhere and forever blue! Forever… Forever...”

  Part of "In the Name of the Earth" festival.

Dorothea Röschmann

Sat Mar 20, 8PM

PAYARE, RÖSCHMANN, DEBUSSY

Rafael Payare, conductor
Dorothea Röschmann, soprano

Mozart: Symphony No. 29
STRAUSS: Four Last Songs
Debussy: Images

In vibrant bursts of sonic color, Images demonstrates why Debussy remains the unmatched master of atmospheric soundscapes. With sonorous harmonies and playful folk songs, the composer paints scenes from England, Spain, and his native French countryside. Soprano Dorothea Röschmann returns and joins the San Diego Symphony in performing Strauss’ sublime swansong Four Last Songs, that soars with lyricism. You’ll be enchanted by the expressive brilliance of these stunning works.

Joélle Harvey

Sat Apr 17, 8PM

BRAHMS’ GERMAN REQUIEM

Edo de Waart, conductor
Joélle Harvey, soprano
John Moore, baritone
San Diego Master Chorale

Haydn: Symphony No. 96, The Miracle
Brahms: A German Requiem

Music is at its most compelling when it brings us face to face with our own humanity. With A German Requiem, Brahms gave voice to the grief he felt upon the loss of his mother. Yet this work strives to do more than mourn the dead. With its powerful setting of biblical texts, Brahms’ masterpiece for voices and orchestra brings a poignant message of comfort and hope to the living.

Subscribe Now

Alisa Weilerstein

Sun Oct 11, 2PM

SEASON OPENER: BEETHOVEN & SHOSTAKOVICH

Rafael Payare, conductor
Jeff Thayer, violin
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Inon Barnatan, piano

Reinaldo Moya: Siempre lunes, siempre marzo (Always Monday, Always March)
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Rafael Payare and the San Diego Symphony begin the season with Shostakovich’s epic Fifth symphony, a drama of triumph over adversity shaped by the composer’s own life in a totalitarian society. But first, discover the iridescent beauty of Venezuelan-American composer Reinaldo Moya’s musical depiction of Gabriel García MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude. Concertmaster Jeff Thayer, Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan then take centerstage in Beethoven’s jubilant Triple Concerto.

Veronika Eberle

Sun Nov 15, 2PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS SALONEN & BEETHOVEN

Rafael Payare, conductor
Veronika Eberle, violin

ESA-PEKKA SALONEN: Nyx
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

In Nyx, Esa-Pekka Salonen drew inspiration from the mysterious Greek goddess of the Night. The result is a symphonic poem praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “rich and dazzling musical invention.” German star violinist Veronika Eberle performs Prokofiev’s colorful and dream-like First Violin Concerto. We conclude with the exuberant and playful dance rhythms of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

Garrick Ohlsson

Sun Dec 6, 2PM

DE WAART CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN & ELGAR

Edo de Waart, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Elgar: Symphony No. 1

Principal Guest Conductor Edo de Waart and the esteemed Garrick Ohlsson join forces for Beethoven's dramatic Piano Concerto No. 3. Elgar’s Symphony No. 1, with its glorious melodies and noble strength, in a distinctly British contribution to the symphonic tradition of Beethoven and Brahms.

Matthias Pintscher

Sun Feb 7, 1PM

BEETHOVEN & RACHMANINOFF

Matthias Pintscher, conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 8
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2

In his Eighth Symphony, Beethoven pays homage to the cleverness and humours wit of Mozart and Haydn's Classical Style. Then the passion and drama of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony demonstrate why this work is an enduring favorite of audiences everywhere, filled with the composer’s trademark memorable melodies and rich harmonies.

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