Founded in 2002, Symphony Silicon Valley has progressed from daring idea to exciting reality, rapidly becoming the greater South Bay's premiere orchestra and a notable community success story.
As the Mercury News wrote:
Symphony Silicon Valley began as a phoenix orchestra, rising from the ashes of the old San Jose Symphony. But ...the "new" orchestra…is becoming a fixture on the scene, with its own way of doing things. One night it may play Ellington, the next Mozart…carving out its own identity with numerous guest conductors, some unique repertory and a celebrated new home at the California.
The Symphony's artists, nationally recruited, locally resident, with an average performance tenure in San Jose of over 20 years, are recognized as among the best in the greater Bay Area. Led by an exciting roster of distinguished guest conductors on the European model, the Symphony is an anchor tenant of San Jose's magnificently restored downtown California Theatre, one of Northern California's most outstanding music halls. There, audiences and critics alike greet its concerts with enthusiasm.
The Symphony subscription season includes seven program sets of two or three concerts each, plus other programs such as December's Carols in the California, and additional concerts by the Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale. Subscription concerts are enhanced by 'Music Notes' lectures before each Saturday and Sunday concert and half-hour chamber music programs prior to each Thursday concert.
In addition to its regular subscription concerts, the Symphony produces free outreach programs for thousands of our community's children each season. It accompanies many Ballet San Jose performances, and performs for other community events that range from San Jose State University's recent 150th Anniversary Gala Concert to concerts of music and visuals from popular video games.
Symphony Silicon Valley is setting an example of an innovative business model in the arts -- market driven and financially conservative, with low overhead and the flexibility to match its programming to its support base. It earns 60% of its revenue each year – an extraordinarily high proportion for a symphony of its size.
After Symphony Silicon Valley's second program in the California Theatre, the Mercury News critic closed his review with a phrase that the Symphony has adopted to sum up its new civic and cultural role in San Jose: "Exciting? Absolutely!"