Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra
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Since its inception, the BSO NEXT program has allowed hundreds of local students to attend each of our six season concerts with our last two concerts welcoming the largest group of students we have ever had in attendance. Having these young students in the audience has brought an unmistakable energy and excitement to our concerts and the response to the program has been overwhelmingly positive from the students as well as regular concert patrons. Over 50 students from a local Bakersfield school, Paul L. Cato Middle School, had the opportunity of attending our October 2015 concert. We received thank you notes, Facebook posts, calls, and emails regarding the impact the performance made on those students.

“My students cannot stop talking about the performance and have been proudly showing off their autographed programs” -Dan Hernandez, Music Director at Paul L. Cato Middle School in Bakersfield, CA

There is more demand for BSO NEXT tickets than funded. This means there are more schools, teachers, parents, and students desiring to be a part of this program than available tickets due to insufficient funding. The cost per student for admittance to one season concert is $35 which pays for their ticket, snack, and beverage. We are asking for your help in funding students to attend our season concerts free of charge. If you would like more information or if you would like to become a sponsor contact the BSO office at 661-323-7928.



“Let it go, Let it go!” Your kids are singing it, you’re singing it, and now the BSO is performing it! For the third and final Young People’s Concert (YPC) of the 2015-2016 season, the BSO will be performing a series of fun songs including Disney’s catchy tune from Frozen, “Let it Go.” Come and Frozensing along with your children as the BSO performs one of the most famous songs in Disney’s history. The orchestra will take your children on a unique journey through the world of music as they perform famous classics such as Stravinsky’s Firebird and Manuel De Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance and then present a medley from the Frozen soundtrack, allowing students to relate symphonic music to the music they know and love. Reservations are required. Contact the BSO office at 661-323-7928 to make your reservation and purchase your tickets today.

Friday February 5, 2016
9:30am AND 11:00am
Rabobank Theater
$3.00 per student/teacher


In October, The Magic Circle Mime Company joined the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra (BSO) for a one of a kind performance at BSO’s first Young People’s Concert (YPC) of the season. Together they performed, “The Listener: A Young People’s Guide to the Orchestra,” which brilliantly interwove classical music with two crazy mimes to create a unique and interactive concert experience that not only entertained, but also educated young students.IMG_8743

This YPC taught children from local schools about the relationship between an orchestra and its audience and how to listen with imagination during a concert. Laughter filled the concert hall as a bugle playing mime tried to conduct the BSO and while Principal Trumpeter, Michael Raney, battled the mime in a show off on who could play their instrument better than the other.

“Not only were students expressing their appreciation by laughter and applause, but they were bobbing their heads and moving their bodies along with the music” – Cynthia Woollacott Smizer

Not only did the children enjoy this performance, BSO musicians and the Music Director, Stilian Kirov, were ecstatic about being able to do something very different from what they are used to. This is the first time the BSO has had an interactive YPC, where performers are on stage other than themselves. This performance made way for a new YPC future that will make a greater impact on local children. They truly had fun with this performance and enjoyed the time they were able to spend with these students.

“Stilian’s youth was a plus as well, as he plied along with the mimes and enthusiastically addressed the students and led the orchestra. Although the target audience is elementary school students (performances are at 9:30 and 11 on school days), I had a great time and think anyone of any age would too” -Cynthia Woollacott Smizer

There are two more YPC’s for this season: Meet the Orchestra on Thursday, November 12, 2015 and Musical Natures on Friday, February 5, 2016 featuriong music from Disney’s Frozen. Each of these performances will have two show times with the first beginning at 9:30 and the second at 11:00 at the Rabobank Theater. For more information visit the Young People’s Concert page here.



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On Saturday, December 19, 2015 the BSO, along with the Bakersfield College Choir, will perform a special holiday concert, Home for the Holidays, to help celebrate the merriest time of the year. Everyone’s favorite Christmas classics will be performed, such as “Merry Christmas Merry Christmas” from the popular family comedy Home Alone, home-aloneselections from The Nutcracker, the catchy carol “Sleigh Ride”, and so much more! A holiday concert wouldn’t be whole without hot cocoa! Hot cocoa will be available for purchase in the auditorium lobby.

Share this magical holiday concert with your family and friends and be a part of a BSO Christmas. The concert will be held at the Harvey Auditorium at Bakersfield High School with a performance time of 7:00PM. Tickets will be available for purchase starting November 16th, through the office at 661-323-7928, with a general admission price of $30 for adults and $20 for students of all ages and $50 for a VIP ticket. The VIP ticket will provide access to premium seating and a post concert reception with the conductor, Stilian Kirov.


The BSO had an incredibly successful opening concert that really set the tone for the entire season. On Saturday November 14, The Bakersfield Master Chorale will join the BSO for the second concert of the season at 7:30 p.m. at the Rabobank Theater located at 1001 Truxtun Avenue in Bakersfield. Purchase your tickets here.

The Bakersfield Master ChoraleBakersfield Masterworks Chorale

The Bakersfield Master Chorale is a choral society of adult voices directed by Dr. Robert Provencio and affiliated with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. During its concert season, the Chorale seeks to enrich community musical awareness by presenting performances of major choral literature, secular and sacred, from all musical eras. The Bakersfield Master Chorale’s mission is to provide a venue for the appreciation and awareness of choral music and choral arts education in our community. Learn more about the Bakersfield Master Choral by visiting their website at


On Saturday October 3rd, the BSO will open its 2015-2016 season with a concert featuring Van Cliburn Crystal Award winning pianist, Sean Chen. Join us in the celebration of our 84th season of exceptional music as well as Stilian Kirov’s inaugural performance as the new Music Director. The lineup for this concert includes Mikhail 11794236_10153994564310278_1299401360436811212_oGlinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila Overture, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No.3, and Johannes Brahms Symphony No.2. You won’t want to miss the BSO’s electrifying performance with Chen!

