San Diego Symphony Announces 2024-25 Inaugural Season in Transformed Jacobs Music Center

May 9, 2024

The San Diego Symphony and music director Rafael Payare announced the 2024-25 season, which welcomes audiences to a revitalized indoor home, Jacobs Music Center. Following a complete renovation, the nearly-100-year-old-theater has been transformed into an intimate concert hall. Elements of the renovation include new seating and finishes; restored architectural details; modernized lighting, sound, video and recording equipment; updated and expanded support spaces for musicians; and enhanced audience amenities. 

The opening night concert and gala event on September 28 will feature Payare leading the orchestra in the world premiere of “Welcome, Home!!,” a fanfare for Jacobs Music Center commissioned by the San Diego Symphony from Korean-born American composer Texu Kim. Soloists include Inon Barnatan (piano), Alisa Weilerstein (cello), Hera Hyesang-Park (soprano), and Jeff Thayer (violin) and the program features works by Paganini, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Rossini, and Ravel.

“We are so excited to welcome audiences to our new home and for people to experience this extraordinary orchestra in a hall that now matches its virtuosity,” said Payare, whose contract extends through the 2026–27 season. “We have assembled an array of exciting and different programs with special guest artists and opportunities for the orchestra to play in a wide range of configurations, demonstrating the sonic capabilities of our new home and the superb artistry of our musicians.”

In addition to the opening night program, the inaugural season will feature 20 classical masterworks programs curated to showcase the orchestra and a variety of esteemed guest artists, musical perspectives, and experiences.

Payare leads the debuts of soprano Angela Meade and mezzo-soprano Anna Larsson in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, featuring the San Diego Symphony Festival Chorus and advisor and chorus master Andrew Megill, also making their debuts. Austrian composer Thomas Larcher’s work Time, co-commissioned by the San Diego Symphony, opens the program (October 4-6). 

Payare conducts Arnold Schoenberg’s symphonic poem Pelleas und Melisande as part of international celebrations marking the 150th birthday of the composer (October 12-13). Completing the concert is Armenian violinist Sergey Khachatryan performing Brahms’s Violin Concerto. Next, Prokofiev’s score for the ballet Romeo and Juliet is offered in a unique concert experience complete with projections and other theatrical elements from director Gerard McBurney, coupled with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 played by pianist Emanuel Ax (October 18-20). In December, Payare returns to perform a program featuring Strauss’s Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streich, and leads Inon Barnatan in Shostakovich’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2 (December 6-8).

The start of 2025 offers Payare leading the world premiere of Los Angeles composer Billy Childs’s Concerto for Orchestra commissioned by San Diego Symphony, along with Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 performed by the pianist Alexander Malofeev in his company debut, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (January 31-February 1). In February, Taiwanese violist Chi-Yuan Chen tackles Walton’s Viola Concerto in a program including Strauss’s Death and Transfiguration and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, led by Payare (February 8-9). 

Payare returns to lead the season’s three final programs: Unsuk Chin’s Cello Concerto with cellist Alisa Weilerstein and Bruckner Symphony No. 7 (May 10-11); followed by pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet playing Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 5, coupled with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7; “Leningrad” (May 16-17); and Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill making her debut in Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with chorus (May 23-25). 

Explore the full season at