Press Room


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

(415) 503-5474
[email protected]

May 11, 2023


Conductors Edwin Outwater, Anna Rakitina, and Joshua Weilerstein lead classical programs at Davies Symphony Hall with performances by violinist Alexi Kenney, pianist Denis Kozhukhin, and cellist Sterling Elliott

Special guest performances by singer Aída Cuevas, Maxwell, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and Steve Hackman’s Tchaikovsky X Drake

San Francisco Symphony presents Sing-a-long-a Sound of Music

Summer film concerts include Ratatouille, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Batman

Edwin Outwater conducts the San Francisco Symphony in the Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular at Shoreline Amphitheatre

San Francisco Symphony performs four concerts at Frost Amphitheater, presented by Stanford Live and the San Francisco Symphony, July 7, 14, 21 & 28

San Francisco Symphony performs a free concert at Sigmund Stern Grove featuring funk band Lettuce on a program conducted by Christopher Dragon and Edwin Outwater, July 23

Tickets on sale now via 

Click to access the online Summer with the Symphony Press Kit, which includes downloadable artist headshots and performance images from past SF Symphony summer concerts.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—The San Francisco Symphony today announced programming for its summer season, running July 4–August 5 with concerts at Davies Symphony Hall and outdoor performances at Frost Amphitheater at Stanford University, Shoreline Amphitheatre, and Sigmund Stern Grove. The Symphony’s summer season includes a wide range of programs, from concerts dedicated to classical masterworks to film performances, and special presentations featuring exciting guest artists.

The San Francisco Symphony performs 11 programs at Davies Symphony Hall this summer, including concerts with traditional concert repertoire, guest performances from noted artists, and unique film programs.

Classical programs
Guest conductors Edwin Outwater, Anna Rakitina, and Joshua Weilerstein lead classical programs at Davies Symphony Hall with performances by violinist Alexi Kenney, pianist Denis Kozhukhin, and cellist Sterling Elliott. The San Francisco Symphony will also bring each of these programs to Stanford University’s Frost Amphitheater as part of the Stanford Live Arts Festival in July.

Anna Rakitina (Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra) makes her debut with the San Francisco Symphony on July 13 in a program of works by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Edward Elgar. Rakitina is joined by pianist Denis Kozhukhin for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and the program also includes Elgar’s Enigma Variations, a series of variations inspired by the composer’s friends.

Edwin Outwater (Music Director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Music Director Laureate of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and former Director of Summer Concerts at the San Francisco Symphony) returns to the Symphony on July 22 to conduct selections from film scores, including Elmer Bernstein’s Theme from The Magnificent Seven; Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Suite from On the Waterfront; music from Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho and Vertigo; selections from Miklós Rózsa’s Ben-Hur; and music from John Williams’ Jaws and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. The program also features cellist Sterling Elliott performing Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Cello Concerto in C (from Deception) with Outwater and the Orchestra.

Joshua Weilerstein (Chief Conductor of the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra) leads the Orchestra in Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto featuring violinist Alexi Kenney on July 6. Weilerstein also conducts Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World, written during the composer’s sojourn in the United States, and the first San Francisco Symphony performances of Pavel Haas’ Study for Strings.

Special events and guest performances
On July 15, vocalist Aída Cuevas joins the Symphony for a performance conducted by Enrico Lopez-Yañez. Known as “The Queen of Mariachi,” Cuevas became the first woman in the genre of mariachi to be awarded a Grammy when she won the award for Best Regional Mexican Music Album in 2018.

On July 16, the hills are alive as Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music, the smash hit musical event, comes to Davies Symphony Hall in glorious Technicolor. For those not yet converted, this special The Sound of Music event features the classic 1965 film complete with subtitles so the whole audience can join in. Attendees can cheer Maria and boo the Nazi’s as a live host leads the whole audience in a vocal warm-up and shows audiences members all the moves to Do-Re-Mi and how to use the free magic moment fun bags that are distributed as part of the show. (Not to forget the world-famous fancy-dress competition.) So, get those vocal chords warmed up, cut up those chintz curtains, and hurry down for the perfect night out. Please note this is a screening of the movie, not a live stage show, and the San Francisco Symphony does not appear in this presentation.

On July 19, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus (SFGMC) performs music from Elton John’s album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road as well as selections from The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz, and the musical Wicked. The concert, which marks the 50th anniversary of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, is SFGMC’s second collaboration and performance with the Symphony.

On July 29, Steve Hackman conducts the San Francisco Symphony in his Tchaikovsky X Drake, a symphonic synthesis that blends the music of two composer-romanticists separated by almost a century. The program weaves 22 songs by Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Drake into Tchaikovsky’s epic Fifth Symphony, as the lyrics of the former serve to advance the narrative program of the latter.

On August 4 & 5, soul and R&B star Maxwell joins forces with the Symphony for two performances conducted by Steven Reineke. A three-time Grammy winner, Maxwell has released five albums in addition to receiving the “Legend” award at the Soul Train Awards in 2021. The performances precede the highly anticipated arrival of his forthcoming album, blacksummers’NIGHT, the third installment in a musical trilogy he began in 2009.

Film concerts
The San Francisco Symphony’s summer season includes several film presentations, featuring the Orchestra performing movie scores live while the films are projected onto a large screen above the stage. On July 8 & 9, Thiago Tiberio leads the Orchestra in Disney and Pixar’s Ratatouille live-to-film, featuring a score by Oscar®-winning composer Michael Giacchino. On July 27, 28 & 30, Constantine Kitsopoulos conducts Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, with music composed by John Williams. The July 28 performance will take place at Stanford Live’s Frost Amphitheater. The final film performances of the summer feature Matt Reeves’ 2022 film The Batman, with Joshua Gersen conducting Michael Giacchino’s score, August 2 & 3.