Pianist Sean Chen

Chen is being hailed as a rising star with a “million-volt smile” and a “formidable set of fingers” (Dallas Morning News). In 2013 Chen won the American Pianists Association’s DeHaan Classical Fellowship, one of the most lucrative and significant prizes available to an American pianist. He also won Third Prize at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, becoming the first American to reach the finals since 1997. The 27-year-old American pianist has appeared as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Corpus Christi, New West, Phoenix and San Diego symphony orchestras, and the Suwon City Philharmonic in South Korea. Last season Chen performed in recital at Jordan Hall in Boston, the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, SubCulture in New York City, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and on tour in the Czech Republic. The New York Times praised Chen’s “alluring, colorfully shaded renditions” of works by Scriabin and Ravel on the latter, and Los Angeles Music Examiner noted, “Los Angeles native Sean Chen has the rare ability to combine poetic musical sensibilities and dazzling technical prowess.”

“Sean Chen performed Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3. In the first movement cadenza, he summoned massive, orchestral sonorities, yet he could also play with enormous delicacy. It was a muscular, impassioned performance, and you felt that he is an artist with something to say.”

—Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer, (June 2013)


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With the announcement of Stilian Kirov as BSO’s new Music Director, now is the time to purchase your season tickets. There are six season concerts from October to May. The excitement of the concerts were greatly improved this year as we experienced six exceptional conductor candidates. This next year will continue the enthusiasm for our concerts with Stilian at the podium. We now have a Pick 3 where you can choose any of the three concerts as a package if you are not able to attend all six concerts. Please contact the BSO office for information on ticket sales as you will be surprised on how affordable these tickets really are. (661-323-7928, Here are the dates of the concerts:

October 3, 2015
November 14, 2015
February 6, 2016
March 12, 2016
April 9, 2016
May 14, 2016


The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce the selection of Stilian Kirov as its new music director and conductor. The decision follows an exhaustive two-year process, 160 applications and six guest conductors featured in concerts during the 2014-2015 season.

“This was a collective effort by the BSO musicians, board members and our community,” said BSO President and CEO Bryan Burrow. “The community showed strong support for this process as we experienced higher attendance not seen in decades.”

Kirov will officially assume his role Wednesday, July 1. The 31-year-old Bulgarian-born conductor was most recently the associate conductor of the Seattle Symphony and was named music director of New Jersey’s prestigious Symphony in C earlier this year.

“The BSO concerts have created a lot of excitement this season and frankly surprised many in our community on how incredible the concert experience can be,” Burrow added. “We believe that Mr. Kirov will bring new ideas and enthusiasm to Bakersfield.”

Kirov echoed Burrow’s sentiment, “I am thrilled to be joining the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and leading this outstanding organization to a very exciting new chapter,” he said. “It is a true joy to have the opportunity to make music with the orchestra’s brilliant musicians, working with Bryan Burrow and the whole BSO family to bringing joy and excitement through some outstanding music in Bakersfield.”

Kirov’s work is extensive and includes guest engagements with the Amarillo Symphony, Lansing Symphony and the New World Symphony in Miami.

Worldwide he has appeared with the Leopolis Chamber Orchestra in Ukraine, Orchestre Colonne in Paris and the Musical Olympus International Festival in St. Petersburg.

Kirov’s numerous awards and prizes include an Emmy for the “Memphis Symphony Soundtrack Project,” the Orchestra Preference Award, as well as The Juilliard School’s Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship and the Charles Schiff Conducting Award for outstanding achievement.

He is a graduate of The Juilliard School in orchestral conducting, where he was a student of James DePreist. In 2012, he studied at the Aspen Academy of Conducting, and in 2013, was one of two conducting fellows at the Tanglewood Music Center.

Kirov holds a master’s degree from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.

Also a gifted pianist, Kirov is the Gold Medalist of the 2001 Claude Kahn International Piano Competition in Paris.

The conductor search officially began in mid-2013 after the announcement of John Farrer’s departure, who was with the BSO for nearly 40 years. A committee of 11 people, including five orchestra members, four board members and two community members launched the search.


The BSO will have its fall auditions on August Thursday the 20th and Friday the 21st.

Have you or someone you know dreamed about performing with a professional orchestra? This is one of the most exciting times to be performing with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. Be a part of this wonderful family of musicians as we make history this season. Details are as follows:

* Held Friday August 21st at 7:30pm Thompson Jr. High
* Call office for audition package (661-323-7928)
* Deadline to sign up and receive audition packet, Friday, July 31, 2015

* Held both Thursday August 20th and Friday August 21st
* First round blind auditions
* By appointment only, call BSO office at 661-323-7928
* Deadline to sign up and receive audition packet, Friday, July 31, 2015
* Second round auditions on Friday by invitation only, which will include verbal interview and quartet performance.

For questions, please call the BSO office at 661-323-7928.


You have a opportunity for $5,000. The BSO has an Opportunity Drawing on May 15th at the annual BSO Gala held at the CSUB Amphitheater. Tickets for this drawing are $100 each. Contact the office at 661-323-7928 for more information.

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