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San Diego Symphony to Return to Hall Following Renovations

The $125 million renovation has been carried out following a gift from philanthropist Joan Jacobs


In Fall 2024, the San Diego Symphony (SDS) is set to return to its hall, which has undergone a transformational $125 million renovation. They are based at the Jacobs Music Center, and their performance space of Fox Hall has undergone a number of improvements.

One new addition is a choral terrace, which has been placed behind the stage. The space can be used either for a choir or to seat more audience members in concerts where a choir is not featured. This new seating will provide audience members with a fresh view: they will be able to see the conductor's face and gestures in detail, as well as be closer to the orchestra's players.

Several rows of seating have also been removed from the back of the theater, giving it a slightly more intimate feel.

SDS Music Director Rafael Payare said that he felt that once completed, the concert hall will rank among the top five spaces available in the United States.

"It’s just going to be phenomenal," Payare said. "It’s not a small hall, I mean, it’s still a big, big hall. But now, somehow, everything feels more connected. Now, we’re part of this wonderful thing that we could have synergy in between when we are actually doing music, which is very important for us when we are going to be on the stage."

"The latest technology for sound, lighting, acoustics, the grid room at the top...all this incredible mechanical engineering takes place so that you can effortlessly see sound panels float above the stage or sophisticated lighting fixtures," said Martha Gilmer, the SDS CEO.

"The hall is flexible," she added. "There are draperies hidden behind walls that an event, a film, spoken word, amplified musicians can also be at home on that stage when it needs to be less reverberant...we’re able to tune the hall and adjust it in such a way to make an excellent concert hall for that as well."


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