Rady Shell, San Diego

Tomorrow, August 6, the San Diego Symphony will open its new bayside 10,000-capacity concert venue at Jacobs Park. Called The Rady Shell in honor of its two top donors, it kicks off its inaugural season with a concert featuring symphony music director Rafael Payare conducting the orchestra. Opening night will feature artists like composer Mason Bates, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green.

The year-round outdoor concert and events venue was build at a cost of $85 million. Ernest and Evelyn Rady contributed the lead gift of $15 million toward the construction of the venue, while Joan and Irwin Jacobs gave $11 million.

Rady Shell, San Diego

The outdoor venue’s central gathering space for dining and socializing will be named  Prebys Plaza in honor of the late Conrad  Prebys  and The Conrad  Prebys  Foundation, which contributed $15 million to the symphony. Of that amount, $12.5 million was designated for construction costs.

The performance area is being named the Una Davis Family Stage, in honor of symphony board member Davis. Her $10 million contribution in early 2019 came seven months before ground was broken at the bayside site and provided key momentum for the soon-to-open venue, which is located at Embarcadero Marina Park South.

The four biggest contributions alone account for $51 million of the $98.7 million raised by the nonprofit orchestra in its $125 million capital campaign. It was launched to finance the symphony’s artistic and community programs, most notably the new $85 million year-round venue, and to help ensure the symphony’s future.

Money brought in by the campaign will also help cover infrastructure improvements at downtown’s Copley Symphony Hall at the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center, the symphony’s currently indoor home.

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