Last night, the San Diego Symphony, led by conductor Rafael Payare, performed their inaugural concert at The Shell, a stunning new outdoor venue on San Diego’s waterfront.
Following opening remarks by Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer, the ensemble performed Mozart’s Concerto in C Major for Flute and Harp, Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony in B Minor, and Romero’s “Fuga con pajarillo” from Suite Para Cuerdas.
Soloists for Mozart’s Double Concerto were the Symphony’s own Rose Lombardo, flute, and Julie Smith Phillips, harp.
The setting was gorgeous, even with the unfinished construction and leftover fencing.
The performance was, in short, wonderful.
But the moment that captured the spirit of the evening didn’t involve a single musical note.
As the applause for Lombardo and Phillips’ performance faded, the soloists exited stage right (their right, not ours), and were greeted by a chorus of cheers from the musicians and staff awaiting them offstage. The cacophony was audible throughout the audience.
The crowd laughed in recognition. The childlike enthusiasm backstage mirrored the joy and relief the rest of us were relishing. Relief at being able to gather again and joy at being lucky enough to hear these outstanding musicians.
Welcome back, San Diego Symphony!