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SF Symphony

2016 Calendar of Events & Tips to Attend a Performance

The SF Symphony is one of the best in the world. With more than a hundred events every year, it's easy to find one that you will enjoy.

The San Francisco Symphony also invites a number of guest performers and conductors. In the past, artists such as Judy Collins and Natalie Cole performed alongside the symphony.

In addition, they also host a number of large events every year. This includes their popular New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball.

Almost all of the events are held at the beautiful Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco's Civic Center neighborhood (shown in the picture above). This gorgeous neighborhood is also just steps from San Francisco's City Hall.

If you love the symphony or are looking for something a little different to do during your stay, then I recommend attending one of their premier events. I always have an amazing time at these performances.

sf symphony hall

Click on the links below for the full calendar of events for each month:

2016 SF Symphony Calendar by Month
February March April
May June July

Feel free to also jump ahead to these other topics covered on this page:

February 2016

Children's Concerts: Making Music! (Kindergarten - Grade 3)
12/1 - 2/2

NFL Films and the San Francisco Symphony: A Concert of Champions
2/3 - 2/4

Mendelssohn’s Travels
2/5 - 2/6

Music for Families with the San Francisco Symphony

Youth Concerts: Sounds of Music! (Grades 4–9) 
2/8 - 2/10

Pinchas Zukerman plays Mozart
2/11 - 2/14

Vertigo - Feature Film with the SFS performing the score live
2/12 - 2/13

Chinese New Year Concert and Imperial Dinner

Prokofiev’s Cinderella: An Open Rehearsal

Prokofiev’s Cinderella
2/18 - 2/20

Chamber Music at the Legion of Honor

Yuja Wang with the Russian National Orchestra
2/21 & 2/22

Pires plays Beethoven with the SFS
2/25 - 2/27

Chamber Music with members of the San Francisco Symphony

March 2016

Blomstedt Conducts: All-Mozart
3/2 - 3/5

Music for Families with the San Francisco Symphony

Organist David Titterington in Recital

Joshua Bell with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Rhapsody: An Open Rehearsal

Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Rhapsody
3/10 - 3/13

Igudesman & Joo: And Now Mozart

Berlioz’s Requiem
3/17 - 3/19

Chamber Music at the Legion of Honor

San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra

Jeremy Denk in Concert

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial—Feature Film with the SFS performing the score live
3/23 - 3/26

MTT conducts Copland
3/30 - 4/8

April 2016

MTT conducts Copland
3/30 - 4/8

Chamber Music with members of the San Francisco Symphony

MTT conducts Mahler’s The Song of the Earth
4/6 - 4/10

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2: An Open Rehearsal

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2
4/20 - 4/23

Organist Thierry Escaich in Recital

Hilary Hahn at Davies

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9
4/27 - 4/29

Music for Families with the San Francisco Symphony

May 2016

Fauré's Requiem featuring the San Francisco Symphony Chorus

New York Philharmonic
5/6 & 5/7

Strauss’s Don Juan
5/12 - 5/14

Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott in Recital

San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra

Chamber Music at the Legion of Honor

MTT and Susan Graham present Brahms: An Open Rehearsal

MTT and Susan Graham present Brahms
5/19 - 5/22

Bernstein’s On the Town: A Semi-Staged Event
5/25 - 5/29

June 2016

Ashkenazy conducts Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky: An Open Rehearsal

Ashkenazy conducts Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky
6/2 - 6/4

Chamber Music with members of the San Francisco Symphony

Dvorák's Symphony No. 8
6/8 - 6/12

MTT conducts Stravinsky’s Petrushka
6/16 - 6/19

MTT conducts Brahms’s Symphony No. 1
6/23 - 6/25

Chamber Music with members of the San Francisco Symphony

MTT conducts Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony
6/29 - 7/2

July 2016

MTT conducts Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony
6/29 - 7/2

Buy Tickets

Ticket prices for the SF Symphony range from $20 to more than $400 a ticket. Some performance sell out quickly, while others are sold at a discount to fill the seats.

Goldstar is your best bet to find tickets offered at a discount. Tickets here typically sell for about 50% off the full retail value. This allows you to buy tickets for certain performances starting at around $20 each.

TicketLiquidator is a great place to find the best seats or tickets to sold out performances. Here you will be able to select the best seat and the price point that works for you.

Where to Park

You will want to park your car in a garage when you attend a performance. Street parking is tough in this neighborhood and there are strict regulations on how long you can keep your car in one spot.

The best parking garage is the Performing Arts Garage at 360 Grover Street. It is only about two blocks away from the Davis Symphony Hall (on Grover between Van Ness and Franklin).

It's a very popular option - but large enough to handle quite a few cars.

Find pricing and other details for this and other SF parking garages in the Civic Center & Hayes Valley neighborhoods.

If you hate driving around looking for a parking spot, then reserve one in advance on GottaPark. This online parking reservation system eases the hassle of looking for the perfect spot after you arrive. Reserve your spot online today!

What to Wear

Most people associate SF Symphony performances with formal dresses or attire. While they do request this dress code for special performances, you'll find most attendees dressed in semi formal or business casual attire.

If a more formal dress code is desired, you'll find this information when purchasing your tickets. They usually request formal attire for their annual New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball and special opening-night performances to kick off the season.

I also recommend that you check the SF weather for your visit. Since we are surrounded by water, our weather is quite different than the rest of California. Find tips for what to wear based on the weather.

Restaurants Nearby

Davies Symphony Hall is just steps from the Hayes Valley neighborhood. Right now, it has some of the best restaurants in the city.

Lately, it seems like there's a new restaurant opening in this neighborhood almost every week. This provides you with a large selection.

Here are just a few of my favorites.

Since this neighborhood is quite busy on the night of any performance, I recommend planning ahead and booking a table in advance. Otherwise you might have to wait for an hour or more to get a table.

I also let them know that I'm attending a performance, so they know I need to be done at a certain time. Typically, the wait staff at these restaurants will ask you if you're attending a performance. However if they don't, let them know and they'll do their best to ensure you have plenty of time to get to the show.

Hotels Near Davies Symphony Hall

If you decide you want to stay the night in this neighborhood, there several two and three-star options. They range from smaller bed-and-breakfasts to medium-sized hotels.

Here's a list of the top guest rated options.

Other Tips for Getting to the SF Symphony

If you don't want to deal with the parking in this neighborhood, there are several public transportation options.

From Union Square:

  • BART: The fastest and most direct route from Union Square is by taking the BART train. The closest stop is near Market and Powell streets. From here, it's just one stop to the Civic Center station. Davies Symphony Hall is about a six or seven block walk from the station.

  • 21 Hayes:This bus has several stops along Market Street. It will take you all the way to the Civic Center and Hayes Valley neighborhoods.
    • If you are grabbing dinner in Hayes Valley before the performance, take the bus all the way to the Hayes and Franklin Street stop.
    • If you're heading directly to the symphony performance, take the bus to the Hayes Street and Van Ness Avenue stop. This is less than a block from Davies Symphony Hall.

From Fisherman's Wharf:

  • 47 Caltrain: The best public transportation option from Fisherman's Wharf is the 47. This bus picks up at several places along North Point Street - which runs along the southern end of Fisherman's Wharf.
    • If you're on the eastern side of Fisherman's Wharf, you can pick up this bus at the North Point and Mason Street stop.
    • If you're closer to the western side of Fisherman's Wharf, you can pick this bus up at the North Point and Hyde Street stop.

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