San Antonio Philharmonic ("SA Phil").Today a group of musicians from the former San Antonio Symphony announced the formation of a new orchestra, the
The San Antonio Symphony, with roots going as far back as 1887, filed bankruptcy and was dissolved by its board in mid-June. Those actions followed a cancelled 2021-22 season and many troubles preceding that.
When the orchestra went on strike in fall 2021, the musicians and donors formed a non-profit called the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony (MOSAS) Performance Fund, which presented three pairs of concerts featuring musicians from the San Antonio Symphony last spring. The new "San Antonio Philharmonic" is a continuation of that non-profit, under a new name. Brian Petkovich, former San Antonio Symphony assistant principal bassoonist, spearheaded those efforts and will serve as president of the new Philharmonic.
The new Philharmonic has scheduled a 2022-23 season that features ten Classics Concerts and three Pops programs, which will take place at the First Baptist Church of San Antonio from September through May 2023. (Click here for information on concerts and subscriptions). Conductors will include Ken-David Masur, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, and Christopher Wilkins; with guest artists including pianists John Kimura Parker and William Wolfram, soprano Vanessa Becerra, and more yet to be announced. The orchestra will include 60-70 professional musicians - most of them from the former symphony.
The Philharmonic’s first concert series is scheduled for Sept. 16 and 17, when the orchestra will perform Ravel’s "Bolero" and selections from Prokofiev’s "Romeo and Juliet," with Masur conducting. The Philharmonic also will perform 36 free Young People’s Concerts for local elementary schools at nine local high school auditoriums.
"I’m looking forward to the San Antonio Philharmonic concerts, and to making music again with my wonderful San Antonio colleagues," said violinist Mary Ellen Goree, longtime Violinist.com member who served as principal second violinist in the symphony. "The San Antonio Philharmonic board has been working very hard to put together an exciting season. I’m so grateful to our board members for their hard work and to our community for their ongoing support."
"Our programming and outreach will honor the history, diversity, and culture of our city," Petkovich said. "We are seeking ways to involve new audiences in the transformative power of music by partnering with organizations around the city.
"When the San Antonio Symphony management ceased operations in June 2022, the musicians – some of whom won their seats in the 1970s and ‘80s — were determined to preserve world-class music in San Antonio," read a statement on the orchestra's new website. "With their formation of the San Antonio Philharmonic, we all have an historic opportunity to re-invent what an orchestra in the 21st century can be."
"We are deeply grateful for the last-minute efforts by conductors and soloists who made this season possible," Petkovich said. "They deserve special recognition. We face challenges but look forward to growing a great organization together."
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