Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra

For the fourth concert of the 84th season, Clarinetist Boris Allakhverdyan, will join the BSO. This concert will be held at the Rabobank Theater on March 12, 2016 at 7:30PM. Purchase your tickets through,, by calling the BSO office at 661-323-7928, or through the Rabobank Box Office.

Boris Allakhverdyan
Boris Allakhverdyan is the Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City. Mr. Allakhverdyan is a founding member of the Prima Trio, the Grand Prize and the Gold Medal winner of the prestigious 2007 Fischoff National Chamber MScreen+Shot+2014-03-26+at+11.54.37+AMusic Competition.

Allakhverdyan has appeared as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra and the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. He has performed with The Cleveland Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has participated in the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommen Festival in Germany and the Emilia Romagna Music Festival in Italy. Mr. Allakhverdyan is a winner of Rimsky-Korsakov International Woodwind Competition, Rozanov International Clarinet Competition, Hellam Concerto Competition, the Tuesday Musical and the Oberlin Concerto competitions.

An active educator, Mr. Allakhverdyan served on faculty at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan and Interlochen Clarinet Institute in Michigan. He has given master classes at Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music, Oregon University, University Missouri-Kansas City, Colorado Music Festival and Latin American Clarinet Academy in Caracas, Venezuela and Shenzhen International Music Festival in Shenzhen, China. As a chamber musician, Boris Allakhverdyan has performed throughout the United States and Europe on such series as Chicago Chamber Music Society, La Jolla Athenaeum, Dumbarton Oaks, the Dayton Art Institute, City Music Columbus, Da Camera Society, Fontana Chamber Arts and Cleveland Chamber Music Society.

Join us for the 3rd concert of the 2015-2016 season with a performance titled European Journeys where a Guest Conductor, Petko Dimitrov, will be joining the Orchestra. The concert will take place at the Rabobank Theater on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 7:30PM. Tickets can be purchased through, the Rabobank box office, or by calling the BSO office at 661-323-7928.

About Petko Dimitrovpetko
A native of Bulgaria, Petko Dimitrov is currently Music Director of the New Symphony Orchestra in Sofia. He also presently serves as Music Director of Lakeland Youth Symphony and Principal Conductor of the Gemini Youth Symphony Orchestra. Since February 2015, Dimitrov joined the faculty at School of Mahanaim, where he teaches orchestral performance.

In April 2015, Dimitrov had his conducting debut with Jenaer Philharmonie, Germany, followed by immediate invitation to return in March, 2016. Other guest conducting appearances in 2016 include concerts with Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, Dimitrov was invited by the Curtis Institute of Music to be Conductor in Residence at the Young Artist Summer Program, which resulted in immediate re-invitation for the 2013 and 2014 Curtis Summerfest.

Previously, Petko Dimitrov has served as Music Director of the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra, and Artistic Director and Conductor of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra’s summer series at Lasdon Park in Katonah, New York. He has also served as Assistant Conductor of the Ridgefield Symphony, Princeton Symphony and Symphony in C. Mr. Dimitrov had his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2007, Avery Fisher Hall in 2008 and Alice Tully Hall in 2015. In the spring of 2007 Petko led WCYO on tour in Austria and performed in prestigious concert venues such as Haydnsaal in Eisenstadt and Schlossberg in Graz.

As Assistant Conductor of the Haddonfield Symphony, Dimitrov was awarded a Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation Fellowship in the 2007-2008 season, which recognizes accomplished young conductors and provides them with a monetary award to further develop their career. Dimitrov has been selected twice among the finalists of the George Solti International Conducting Competition.

Petko Dimitrov made his conducting debut with the New Symphony Orchestra, Sofia, Bulgaria in 1998, performing a concert with music by Sir Michael Tippet and Henry Purcell, in collaboration with The British Council. Since 2001 Mr. Dimitrov has been studying and working in the United States. In 2004 he completed his Master’s Degree in Orchestra Conducting at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor under the direction of Prof. Kenneth Kiesler. Petko completed his studies with Prof. Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory (2006), John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, where he pursued a Graduate Performance Diploma in Orchestral Conducting.

“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 “Let it Go,” from the popular movie Frozen. 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)


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.

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