Press Room


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

(415) 503-5474
[email protected]

Nov 5, 2021


2021–22 season curated by drummer & composer Quentin E. Baxter, December 16–17; composer Jamie Man, January 14–15; violinist & SF Symphony Collaborative Partner Pekka Kuusisto and composer & developer Jesper Nordin, February 25–26; and composer Tyshawn Sorey, March 25–26

SoundBox kicks off December 16–17 with “Embarkation” curated by Quentin E. Baxter; tickets on sale now via

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The San Francisco Symphony’s groundbreaking SoundBox series returns for an eighth season in 2021–22 with four live programs, curated by Quentin E. Baxter, Jamie Man, Pekka Kuusisto & Jesper Nordin, and Tyshawn Sorey. This experimental late-night live music series is a laboratory for exploration of new musical ideas and immersive audience experiences, continuously pushing the envelope with adventurous programming and innovative design. Taking place in a backstage rehearsal space at Davies Symphony Hall, each performance is unique—encompassing shifting stage settings, art installations, projection screens, and unexpected elements, featuring original lighting design by Luke Kritzeck and video design by Adam Larsen. “SoundBox offers an alternative to the traditional concert hall experience. A Vegas-style nightclub with high-tech light and sound, video screens, and several stages has become San Francisco's hottest venue for classical music” (Associated Press). Wildly successful since its debut in 2014, SoundBox has been widely recognized for its creative approach to the orchestral medium and its ability to galvanize a diverse demographic. Television segments about SoundBox have been aired by PBS NewsHour, CBS This Morning, and WIRED.
One of the signature elements of SoundBox has been the acoustic transformation of a 7,600 square foot warehouse-like rehearsal space adjacent to Davies Symphony Hall into an imaginative performance venue through use of the Meyer Sound Constellation system. With Constellation, composers and conductors select from different acoustic environments for each musical piece—and can custom program a completely new environment if desired. The use of this acoustic sound system provides ultimate versatility and accommodates a variety of musical styles and ensembles within one performance.
SoundBox kicks off the 2021–22 season on December 16–17, with a program titled Embarkation, curated by Grammy Award-winning drummer/producer and composer Quentin E. Baxter, conducted by Edwin Outwater, and featuring Kebbi Williams on saxophone. The program is imbued with the musical and spoken rhythms, bold colors, and landscapes that evoke home, heritage, and new horizons. SoundBox: Embarkation is steeped in the sounds of Baxter’s hometown of Charleston, South Carolina and inspired by the artists and poets who live and work there, featuring music by Quentin Baxter, Max Roach, Zoltán Kodály, Trevor Weston, and Maurice Ravel.

SoundBox continues on January 14–15 with a program curated by British-born Chinese composer and conductor Jamie Man, followed by a program curated by violinist and SF Symphony Collaborative Partner Pekka Kuusisto in tandem with Swedish composer and developer Jesper Nordin and conducted by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, February 25–26. The program will feature the first performances of part of a new work that Nordin is writing for Kuusisto, as well as other works for solo violin. The final SoundBox program of the season takes place March 25–26, curated by American composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey.

SoundBox accommodates approximately 500 people, some seated and some standing, offering an alternative to that of the traditional concert hall experience. The space is designed for general admission seating with banquettes, ottomans, barstools, café tables, and high-top cocktail tables. SoundBox has a full bar serving specialty cocktails and gourmet bar bites for enjoyment during the performances. The doors open at 8pm for each event, with the performance beginning at 9pm.

Adapting to restrictions imposed by the pandemic, during the 2020–21 season SoundBox was offered in a new digital format with programs curated by Esa-Pekka Salonen—Patterns and Nostalgia, Julia Bullock—Lineage, Destiny Muhammad—Resilience, Nico Muhly—Focus, Claire Chase—Metamorphoses, and Jeremy Denk—Delirium. The SoundBox video series features performances by members of the San Francisco Symphony and guest artists, unique video projections created by Adam Larsen and Yee Eun Nam, and lighting design by Luke Kritzeck. All previously released digital SoundBox programs remain available for free on-demand viewing via the SFSymphony+ streaming service.

All SoundBox performances take place at 300 Franklin Street (corner of Franklin & Hayes) in San Francisco. 

Tickets to the December 16–17 SoundBox performances are available now via General admission is $65. To become a supporter of SoundBox, patrons may purchase Producer Pass tickets for $500, which give access to an elevated SoundBox experience while also helping to support its future.
  • Tickets to the January 14–15 performances go on sale at 10am on Monday, December 19
  • Tickets to the February 25–26 performances go on sale at 10am on Monday, January 17
  • Tickets to the March 25–26 performances go on sale at 10am on Monday, February 28

Must be 21 or older to attend. Limit 4 General Admission tickets per person, per concert.

Health & SafetyThe San Francisco Symphony requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 for everyone ages 12 and up entering Davies Symphony Hall. Patrons must bring an electronic, photo, or paper copy of their full vaccination record* with them to the concert with appropriate ID matching the name on the vaccination record. All patrons are required to wear a face mask indoors at Davies Symphony Hall while not actively eating or drinking. *If you were vaccinated in California, your Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Record is available by following instructions here:

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