Scenic Waterfront Venue Seating Up to 10,000 Premieres with a Weekend Celebration Featuring Stars of Classical Music, Broadway, Soul, Pop, and More

WHATThe Rady Shell at Jacobs Park—a spectacular new year-round venue with 360-degree views of San Diego’s downtown, marina, and bay—will open with a weekend celebration as the first permanent outdoor home of the San Diego Symphony. Designed to host more than 100 concerts and events year-round, The Rady Shell is the centerpiece of the 3.7-acre public Jacobs Park on the city’s scenic Embarcadero. The venue is an unprecedented resource for the Symphony’s diverse schedule of outdoor classical concerts programmed by Music Director Rafael Payare, and a variety of other musical and cultural programs.
WHENOpening August 6-8, 2021
OPENING WEEKEND CELEBRATIONThe Rady Shell will officially open on August 6 with Rafael Payare conducting the San Diego Symphony in the world premiere of a new work for orchestra and turntable by Mason Bates and performances featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein, bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green, and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Opening weekend continues with “The Best of Broadway” on August 7, featuring the Symphony conducted by renowned musical theatre director Rob Fisher, showcasing Broadway luminaries Megan HiltyNorm Lewis, Kelli O’Hara, and Adrienne Warren. The opening celebration concludes on August 8 with seven-time GRAMMY-winner Gladys Knight and special guest Naturally 7.
DESIGNThe Rady Shell at Jacobs Park is designed by San Diego firm Tucker Sadler Architects, led by CEO and Design Principal Greg Mueller, with performance shell design by London-based Soundforms. Soundforms’ award-winning 2012 mobile acoustic performance shell (MAPS) was expanded by Tucker Sadler Architects to accommodate a large orchestra with chorus and soloists and to be a permanent structure on the Embarcadero Marina Park South site. The performance shell features concentric, widening, oval rings as its canopy, a structure that reaches a height of 57 feet and a width of 92 feet at the front of the stage. The gentle slopes and terraced, flexible seating of the 55,000- square-foot audience area are defined around their edges by a low-lying fence, buffered by plantings and a perimeter walkway, on the coast of San Diego Bay within the 3.7-acre Jacobs Park.  
TICKETSTickets for the opening weekend are available at
About Rafael Payare, Music Director     
One of today’s most sought-after conductors, renowned for his profound musicianship, technical brilliance, and charismatic presence, Rafael Payare assumed the leadership of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra as its Music Director on July 1, 2019.

Mr. Payare served as Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Ulster Orchestra from 2014 through 2019 and was named Conductor Laureate in recognition of his artistic contributions. He also has served as Principal Conductor of the Castleton Festival and Honorary Conductor of the Sinfonietta Cracovia.

In 2022, Mr. Payare will assume the role of Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. As a guest conductor, he has led many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, and Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. As an opera conductor, Mr. Payare made his acclaimed debut at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2019 and has conducted at the Royal Swedish Opera and Malmo Opera.

Born in Venezuela in 1980 and a graduate of El Sistema, Mr. Payare began his formal conducting studies in 2004 with José Antonio Abreu. He has conducted all the major orchestras in Venezuela, including the Simón Bolívar Orchestra, in which he served as Principal Horn and took part in many tours and recordings with conductors including Giuseppe Sinopoli, Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle, and Lorin Maazel. In May 2012, Rafael Payare was awarded first prize at the Malko International Conducting Competition.

About San Diego Symphony       
Founded in 1910, the San Diego Symphony is the oldest orchestra in Californiaand one of the largest and most significant cultural organizations in San Diego. The Orchestra performs for more than 250,000 people each season, offering a wide variety of programming at its two much-loved venues, Copley Symphony Hall in downtown San Diego and The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park on San Diego Bay. In early 2018, the San Diego Symphony announced the appointment of Rafael Payare as music director. Payare leads the orchestra’s 82 full-time musicians, graduates of the finest and most celebrated music schools in the United States and abroad. The San Diego Symphony also serves as the orchestra for the San Diego Opera each season, as well as performing at several regional performing arts and community centers. For more than 30 years, the San Diego Symphony has provided comprehensive learning and community engagement programs reaching more than 65,000 students annually and bringing innovative programming to San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods and schools. For more information, visit