Ben Folds - San Francisco Symphony
Ben Folds. By Taryn Lott (SF Symphony)

More news in the world of the arts. This time out of San Francisco.

San Francisco Symphony has announced its summer season. Featuring concerts at Frost Amphitheater, Shoreline Amphitheatre, and Sigmund Stern Grove, the series runs July 4 through August 4, 2024.

The line-up is quite extensive (full details below). Look for appearances by violinist Stella Chen, Ben Folds, and John Legend among many others.

Also, two film presentations will feature live scoring. Disney: The Sound of Magic celebrates 100 years of Disney magic. And Edwin Outwater conducts the Movie Music of John Williams (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, and more). Later, composer Justin Hurwitz will join the San Francisco Symphony to conduct his Academy Award-winning score La La Land live to film.

To kick off the summer season, watch out for the fourth of July fireworks spectacular scheduled to take place at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View.

Stark Insider - Arts, Film, Tech & LifestyleSan Francisco Symphony

Summer with the Symphony 2024

July 4 – August 4, 2024


Classical programs 

Guest conductors Earl Lee and Carlos Miguel Prieto lead classical programs at Davies Symphony Hall with performances by violinist Stella Chen, soprano Caroline Corrales, and guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas.

On July 11, Carlos Miguel Prieto (Music Director of the North Carolina Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, and Orchestra of the Americas) conducts a program of Spanish favorites, including selections from Isaac Albéniz’s YoSuite Española, Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, and Manuel de Falla’s The Three-Cornered Hat. Prieto is joined by soprano Caroline Corrales, who makes her San Francisco Symphony debut in these concerts, and guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas. The San Francisco Symphony will also bring this program to Stanford Live’s Frost Amphitheater as part of the Stanford Live Arts Festival on July 13.

On July 25, Earl Lee (Music Director of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra) leads the Orchestra in the first San Francisco Symphony performance of Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers, inspired by a journal entry by Ludwig van Beethoven; Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, featuring violinist Stella Chen; and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

Guest performances 

On July 23 & 24, multi-platinum, 12-time Grammy Award-winner John Legend joins the San Francisco Symphony for John Legend: A Night of Songs and Stories with the San Francisco Symphony. The performances will feature intimate reimaginings of Legend’s greatest hits (“All of Me,” “Ordinary People,” “Tonight”) and selections from his most recent release LEGEND (“Nervous,” “Wonder Woman”). He will also share stories from his life and career. Conducted by Anthony Parnther, these concerts are Legend’s first-ever performances with the San Francisco Symphony.

On July 27, pianist and singer-songwriter Ben Folds joins the San Francisco Symphony and conductor Edwin Outwater to perform many of his most iconic songs from his decades-long career as a solo artist and frontman of alternative rock trio Ben Folds Five. Ben Folds previously performed with the San Francisco Symphony in 2014, 2017, and 2019.

Special events

On July 18, conductor Martin Herman leads the San Francisco Symphony in an evening of The Beatles’ greatest hits, brought to life by the musicians of Classical Mystery Tour. The concert will feature the set originally played by The Beatles on their first North American tour 60 years ago in 1964 (which opened at San Francisco’s Cow Palace), as well as selected favorites from the albums Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be.

On August 1, conductor Ted Sperling leads the San Francisco Symphony and a lineup of guest vocalists in The Trailblazing Music of Joni Mitchell, Carole King, & Carly Simon. The program is a tribute to three of the most iconic and enduring American songwriters of their generation and includes classics such as Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” King’s “You’ve Got a Friend,” Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” and more. Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Carly Simon will not appear in this concert.

Films & film music concerts

La La Land - Justin Hurwitz - SF Symphony

The San Francisco Symphony’s summer season includes two film presentations, featuring the Orchestra performing movie scores live while the films are projected onto a large screen above the stage. On July 12 & 14, Sarah Hicks leads the Orchestra in Disney: The Sound of Magic, a symphonic celebration of 100 years of Disney. The program features memorable song, score, and movie moments from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Moana, Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Frozen, The Lion King, Fantasia, Encanto, Beauty and the Beast, and more. On August 3 & 4, composer Justin Hurwitz joins the San Francisco Symphony to conduct his Academy Award®-winning score for La La Land live-to-film. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, the 2016 film follows an aspiring actress and jazz pianist as they chase their big breaks and fall in love in Los Angeles.

On July 19, Edwin Outwater conducts The Movie Music of John Williams, featuring celebrated music from the scores of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, and more. This concert will not feature film clips. The Symphony will bring this program to Stanford Live’s Frost Amphitheater on July 20.


Kicking off the summer season on July 4, Edwin Outwater leads the San Francisco Symphony in the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View. In addition to patriotic orchestral favorites, vocalist Jessica Vosk joins Outwater and the Orchestra to perform popular songs celebrating the power of heroes from Wicked, Beaches, and more. The concert concludes with a spectacular fireworks display. In addition to the concert, Shoreline Amphitheatre will host a full evening of family fun beginning at 5:00pm, including kids’ activities, American food favorites, frozen treats, an afterparty with DJ Billy Vidal, and more.


On July 7, conductor Edwin Outwater leads the San Francisco Symphony in a concert at the 87th Stern Grove Festival—the admission-free performing arts series that takes place every summer in the natural outdoor amphitheater at Sigmund Stern Grove. The program features the San Francisco Symphony in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, Jupiter, and Aaron Copland’s An Outdoor Overture. Broadway star Jessica Vosk also joins Outwater and the Orchestra to sing a selection of songs inspired by the Golden State by Don Henley, Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, and more. In addition to giving annual performances at the Stern Grove Festival since the festival’s formation in 1938, the San Francisco Symphony also played the very first concert in the Grove in 1932, a year after Rosalie M. Stern purchased Stern Grove and gave it as a gift to the City of San Francisco in memory of her husband Sigmund, a prominent civic leader. This concert is presented in partnership with the San Francisco Arts Commission.


The San Francisco Symphony performs two Saturday evening concerts at Stanford Live’s Frost Amphitheater, featuring programs also presented at Davies Symphony Hall. The concerts are part of the Stanford Live Arts Festival at Frost, a series of outdoor performances presented in partnership with Bay Area partners. On July 13, Carlos Miguel Prieto conducts a concert of Spanish favorites, featuring vocalist Caroline Corrales and guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, and on July 20, Edwin Outwater leads the SF Symphony in a program of music by legendary film composer John Williams. This summer marks the fifth season of SF Symphony at Frost, presented by Stanford Live. The series was inaugurated in 2019 when the SF Symphony partnered with Stanford Live to present concerts annually in the newly renovated Frost Amphitheater.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at SF Symphony (for concerts at Davies Symphony Hall), Stanford Line (for Frost Amphitheatre), Live Nation (July Fireworks Spectacular), and Stern Grove’s web site for free tickets to the Stern Grove Festival.

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