San Diego Symphony’s 2016 Summer Season Sets All-Time Record for Tickets Sold, Revenue and Subscriptions

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Rebranded Bayside Summer Nights exceptional concert lineup boosts Symphony to its most subscribed summer in a decade.

Having concluded its hugely popular 2016 summer season (July 1 – September 4), the San Diego Symphony proudly announces it has set an all-time record for paid attendance and ticket revenue at this year’s Bayside Summer Nights. This summer season proved to be a perfect combination of vibrant performances and engaged audiences at one of San Diego’s most beautiful waterfront outdoor venues.

Additionally, six of the Symphony’s top 10 selling summer performances of all time took place this season with: Diana Ross, Chris Botti, 1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular, Seth MacFarlane, Classical Mystery Tour (a Beatles Tribute) and Bernadette Peters.

In terms of ticket revenue, it was by far the Symphony’s most successful summer for sales in history, putting the 2016 season 19% ahead of last summer’s record sales total. Keeping the records going, this year’s Bayside Summer Nights saw a 71% increase over 2015 in subscription packages and a 33% increase over 2015 in subscription sales, making this season the most subscribed in the Symphony’s modern Summer concerts history. Finally, paid attendance for summer concerts this season exceeded 60,000 for the first time in the Symphony’s history.

“In planning this summer season we wanted to bring the very best artists to our city to match the high artistic level of our Orchestra,” said Martha Gilmer, the Symphony’s chief executive officer. “I believe we succeeded in that goal and it exceeded my expectations. We successfully launched and sustained this season with a new approach entitled ‘Bayside Summer Nights’ and I was thrilled with the obvious resonance this had for so many San Diegans.”

The San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Summer Nights (formerly Summer Pops) concerts began in 1983 at Hospitality Point in Mission Bay Park. Subsequent summer concert locations have been Embarcadero Marina Park South in the early 1990s, Navy Pier, and since 2004, in its current version, back to Embarcadero Marina Park South.

“We welcomed our long-time audience members to a refreshed and reinvigorated experience with superior sound, visuals and at the center, the incredible performances by the San Diego Symphony musicians. At the same time, we welcomed 8,500 new households to the Bayside experience. As we build toward the opening of a new permanent venue, this summer is a gateway to our expanded presence down by the bay,” added Gilmer.

The Symphony now prepares for its highly anticipated Downtown 2016-2017 season. The concert schedule for October is as follows:

October 8: Michael Feinstein & Cheyenne Jackson in Concert
Two acclaimed interpreters of the Great American Songbook join the Orchestra in a concert to launch the 2016-17 Downtown season in a one-night only event.

October 14-16: Opening Weekend with Gil Shaham
Jahja Ling, conductor; Gil Shaham, violin
WILLIAM SCHUMAN: American Festival Overture
MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 3

Grammy Award-winning Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists performing today, and Felix Mendelssohn’s concerto is one of the most perfect (and popular) ever written. Artist and art come together at the heart of our first Jacobs Masterworks weekend of the 2016-17 season.

October 23 (2 p.m.): Peter and The Wolf
This concert is the perfect introduction to symphonic music for the entire family. Prokofiev’s charming Peter and the Wolf is an enchanting musical story that is timeless.

October 23 (7:30 p.m.): The Phantom of the Opera
Get into the Halloween spirit by screening this classic 1925 thriller which launched a pop culture sensation continuing to this day.

October 29: Danny Elfman’s Music From the Films of Tim Burton
Danny Elfman is one of today’s most successful film composers. His famous scores of Tim Burton’s films will be brought to life on stage by the orchestra, and enhanced by the visuals on the new big screen of Burton’s original film sketches, drawings and storyboards.

October 30: Día de los Muertos
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a time when families and friends come together to pray for and remember loved ones who have died, and to help support their spiritual journey. This special concert features the joyous sounds of Mariachi Champaña Nevin along with dancers, singer Aida Cuevas ("The Queen of Ranchera Music") and special alters for the community.

For a full listing of this season’s performances, visit

About the San Diego Symphony
Founded in 1910, the San Diego Symphony is the oldest orchestra in California and one of the largest and most significant cultural organizations in San Diego. In the years since its inception, the SDSO has become one of the leading orchestras in the United States through its commitment to providing musical experiences of superior quality for the greater San Diego community and beyond. In 2010, the SDSO was designated a Tier 1 Orchestra by the League of American Orchestras.

Led by music director Jahja Ling, the Orchestra performs for over 250,000 people each season, offering a wide variety of programming at its two much loved venues, Copley Symphony Hall in downtown San Diego and the Embarcadero Marina Park South on San Diego Bay. The orchestra’s 82 full-time musicians, graduates of the finest and most celebrated music schools in the United States and abroad, also serve as the orchestra for the San Diego Opera each season, as well as performing at several regional performing arts centers. For over 30 years, the San Diego Symphony has provided comprehensive music education and community engagement programs reaching more than 65,000 students annually and bringing innovative programming to San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods and schools. For more information, visit

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Carrie Jones
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