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San Diego Symphony Announces 2020-2021 Season

San Diego Symphony Announces 2020-2021 Season

During the 2020-21 season, the San Diego Symphony will take audiences on a journey of exploration - weaving in themes of nature and immigration that impact our country, borders and beyond. Through the continued leadership of Music Director Rafael Payare, the musicians of the San Diego Symphony, and the world's finest guest artists, the season will discover the world around us-and within ourselves.

Payare will conduct nine weeks of concerts in the 2020-21 season, and will continue his focus on works by Strauss and Mahler that push the level of artistry of the orchestra. Throughout the season, Payare and the Orchestra are joined by renowned international talents such as Harry Bicket, conductor; Guy Braunstein, violin; Veronika Eberle, violin; Marc-André Hamelin, piano; Trevor Pinnock, conductor; and Stefan Vinke, tenor.

"Now more than ever, we all need live musical performances to unite us and uplift us," said Martha Gilmer, San Diego Symphony CEO. "Although it's currently a dark and isolating time for people all around the world, we hope the announcement of our 2020-21 season offers a beacon of light. The season ahead will allow us to rediscover - through the works of the great composers - the wonders of the wider world around us and the power and beauty that music provides."

"The inspirational musicians of our own San Diego Symphony, and our beloved Music Director Rafael Payare, together with an array of the world's finest guest artists, will lead us on a voyage of joyful discovery throughout the 2020-21 season, exploring the stirring symphonic dramas of composers close to Rafael's heart - Mahler, Strauss, and Shostakovich - and completing in a blaze of triumph our celebration of Beethoven at 250," added Gilmer. "We will celebrate the power of nature as reflected in orchestral sound, and explore the astonishing story of our own Immigrant Composers and the long history of their deep and fascinating musical contributions to the artistic life of the United States. So, come join us and let's look forward to making and enjoying live music again together very soon!"

Another highlight of the season will be the annual three-week January Festival entitled In the Name of the Earth, curated by Steven Schick, where the Symphony will explore the deep connection musicians, artists and all humanity have long had with nature-and a reminder of its importance and fragility. Non-subscription events and events by partner organizations will be announced at a later date.

A focus throughout the 2020-21 season will be the rich contributions immigrant musicians have made to America's musical culture, and the many iconic works that wouldn't exist without those who left their homelands. America is a land that has always provided opportunities for immigrants; and in return, immigrants have contributed to society and made cultural life in America such a rich and diverse one. Eight works featured this season by composers who were born outside of the U.S., but spent an important part of their career in the U.S., include: Bartók (Hungarian), Chen Yi (Chinese-American), Anna Clyne (British), Tan Dun (Chinese-American), Reinaldo Moya (Venezuelan-American), Rachmaninoff (Russian-American), Esa-Pekka Salonen (Finnish), and Anna Thorvaldsdottir (Icelandic).

This season also continues the celebration of Beethoven's 250th birthday, gaining new perspectives on his influence through performances of his works and of pieces written by other composers in the shadow of his influence. This season, the San Diego Symphony will feature seven of his works.

"As we all know very well, music has a unique power to heal the human soul," said Payare. "In music, there are no boundaries of language or limits of understanding. All you have to do is to listen, and let the music do its work. That is why the San Diego Symphony musicians and I are so excited to welcome you to our 2020-21 season when you - our wonderful audience - will once again fill the hall and we will make music for you.

In my second year as music director, I look forward with huge enthusiasm to building on the momentum of what we created together last season, inspired by your energy as you listen, and tapping into the deep talent of our fantastic musicians. Most of all, I look forward to the sheer excitement of being out in our community and on stage in front of you with our orchestra again, continuing to change lives through music!"

Programming Highlights

Opening the season with Beethoven's Triple Concerto and Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, Payare and the San Diego Symphony take centerstage along with Concertmaster Jeff Thayer, Alisa Weilerstein, and Inon Barnatan. In November, Payare continues the exploration of Shostakovich with the composer's Symphony No. 8, a deeply personal reflection on World War II. During the January Festival, Payare conduct's Mahler's greatest work Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), a reflective look at humankind's relationship with nature. This pivotal, grand orchestral composition features the added power of vocal expression by opera singers. Principal Guest Conductor Edo de Waart returns with three wide ranging programs that include works by Elgar, Rachmaninoff, Anna Clyne, and Brahms's A German Requiem. The season comes to a dramatic conclusion with a two-week focus on Tchaikovsky, and the season finale program on May 21-23 with three incredible works by Strauss, Tchaikovsky and Elgar's beloved Cello Concerto with Alisa Weilerstein.

