Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra

BSO NEXT is a donor based endeavor that exposes our local students to live symphonic music by providing them with a free concert experience. Our hope is that such exposure will inspire future musicians and concert-goers and develop the next generation’s appreciation for symphonic orchestra music. Not only is BSO NEXT benefiting several hundred students from our local schools, but the addition of these students has created a palpable vibe of youth and excitement both in the lobby and in the auditorium.

The program is in need of additional donors for the remainder of this season and on a continuing basis thereafter. We invite you to participate in this rare giving opportunity which allows you to directly invest in our local youth, observe the results for yourself, and connect the next generation to the BSO experience. For more information or to become a sponsor, please contact Cynthia Smizer at

Thank you to our BSO NEXT sponsors:

Agstar Services, Inc. * Bill Wright Toyota * Bryan and Kayla Burrow * Chevron * Morgan Clayton/Tel-Tec Securities * Bob Clemenson * Ira and Carole Cohen/USB Financial Services * Jason and Patsy Cohen/USB Financial Services * Peggy Darling * Dr. Vip Dev * Ray and Joan Dezember * Dignity Health * Jay Ericsson/USB Financial Services * Family Motors * Claire Frisch * Terry and Jerri Hearron/Advanced Distribution Co. * Kern Community Foundation * Don C. and Diane S. Lake Family * David Lee/USB Financial Services * Milt and Betty Younger/Milton Younger Law * Ron Nickell * Marjorie Nixon * Pete and Mona Pankey * Pelletier Foundation * Stevens Transportation * Mark Surber/PLCS Plus International, Inc. * Varner Brothers * W. A. Thompson Distributing


Today is national Giving Tuesday celebrating and encouraging our communities to support local nonprofits. Please consider a gift to the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. Your tax deductible donation will impact thousands of Kern County adults and children. A small or large gift is greatly appreciated and is a very important part of the BSO since only one third of its revenue comes from ticket sales. The BSO’s mission is to perform great concerts and provide music education to the young people of Kern County. To this end, we have six season concerts, Nutcracker performances, and a plethora of music education programs serving over 12,000 children each year. Having a thriving symphony orchestra in residence says a lot about who we are as a community as it adds character and culture to our City and County. Thank you for considering a gift to the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra.

To give, click on the link below:

YES I want to support the BSO!


The BSO and the Civic Dance Center celebrate the 37th anniversary of their collaboration in presenting the ultimate tale for the holiday season, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet. For youngsters and the young at heart, the scenic favorites are all there, with live orchestral music to make your holiday season complete! Here are some of the details for the December concerts:

Saturday December 13th 1:00pm
Saturday December 13th 7:30pm
Sunday December 14th 1:00pm


Ticket Prices
$35 Adults l $18 Students l $10 Children Under 6

$30 Adults l $15 Students l $10 Children Under 6

$25 Adults l $13 Students l $10 Children Under 6

$20 Adults l $10 Students l $10 Children Under 6

You can purchase tickets at Rabobank box office, or the BSO office.


The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra (BSO) has an exciting Young People’s Concert series (YPC’s) we host at the Rabobank Theater. Elementary students, secondary students, and teachers from across Kern County have enjoyed our programs for more than thirty years. Through our partnerships with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools and the Bakersfield City School District we have inspired young people to have a lifetime love for music. The BSO performs three themed concerts a year which are specifically designed for young audiences and meet scholastic standards set by the State of California. This is the perfect way to entertain and educate students at the same time. Here is our program lineup:

This concert is scheduled for the Wednesday prior to the BSO October concert each year. The program introduces the four families of instruments that comprise an orchestra — strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. The program is an interactive experience between the children, the conductor, and the musicians. Music lineup extends from exciting classical music to popular movie themed music. Children begin to realize a lot of the music is recognizable either through movies or through video games. As the orchestra performs the various pieces, the children sit at the edge of their seats as many of them experience an orchestra for the very first time.

DECEMBER 11 & 12, 2014, YPC
Our December YPC features a truncated version of the Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet. The BSO partners with the Civic Dance Center to bring this ballet to life. The ballet includes many young dancers, similar in age to the students in the audience. A couple of the young dancers are chosen before the opening scene or during a scene change to give interviews. They are asked to describe to the audience how they were introduced to ballet, how much time they spend in lessons/practice and how they “juggle” a schedule of their dancing with school and homework. An advantage with this YPC is the experience of live orchestra music in combination with young ballet dancers. The students can see and hear the orchestra in the orchestra pit which creates a full and rich experience and reinforces the lessons learned in discovering the instruments from our October YPC. The students also interact with the full costumed dancers in the aisles of the theater as they exit.

