San Francisco Symphony
The San Francisco Symphony stands as an icon to the resiliency of San Francisco. The 1906 earthquake in the great city may have destroyed the buildings, but one thing was clear - San Franciscans were not about to live without their music. Plans to rebuild the city's musical future were immediate. Five years later, the current San Francisco Symphony was born.
Michael Tilson Thomas is the San Francisco Symphony's current musical director. After acquiring the position in 1995, Mr. Tilson brought his skill working with the London Symphony Orchestra back to San Francisco where he had started his symphony career in 1974.
The San Francisco Symphony official season starts in the fall; however, the symphony holds concerts throughout the year. They also have many educational programs designed to introduce children of all ages to the world of classical music. Concerts For Kids sends musical CDs and booklets to classrooms before children have the opportunity to attend a live concert. Adventures In Music I allows musicians to enter classroom settings where third, fourth, and five grade students in San Francisco discover more about a variety of instruments and musical styles. This program ends up at the Davies Symphony Hall, where the Symphony treats the children to a concert. Adventures In Music II offers the same program, but for younger children.
The surrounding community also benefits from the San Francisco Symphony. Once a year, the San Francisco Symphony treats residents to a free concert at the Stern Grove Festival. Every October, the symphony also creates a family-oriented musical program that lasts for four weekends. This program features music children and parents both know and love. The San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra provides certain talented area youngsters with a chance to gain free musical training.
Typically, the San Francisco Symphony holds concerts five nights per week. The program changes constantly and surprise guests, such as Elvis Costello, often make appearances for special performances.
The main programs held by the San Francisco Symphony include many special additions. The Friday 6.5 offers concerts that start at 6:30 pm. The Great Performers Series feature special guests who amaze the audience. The Target Music Series introduces parents and children to symphony music. The Youth Orchestra concerts allow young artists to demonstrate their tremendous skill. Chamber Music concerts allow musicians to perform emotionally charged concerts. Open Rehearsals offer a low cost chance for the audience to see how the music all comes together from the very beginning. Concerts can be heard live on local radio stations and over the internet. Finally, the Flint Series finds the San Francisco Symphony performing in nearby Cupertino's Flint Center.
A number of magnificent restaurants and hotels can be found near the San Francisco Symphony. From Anuna Fuara Vegetarian Restaurant, which specializes in vegetarian cuisine, to The Blue Muse Restaurant and Bar, which offers French cuisine, there is something available to please every palette and lifestyle.
Hotels are in abundance, as well. Someone looking for an intimate place to stay might want to consider staying at the Inn at the Opera, which is only a block away from the San Francisco Symphony. The Ramada Plaza Hotel is another great nearby option that offers a number of amenities. For those with families, the Handlery Hotel is also close to the Symphony, but offers mid-range prices and a family atmosphere.
Ticket prices to programs at the Symphony will vary depending on the required seating. Friday 6.5 performances range from $20 to $107. Great Performers Series tickets can be acquired for as little as $20, depending on the guest. Target Music Series sell out quickly, so it's best to get tickets months in advance. Youth Orchestra concerts range from $10 to $25 for single tickets. Chamber Music concerts start at $30. Open Rehearsals can cost between $19 and $35. The Flint Series in Cupertino ranges from $20 to $65. Tickets can be easily purchased online.