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  San Diego Music

CLASSICAL MUSIC - San Diego eases into the new millennium with a strong classical music offering that reflects the city’s appreciation, and support, for the arts.

San Diego Symphony Copley Symphony Hall

750 B St., San Diego  619-235-0804;

The name San Diego Symphony is sweet music to the ears of San Diegans. In an effort to broaden the base of its audience, the symphony has launched new programs including shorter rush-hour concerts and a family series, which provides an interactive and fun introduction to classical music for the entire family. The artistic director and principal conductor of the symphony is Jung-Ho Pak, whose conducting experience has taken him around the world. The symphony season runs from October to May with performances at both Copley Symphony Hall and the California Center for Arts, Escondido.

La Jolla Chamber Music Society

P.O. Box 2168, La Jolla  858-459-3724;

The La Jolla Chamber Music Society arranges San Diego performances by visiting symphony orchestras, chamber music ensembles and soloists. In August, it stages SummerFest in La Jolla, a much-celebrated festival of chamber music. It also has its own chamber orchestra.

La Jolla Symphony & Chorus Mandeville Auditorium

Gilman Dr. and La Village Dr., La Jolla 858-534-4637;

A community-based, 110-piece orchestra and 130-voice chorus, the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus performs at Mandeville Auditorium on the UCSD campus during its October to June season. It has been cited as one of the country’s top community symphonies.

San Diego Chamber Orchestra


Under the direction of Donald Barra, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra gives performances at Sherwood Auditorium in La Jolla, the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, the Del Mar Fairgrounds and other venues.


A number of local colleges and universities have nationally-renowned arts programs that make it possible for local residents to enjoy quality entertainment that is close to home, and reasonably priced.

Educational Cultural Complex (ECC)Theater

4343 Ocean View Blvd., San Diego  619-277-6090; 619-479-0049

Hidden away on the ECC campus in southeast San Diego, this 300-seat theater delivers fine productions by playwrights’ ranging from August Wilson to Langston Hughes.

Miracosta College

One Barnard Dr., Oceanside; 760-795-6815

Miracosta’s Dramatic Arts program sponsors four main-stage productions each year at the Miracosta Theatre. These include period pieces, modern dramas, comedies and an annual musical.

Palomar College

1140 W. Mission Rd., San Marcos; 760-744-1150

Palomar offers one of the best art departments in San Diego County and frequently hosts art exhibits. The Brubeck Theatre offers symphony, choral, dance and theatrical performances throughout the year.

San Diego State University (SDSU)

5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego

619-594-6884 - Theater

619-594-6020 - Symphony

619-594-5171 - Art Gallery


SDSU’s School of Music & Dance offers jazz, guitar, symphony and dance concerts on campus at the J. Dayton Smith Recital Hall. Some of the performances are free. Most range from $6 to $15. SDSU’s Theater Department stages performances throughout the academic year at the Don Powell Theatre on campus. Past productions have included Shakespeare’s "Macbeth". SDSU also operates its own art gallery with exhibits that are open to the public.

Southwestern College

900 Otay Lakes Rd., Chula Vista  619-482-6367; 619-421-6700

Southwestern has a rich visual and performing arts schedule that includes art shows, plays, chorale and musical concerts, dance performances that take place at the Mayan Hall Theatre, and the Arena Theatre. Some events are free.

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Gilman Dr. and La Jolla Village Dr., La Jolla 858- 534-6467 - UCSD Box Office

619-550-1010 - La Jolla Playhouse  619-534-2533 - 
Art Exhibitions

Graduate and undergraduate students of the UCSD Department of Theater and Dance participate in a full season of performances held at the Mandell Weiss Center for the Performing Arts and the La Jolla Playhouse, both of which are on campus. Season tickets are available, prices vary. UCSD’s Music Department sponsors a broad range of recitals and concerts at the Mandeville Center featuring contemporary chamber music, gospel and jazz. Art exhibits are on display at the Giesel Library.

University of San Diego (USD)

5998 Alcala Park, San Diego 619-260-2280;

Poetry readings and concerts by the USD Chamber Music Ensemble and USD Community Choir are open to the public.


With its blessing of great summer weather, Diego has developed a reputation for exciting, door concerts in parks and by the bay. These some of the more popular events. Most of Sunday concerts are free.

· Alpine Summer Concert Series: 619-445-1818 Held on Sundays, June through August. Free.

· Annual Coronado Promenade Concerts: 619-437-8788;

· Held each Sunday. June through September, in Spreckels Park. Free.

· Annual La Jolla Concerts by the Sea: 619-645-8115;

· Held each Sunday. June through September, at La Jolla Cove. Free.

· Annual Mainly Mozart Festival: 619-239-0100 Held in June at different sites throughout the county.

· Carlsbad Jazz in the Park Series: 760-434-6093 Held on Fridays, June through August. Free.

· Chula Vista Music in The Park: 619-585-5627 Held on Sundays, July through September. Free.

· Encinitas Sunday Concerts by the Sea: 760-633-2740. Held most Sundays, July through August on Moonlight Beach. Free.

· Imperial Beach Chili and Jazz Festival: 619-575-7997 Held in May Free.

· International Summer Organ Festival: 619-702-8138; Held Mondays and Sundays, June through August in Balboa Park. Free.

· Lemon Grove Concerts in the Park: 619-668-4575 Held Thursday evenings in July Free.

· Mission Hills Concerts in the Park Series: 619-298-8533 Held Fridays, July through August. Free.

· Rock ‘N Roll Marathon: 858-450-6510 Held in May consists of a 26.2 mile footrace with 26 bands playing live music along the course.

· Twilight in the Park Summer Concerts: 619-235-1105; Held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in Balboa Park, June though August. Free.



Since its inception in 1965, the San Diego Opera has evolved into a dynamic cultural force in San Diego, annually staging five productions featuring works of masters such as Mozart, Puccini and Verdi. Its lavish productions of both long-standing favorites and modern works have been applauded by critics and audiences. San Diego Opera also has a recital series which has included sold-out concerts by such famed singers as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Kin Te Kanawa, Jose Cameras and Cecilia Bartoli. General Director Ian Campbell, formerly of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, has been with the San Diego Opera since 1983. The opera reaches out to the community through a unique educational program that includes student performances at dress rehearsals and staging operas at schools.

San Diego Opera: 619-232-7636


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