Also on the schedule is the West Coast premiere of Brett Dean's new Piano Concerto, Gneixendorf Music - A Winter's Journey, which imagines the thoughts and feelings of an aging Beethoven, October 16 and 18. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams' Become Desert - a work co-commissioned by the San Diego Symphony - will premiere January 15 and 17.

Prominent conductors from around the globe performing with the esteemed San Diego Symphony include Harry Bicket, Gemma New, Trevor Pinnock, Matthias Pintscher, and Edo de Waart, principal guest conductor of San Diego.

Building on the success of past seasons by intentionally programming to attract new audiences with diverse musical genres, the 2020-21 season welcomes back Jazz @The Jacobs curated by Gilbert Castellanos, and Broadway @The Jacobs, in its second year, featuring concerts with Megan Hilty on October 23 and Patti LuPone on January 9. Special concerts this season include the Vienna Boys Choir on November 21, Steve Hackman's Brahms v. Radiohead on November 22, and the always-popular Noel Noel holiday concerts.

Annual January Festival

Through a three-week January festival: "In the Name of the Earth", the deep connection musicians and composers have with nature will be explored. San Diegans are particularly blessed by the unique beauty of our region, where the ocean, desert and mountains meet, and where two countries share not just a border but also a delicate ecosystem. Curated by percussionist and conductor Steven Schick, "In the Name of the Earth" focuses on music and art that pays tribute to nature's power and majesty. The San Diego Symphony performs works ranging from Beethoven and Mahler to contemporary masters like Tan Dun, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and John Luther Adams. As the season unfolds, additional performances and events by other artists from various disciplines, environmentalists, and partner organizations will be announced.

Debuts in the 2020-2021 Season

Fourteen works will receive their San Diego Symphony Orchestra debut during the 2020-21 season. They include: JOHN LUTHER ADAMS: Become Desert (co-commission and premiere); BRITTEN: "Four Sea Interludes" from Peter Grimes; CHEN YI: Ge xu (Antiphony); ANNA CLYNE: Abstractions; BRETT DEAN: Piano Concerto, Gneixendorf Music - A Winter's Journey (West Coast premiere); TAN DUN: Water Concerto; JANÁČEK: Taras Bulba; REINALDO MOYA: Siempre lunes, siempre marzo (Always Monday, Always March); MOZART: Serenade No. 10 for Winds, Gran Partita; RAMEAU: Suite from Les Boréades; ESA-PEKKA SALONEN: Nyx; SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 8; STRAVINSKY: Scherzo fantastique; ANNA THORVALDSDOTTIR: Metacosmos.

The San Diego Symphony brings the world's top artists to Southern California audiences. The 2020-21 Jacobs Masterworks season highlights nine highly acclaimed and accomplished guest musicians making debuts with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and they include: Harry Bicket, conductor; Guy Braunstein, violin; Michelle DeYoung, mezzo-soprano; Veronika Eberle, violin; Ingrid Fliter, piano; Paul Huang, violin; John Moore, baritone; Trevor Pinnock, conductor; Stefan Vinke, tenor.

Fox Theatre Film Series

The Fox Theatre Film Series continues to bring film to life in a new way for audiences. The 2020-21 series features Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale in Concert on November 20. Conducted by Scott Terrell, the orchestra will perform composer David Arnold's thrilling musical score live to Picture. On December 18, to celebrate the holidays, Charles Dickens' classic Christmas tale - A Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert - is brought to life by Jim Henson's beloved Muppet characters and the San Diego Symphony. Featuring John Powell's Oscar-nominated score performed live to picture, DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon - In Concert conducted by Nicholas Buc will be performed May 1. In addition, silent film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, will spook audiences on Halloween Eve accompanied by our huge original pipe organ. Silent film director F.W. Murnau created the classic 1922 German expressionist retelling of every kid's favorite campfire tale: Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Family Concerts

Children and their parents are introduced to symphonic music through engaging and enlightening family concerts. This season's family concerts include Play Me a Story: The Firebird, where audiences will learn musical concepts such as rhythm, melody, harmony and discover the unique qualities of each instrument section of the orchestra; Noel Noel Family, featuring timeless holiday classics; Orchestra as Ecosystem, explore how natural and orchestral ecosystems work together in harmony; Symphony in Space, featuring classic and modern orchestral favorites paired with dynamic visuals and video, this concert will be an irresistibly engaging journey.