FEBRUARY 11, 2015, YPC
The YPC season ends with Prokiev’s Peter and the Wolf . During this performance the students learn how music can bring to life a story especially strong when combined with dancers. They recognize that the sound of a particular instrument is the voice of Peter and the animals. There is a cross over from music/dance to language as teachers can have their students retell the story told by the ballet and orchestra. This is a popular program every year.


I have been blessed by music and the opportunity for great music making throughout my life. There is no greater feeling and joy for me than sharing these blessings with as many people as possible. I couldn’t be happier to be here tonight with this precious community, especially knowing how closely my artistic purpose aligns with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra’s mission, “to provide the best possible performances of great music for the widest possible audience, and provide musical education for the young people of Kern County.”

I am originally from Costa Rica, and grew up experiencing the transformative power of music. In 1972, the country’s then president, José Figueres Ferrer, made the monumental decision to use music as an instrument of continued peace, making music education for all children a reality and prioritizing the cultural enrichment of all Costa Ricans. From that vision came his famous phrase “Para que tractores sin violines” (Why tractors without violins).

Having personally benefitted from accessible music education and having seen the positive effects of music on the people of my home country, my vision for my tenure with the BSO would not only include innovative artistic leadership and close collaboration with an outstanding group of fellow artists, but it would also give me the opportunity to share my passion for music, music making, and music education with the people of Kern County. Through music, my dream would be to engage with the active spirit of the community, foster mutual respect, and enrich the lives of community members of all ages.

Tonight’s musical delights could not be more exquisite than with these two iconic works of the orchestral repertoire. The Cello Concerto in B Minor Op. 104 by Antonín Dvorak represents one of the composer’s highest accomplishments and remains one of the most important masterpieces of the cello repertoire, due to its creatively wrought musical details, great expressiveness, fine architecture, and technical demands. The Symphony No. 4 in F Minor Op. 36 by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky will take us through a musical journey full of evocative images – fate, drama, darkness, melancholy, hope, light, and triumph.

Let us all – orchestra, soloist, and audience – open our souls and let the magic of music flow around us, unite us, and transform us with its energy.

Thank you for this great privilege, allowing me to collaborate with the outstanding musicians of the BSO and allowing us all to share the great joy of music together.

Alejandro Gutiérrez


We are pleased to announce a master class with world class cellist, Carter Brey. Mr. Brey will join us for the November concert and has agreed to three 25 minute instruction sessions. Applications are now being accepted to be one of three chosen for this honor with Mr. Brey. Apply online and submit your audition video link as well. Click here for the application.




Season Tickets are available for the 2014-2015 season. This will be an exciting season where each one of our concerts will have one of our top six conductor candidates, world class soloists, and our incredible local musicians. We are asking for feedback after each concert to help choose who will be the next conductor.

You can purchase tickets by calling the BSO office at 661-323-7928.


Season Ticket Form 2014-2015




The annual BSO Gala was yet again a wonderful success leaving those who attended loving the beautiful evening. We had approximately 600 people in attendance enjoying the food from Hodel’s, music from the BSO and the Strolling Strings, and delightful friendships. The BSO is very thankful for those who sponsored this event and all those who purchased an opportunity ticket. This is our one fundraiser which allows us to perform great concerts and provide music education for the children of Kern County.
Gala4 Gala5 SS1 Bid Conductor 2 Gala3 Burrow1 Bid Conductor1 Gala1Gala2


Congratulations to all involved who made the 2013-2014 season a wonderful adventure. This was another example of the incredible talent of our local musicians. Not only did we have great programs, the BSO increased attendance for each of the concerts and added programs to meet the needs of a broader group of children. We initiated our Inspire the Desire for Music in which the BSO musicians went into the classroom to share with children their instruments and talk about the experiences as a professional musician. The kids just loved it!


Lobby2Musicians1 Audience2 Instrument1 Musician1 Musician2VK1 Audience1


In completion of yet another stellar year, the BSO has its final season concert on Saturday May 10th at 7:30pm. This is a special evening because it is Maestro John Farrer’s final season concert after 39 years here in Bakersfield. A reception is planned directly following the concert with all welcomed to stay and show appreciation to John for his years of dedication to the BSO.

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