San Diego Symphony adds new October concerts at Rady Shell, including preview of its Carnegie Hall performance

Rafael Payare conducts the San Diego Symphony at The Rady Shell at Jacob Park.
On Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, Rafael Payare conducts the San Diego Symphony at The Rady Shell at Jacob Park.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The orchestra, led by Rafael Payare, will also perform at Soka University in Orange County and Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. New ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’ concerts in San Diego are also confirmed, plus expanded ‘Family Day’ event


Not many Southern Californians may be able to go to the San Diego Symphony’s Oct. 13 concert at Carnegie Hall. But they will have the opportunity to attend preview performances of that New York concert here on Oct. 7 at San Diego’s Rady Shell at Jacobs Park and on Oct. 6 at the Soka University Performing Arts Center in Orange County.

The concert in New York is a prelude to the symphony’s Nov. 4 grand re-opening concert at Jacobs Music Center’s Copley Symphony Hall, following the venue’s $125 million revitalization

April 11, 2023

The repertoire will be identical at all three concerts: Carlos Simon’s Wake Up: A Concerto for Orchestra; Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104; and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47. The orchestra will be led by its music director, Rafael Payare, and the soloist will be his wife, cello star Alisa Weilerstein.

For good measure, the symphony today is also announcing two “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back In Concert” performances, to be held at the Shell Oct. 28 and 29.

They will be followed by an expanded Nov. 5 California Festival Family & Community Day Concert at The Shell. Concurrently, the symphony is kicking off single-ticket sales for its Fall 2023 Jacobs Masterworks concerts, which were previously only available in subscription packages.

The Family & Community Day Concert will feature a smaller chamber orchestra iteration of the symphony, along with performances by the San Diego Youth Symphony, San Diego Master Chorale and Art of Elan.

Originally planned as a ticketed family concert at Jacobs Music Center’s Copley Symphony Hall — whose reopening this fall has been pushed back until next year — it will now be a free event at The Shell. Concertgoers who have already purchased tickets can get credit for other performances.

Free tickets are available online at: The same website can be used to buy tickets for the Oct. 7 Carnegie Hall preview concert (priced from $25-$108) and the two “Star Wars” concerts ($42-$135).

Several November concerts will now pivot to the orchestra’s outdoor Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. The orchestra, led by Rafael Payare, will perform Oct. 13 at Carnegie Hall in New York as planned

July 13, 2023

The Oct. 13 Carnegie Hall concert will mark the symphony’s first performance at the storied venue since its Carnegie debut in 2013. An additional preview concert will be held Oct. 12 at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University, which is about 84 miles from New York City.

“It’s a little tour,” San Diego Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer told the Union-Tribune Monday.

“It’s important for orchestras to play in different venues because it makes them more nimble and improves their ability to respond and react, musically, in different settings. That’s what we’ve been doing the past two years, performing at different indoor venues in and near San Diego, while the Jacobs Music Center is being renovated.”

The delayed reopening of the center will see the symphony use The Shell for its annual holiday concerts, which were scheduled to return this December to Copley Symphony Hall.

An announcement of the holiday shows at The Shell is pending, Gilmer said. She declined to say when the extended renovations at the center will conclude and the venue will reopen.

“When we are confident about when we will reopen is when we’ll announce it,” she said. “I don’t want to announce it twice.”