Press Room


Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

(415) 503-5474
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Nov 10, 2021


Reopening Night Concert conducted by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, featuring SF Symphony Collaborative Partner singer and bassist esperanza spalding and Alonzo King LINES Ballet; recorded live on October 1, 2021 at Davies Symphony Hall
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The San Francisco Symphony’s Reopening Night Concert, led by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen and recorded live on October 1, 2021 for Great Performances, premieres November 19, 2021 on PBS. The celebratory concert opened the San Francisco Symphony’s 110th season and marked the first live opening night concert together for Salonen and the Symphony since he assumed the post of Music Director last season. The program includes John Adams’ Slonimsky’s Earbox, Alberto Ginastera’s Estancia Suite, with dancers from San Francisco-based contemporary ballet company LINES Ballet performing original choreography by Alonzo King, Silvestre Revueltas’ Noche de encantamiento from his film score to La noche de los Mayas, and features SF Symphony Collaborative Partner singer and bassist esperanza spalding with a jazz trio comprised of Ravi Coltrane on saxophone, Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, and Leo Genovese on piano, performing Wayne Shorter’s Gaia with the San Francisco Symphony. Musical America raves, “For the 41 years it’s been open, Davies Symphony Hall has never sounded or looked like it did on Friday, October 1. The occasion was the San Francisco Symphony’s brilliantly conceived and realized 2021–22 season “Re-Opening Night,” under new Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen . . . The re-opening became a kind of promise that what’s been lost can and will be recovered and then some in invigorating new ways.” The Great Performances concert program also features interstitial interviews with Esa-Pekka Salonen, esperanza spalding, Alonzo King, Ravi Coltrane, SF Symphony musicians, and LINES Ballet dancers. Great Performances: San Francisco Symphony Reopening Night airs nationally Friday, November 19 at 9pm PT on PBS (check local listings), including locally in the Bay Area on PBS-KQED9, and on, and will be available for on-demand streaming on the PBS Video app.

Great Performances Series Overview
Throughout its nearly fifty-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. Showcasing a diverse range of artists from around the world, the series has earned 67 Emmy Awards and six Peabody Awards. Peek behind the curtain at the Great Performances website for exclusive videos, interviews, photos, full episodes, and more. The series is produced by The WNET Group.

Production Credits
Directed by Michael Beyer and produced by Bernhard Fleischer, Great Performances: San Francisco Symphony Reopening Night is a production of BFMI and The WNET Group. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.

Series funding for Great Performances was made possible by The Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Jody and John Arnhold, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, the Abra Prentice Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, The Starr Foundation, the Seton J. Melvin Charitable Trust, the Estate of Worthington Mayo-Smith, and Ellen and James S. Marcus.

About the San Francisco Symphony
The San Francisco Symphony is widely considered to be among the most artistically adventurous and innovative arts institutions in the United States, celebrated for its artistic excellence, creative performance concepts, active touring, award-winning recordings, and standard-setting education programs. In the 2020–21 season, the San Francisco Symphony welcomed conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen as its twelfth Music Director, embarking on a new vision for the present and future of the orchestral landscape. In their inaugural season together, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony introduced a groundbreaking artistic leadership model anchored by eight Collaborative Partners from a variety of cultural disciplines: Nicholas Britell, Julia Bullock, Claire Chase, Bryce Dessner, Pekka Kuusisto, Nico Muhly, Carol Reiley, and esperanza spalding. This group of visionary artists, thinkers, and doers, along with Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony, have set out to explore and develop new ideas inspired by the Partners’ unique areas of expertise, including innovative digital projects, expansive and imaginative performance concepts in a variety of concert formats, commissions of new music, and projects that foster collaboration across all areas.

About The WNET Group  
The WNET Group creates inspiring media content and meaningful experiences for diverse audiences nationwide. It is the community-supported home of New York’s THIRTEEN—America’s flagship PBS station, WLIW21, THIRTEEN PBSKids, WLIW World and Create; NJ PBS, New Jersey’s statewide public television network; Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM; ALL ARTS, the arts and culture media provider; and newsroom NJ Spotlight News. Through these channels and streaming platforms, The WNET Group brings arts, culture, education, news, documentary, entertainment, and DIY programming to more than five million viewers each month. The WNET Group’s award-winning productions include signature PBS series NatureGreat PerformancesAmerican MastersPBS NewsHour Weekend and Amanpour and Company and trusted local news programs MetroFocus and NJ Spotlight News with Briana Vannozzi. Inspiring curiosity and nurturing dreams, The WNET Group’s award-winning Kids’ Media and Education team produces the PBS KIDS series Cyberchase, interactive Mission US history games, and resources for families, teachers and caregivers. A leading nonprofit public media producer for nearly 60 years, The WNET Group presents and distributes content that fosters lifelong learning, including multiplatform initiatives addressing poverty, jobs, economic opportunity, social justice, understanding, and the environment. Through Passport, station members can stream new and archival programming anytime, anywhere. The WNET Group represents the best in public media.

Great Performances links:,, @GPerfPBS,, #GreatPerformancesPBS #PBSForTheArts

[For the full PDF version of this press release, click on DOWNLOAD PDF]

Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen 

esperanza spalding with the San Francisco Symphony 

Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancers with the San Francisco Symphony 

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