The San Francisco Symphony performs four Friday evening concerts at Stanford Live’s Frost Amphitheater, featuring programs also presented at Davies Symphony Hall. The concerts are part of the Stanford Live Arts Festival at Frost, a month-long series of outdoor performances presented in partnership with Bay Area partners. The 2023 edition of SF Symphony at Frost kicks off on July 7 with conductor Joshua Weilerstein and violinist Alexi Kenney, followed by a concert on July 14, featuring conductor Anna Rakitina and pianist Denis Kozhukhin. Conductor Edwin Outwater conducts a “Golden Age of Cinema” concert on July 21, with cellist Sterling Elliott as soloist. The final performance at Frost takes place on July 28, featuring Constantine Kitsopoulos conducting Raiders of the Lost Ark, live to film. This summer marks the fourth season of SF Symphony at Frost, presented by Stanford Live. The series was inaugurated in 2019 when the SF Symphony partnered with Stanford Live to present concerts annually in the newly renovated Frost Amphitheater.

Stanford Live presents a wide range of fine performances from around the world, fostering a vibrant learning community and providing distinctive experiences through the performing arts. From its home at Bing Concert Hall and Frost Amphitheater, Stanford Live functions simultaneously as a public square, a sanctuary and a lab, drawing from all Stanford University has to offer to connect performance to the most significant issues, ideas, and discoveries of our time.

Kicking off the summer season on July 4, Edwin Outwater leads the San Francisco Symphony in the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. The program opens with John Stafford Smith’s The Star-Spangled Banner and features works by John Williams, Aaron Copland, Ervin Rouse, and George Gershwin, among others. After intermission, vocalist Capathia Jenkins joins Outwater and the Orchestra for a tribute to Aretha Franklin, followed by a spectacular fireworks display.

On July 23, conductors Christopher Dragon and Edwin Outwater lead the San Francisco Symphony in a concert at the 86th Stern Grove Festival—the admission-free performing arts series that takes place every summer in the natural outdoor amphitheater at Sigmund Stern Grove. In addition to giving annual performances at the Stern Grove Festival since the festival’s formation in 1938, the San Francisco Symphony also played the very first concert in the Grove in 1932, a year after Rosalie M. Stern purchased Stern Grove and gave it as a gift to the City of San Francisco in memory of her husband Sigmund, a prominent civic leader. The program features funk band Lettuce in their SF Symphony debut. The members of Lettuce formed the band as teenagers during a summer program at the Berklee College of Music, and they have since released eight studio albums and received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2020.

This concert is presented in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission.

Admission to the July 23 Stern Grove concert is free with advance reservations required. Reservations can be made online via beginning June 23.

Click to access the online Summer with the Symphony Press Kit, which includes downloadable artist headshots and performance images from past SF Symphony summer concerts.

About the San Francisco Symphony
The San Francisco Symphony is among the most 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 12th Music Director, embarking on a new vision for the present and future of the orchestral landscape. In their inaugural season together, Mr. 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 artistic and administrative areas. Shaped by the dynamic partnership and shared vision of Mr. Salonen, the Collaborative Partners, and the Orchestra and Chorus, the San Francisco Symphony’s 2022–23 season reflects a spirit of collaboration, experimentation, and renewed dialogue through live music.



Tickets for concerts at Davies Symphony Hall start at $25 and can be purchased beginning May 11 at 10am PT via or by calling the San Francisco Symphony Box Office at 415.864.6000.

Tickets for concerts at Frost Amphitheater start at $25 and can be purchased via Stanford Live.

Tickets for the Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular at Shoreline Amphitheatre start at $25 and can be purchased via

Admission for the Stern Grove Festival is free, with advance reservations required. Reservations can be made online via beginning on June 23 at 10am PT. General Admission reservations can be made for up to 4 people per reservation. Senior and ADA seating is available on a first come first served basis once on site and is available for 1 senior and 1 guest. Children 2+ require their own reservation. For more information, visit


Davies Symphony Hall is located at 201 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco.

Frost Amphitheater is located at 351 Lasuen Street, at the intersection of Lasuen Street and Roth Way on the Stanford University campus.

Shoreline Amphitheatre is located at One Amphitheatre Pkwy in Mountain View.

Stern Grove Festival takes place in Sigmund Stern Grove, located at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco.

Health & Safety Information

Davies Symphony Hall: Davies Symphony Hall is currently operating at full audience capacity. Based on the advice of the San Francisco Symphony’s Health and Safety Task Force, a face covering and vaccination against COVID-19 are strongly recommended but no longer required for entry into Davies Symphony Hall. These policies are subject to change. Visit for the San Francisco Symphony’s complete up-to-date health and safety protocols.

Frost Amphitheater: As of April 4, 2022, it is no longer required to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test to attend events at Frost Amphitheater. Stanford Live is monitoring local COVID-19 trends and will follow protocols mandated by local governments and Stanford University. More information can be found here.

Frost Amphitheater has a clear bag policy. Only small clutch bags (no larger than 5” x 8”), clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC bags that do not exceed 12"W x 12"H x 6"D, and one-gallon clear plastic bags will be allowed inside the venue. Please visit the What to Bring page to learn more.

Shoreline Amphitheatre: Shoreline Amphitheatre has implemented a bag policy allowing only clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC tote bags no larger than 12” x 6” x 12” and/or small clutch bags (6” x 9”).

Sigmund Stern Grove: Masks are no longer required but recommended for high-risk individuals. For more information, visit  

[To view or download the full PDF version of this press release with calendar listings, click on DOWNLOAD PDF]

Summer 2023 Press Kit & Photo Library

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