Special Subscription Options

This season the San Diego Symphony is offering four new subscription options. Subscription Package pricing ranges from $54 - $1,442.

  • Payare Fridays (7 concerts): $140 to $756
  • Piano Saturday (4 concerts): $80 to $432
  • Beethoven Sunday (4 concerts): $80 to $432
  • Glorious Voices (4 concerts): $80 to $432

Subscriptions for 2020-2021 are available for renewal Sunday, April 5. Single tickets go on sale Sunday, August 23.

San Diego Symphony
Copley Symphony Hall / Jacobs Music Center
750 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Box Office: 619.235.0804
Website: www.sandiegosymphony.org

JACOBS MASTERWORKS 2020-2021 SEASON

FRI OCT 9 & 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

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

FRI NOV 6 & SAT NOV 7, 8PM

PAYARE, BEETHOVEN, SHOSTAKOVICH
Rafael Payare, conductor
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 8

FRI NOV 13 & 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

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

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)

SAT JAN 23, 8PM | SUN JAN 24, 2PM

WATER CONCERTO & SCHEHERAZADE
Gemma New, conductor
Steven Schick, percussion
BRITTEN: "Four Sea Interludes" from Peter Grimes
TAN DUN: Water Concerto
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Scheherazade

FRI JAN 29 & 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)

FRI FEB 5, 8PM | SUN FEB 7, 1PM

BEETHOVEN & RACHMANINOFF
Matthias Pintscher, conductor
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 8
RACHMANINOFF: Symphony No. 2

FRI FEB 26 & 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

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

FRI MAR 12 & 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

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

FRI APR 9 & 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

FRI APR 16 & 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

FRI MAY 7 & 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

FRI MAY 14, 8PM | SUN MAY 16, 2PM

PAYARE CONDUCTS TWO BY TCHAIKOVSKY
Rafael Payare, conductor
Guy Braunstein, violin
TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto
JANÁČEK: Taras Bulba
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 2, Little Russian

FRI MAY 21 & SAT MAY 22, 8PM | SUN MAY 23, 2PM

SEASON FINALE: PAYARE & WEILERSTEIN
Rafael Payare, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
STRAUSS:Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks
ELGAR: Cello Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 4

2020-2021 SPECIAL CONCERTS

SAT NOV 21, 8PM

VIENNA BOYS CHOIR*

SUN NOV 22, 7:30PM
STEVE HACKMAN'S BRAHMS V. RADIOHEAD

SAT DEC 12, SUN DEC 13, SAT DEC 19, SUN DEC 20, 7:30PM
SUN DEC 20, 2PM
NOEL NOEL

FRI FEB 19, 8PM
LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION*

2020-2021 FAMILY CONCERT SERIES

SUN OCT 25, 2PM
PLAY ME A STORY: THE FIREBIRD

SUN DEC 13, 2PM
NOEL NOEL FAMILY

SUN FEB 14, 2PM
ORCHESTRA AS ECOSYSTEM

SUN APR 25, 2PM
SYMPHONY IN SPACE

2020-2021 FOX THEATRE FILM SERIES

FRI OCT 30, 7:30PM
NOSFERATU: A SYMPHONY OF HORROR*

FRI NOV 20, 7:30PM
CASINO ROYALE IN CONCERT

FRI DEC 18, 7:30PM
A MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL IN CONCERT

SAT MAY 1, 7:30 PM
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON IN CONCERT
How To Train Your Dragon © 2010 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Right Reserved.

2020-2021 BROADWAY @ THE JACOBS

FRI, OCT 23, 8PM
MEGAN HILTY*

SAT JAN 9, 8PM
PATTI LUPONE: DON'T MONKEY WITH BROADWAY

SAT FEB 20, 8PM
FRANK & ELLA

2020-2021 JAZZ @ THE JACOBS

SAT OCT 17, 8PM
DUETS - DIANNE REEVES, CHUCHO VALDÉS & JOE LOVANO*

SAT NOV 28, 8PM
THE JOEY ALEXANDER TRIO*

SAT FEB 6, 8PM
JAZZ TRUMPET MASTERS*

SAT MAR 27, 8PM
DIZ N' BIRD: CHARLIE PARKER AND DIZZY GILLESPIE: JAZZ AT MASSEY HALL (THE QUINTET)*

*The San Diego Symphony does not perform on these concerts.



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