Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra

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Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra
Former name Sacramento Symphony Orchestra
Founded 1948
Concert hall Community Center Theatre, Mondavi Center
Principal conductor Michael Morgan

The Sacramento Philharmonic is a symphony orchestra in the Sacramento region, established in 1997 after the disbandment of the Sacramento Symphony that same year. Led by Maestro Michael Morgan, the orchestra performs at the Community Center Theatre and at the Mondavi Center at the University of California, Davis


Sacramento Symphony Orchestra[edit]

The Sacramento Symphony was established in 1948 and rapidly became a large regional orchestra made up of local professional musicians. However, starting in 1986 and continuing through the mid-nineties, the Sacramento Symphony had severe administrative difficulties and ran into significant operating deficits, repeatedly filing for bankruptcy. Despite several moderate bail-outs from businesses, the general public and local government, in 1997 the Sacramento Symphony officially closed its doors.

Directors included Fritz Berens (1956?-1963?), who helped found the Sacramento Youth Symphony, Harry Newstone [1](1965–78), who oversaw the move from the Memorial Auditorium and the Hiram Johnson High School Auditorium (where most of the concerts were held[citation needed]) to the new Community Center, Carter Nice (1979–92) and Geoffrey Simon.

The Sacramento Philharmonic[edit]

Established the same year as the Symphony shut down, the new Sacramento Philharmonic, composed almost entirely of the same orchestra members, featured a significantly smaller schedule. The Philharmonic, with the support of Sacramento County, sought to avoid the unfortunate fate of the defunct Symphony and requested several market studies from national firms to help determine the potential for professional orchestral music in the Sacramento region. With a similar population to Cleveland which has a world famous orchestra in the highest calibre, the potential, as determined by the studies, seemed positive.

Despite promising potential, the Philharmonic stumbled out of the starting gate several times. The first two years were plagued by management and artistic leadership issues. Even with 2008-2009 marking only its 12th season, the philharmonic today enjoys a reputation as a leading orchestra in the central valley.


1999 article at SFCV