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July 16, 2003

Symphony Announces Spin Off from Ballet and Formation as an Independent Non-Profit

July 16, 2003

Symphony Silicon Valley Announces its Formation and its 2003/2004 San Jose Season

Peter Cartwright, Chairman and CEO of Calpine, announced today the formation of a new public benefit corporation, Symphony Silicon Valley. Cartwright said, "We saw how engaged our community was with the beauty and energy of great classical music performances in last season's concerts. We are proud to take the next step to ensure that symphonic music will be a part of our region for many years to come." Cartwright has agreed to serve as the new venture's first Chair. Staff President Andrew Bales added, “Symphony Silicon Valley will be a catalyst for the entire spectrum of musical services that its talented musicians can provide our community."

Symphony Silicon Valley gives its first performance this Sunday, July 20, 2003 as part of the Children’s Health Council benefit program at Stanford University’s Frost Amphitheater , under the baton of conductor Thomas Conlon. That will be followed by a performance entitled the Sunset Symphony, to be given overlooking the ocean at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay on September 19, 2003. Patrick Flynn will conduct this concert, which will feature Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

Symphony Silicon Valley's principal classical season will feature six programs in the San Jose San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, beginning October 11th, 2003. Each program will be led by a guest conductor. Subscription renewal materials will be mailed in the next week for those who attended last season’s symphony series presented by Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley.

Trustee Carl Cookson observed, “Symphony Silicon Valley will be the primary employer of classical musicians in Silicon Valley. We want to help these players remain available to everyone by giving them the musical opportunities that only a full symphony can provide.” Wally Malone, representing the local American Federation of Musicians said that "leaders in San Jose have spent two years seeking to develop the next design of a symphony for our members and our community. This new organization can trace its roots to the many people whose efforts showed how much they care about classical music concerts." Symphony trustee Chuck Toeniskoetter, C.E.O. of Toeniskoetter & Breeding, emphasized that the Symphony will be market-driven. He stated, "We are firmly committed to maintaining a healthy balance of earned and contributed revenue."

Andrew Bales, former head of Ballet San Jose and now President of Symphony Silicon Valley, noted, “The Ballet provided a great test of the marketplace for symphonic music. It acted as an incubator for an idea that was still hatching. As audiences filled the theatre and enjoyed the presentations, we came to feel that the time was right to build a new support structure for symphonic music in our community.”

John Stringer, Chair of the Ballet Board, said, “The Ballet is pleased to have played a key role in bringing a viable symphony back to the Valley. It takes courage and leadership to begin something new in these trying philanthropic times, but the venture Andrew helped us with last season definitely set the stage for this new corporation. Our objective was to keep a pool of great musicians available to our community. We are all well served by the formation of Symphony Silicon Valley.” The Symphony will accompany Ballet performances that require an orchestra this season.

In unveiling the 2003-04 Symphony season, Andrew Bales suggested that there will be more to come, even this year. "We are excited about the lineup of artists and music we have planned” Bales stated. "The heritage these players bring to our venture represents the capital that drives Symphony Silicon Valley. Though this is a new corporation, it will greatly benefit from the longtime ties between these musicians and the audiences of our community.”

The guest conductors represent a cross section of the field, including two with Latin heritages, two women, one African-American, two who have conducted these musicians before and four who will have their first outing with Symphony Silicon Valley musicians this season. Continuing a pattern developed last season, two members of the core orchestra will be featured in concertos this season, along with three guest artists. This will a homecoming for one of these guest soloists; Natasha Paremski; the 16-year old Russian prodigy who has lived in Fremont for many years, will appear here following her Carnegie Hall debut.

The new orchestra is a union orchestra employing approximately 75 musicians per concert based on the musical needs of the program. The vast majority of these players have deep local roots, averaging over 20 years each playing in San Jose symphonic orchestras.

Subscription tickets go on sale next Monday at the Box Office shared by Symphony Silicon Valley and Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley , at 408) 288-2800, open Monday to Friday 10:00-5:00pm. Single tickets for these concerts will be available after Labor Day.

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P.O. Box 790, San Jose, CA 95106-0790
325 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113
Phone or Fax: (408) 286-2600

Supported, in part, by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San José