SF Symphony — Savvy Ways to Strategize and Save
The San Francisco Symphony, under the delightful direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, is a fixture in the Bay Area for classical music lovers. Wait, did you forget about the city’s classical side? Yeah me too, with so much to see and do in a city like this. But here’s how I think we can fix that. Start by checking out the substantial SF Symphony ticket deals.
While I admit, going out to a classical music concert is often an afterthought, my sister is a professional violinist in the SF Bay Area, and she gives me the nudge I need to check the current concert schedule. That way we have an excuse to meet in the city for a classy night of culture and cuisine.
This works with friends and lovers, too, with just a bit of planning. What about the kids? You had to ask spoil the mood, but okay I’ll tell you. San Francisco Symphony caters to kids with their Music for Families series and their Concerts for Kids. Children also enjoy the Symphony’s annual holiday programs and some of the summer concerts. But you’ll want to keep kids younger than twelve away from the regular concerts or they’ll just get bored and fidgety. Trust me on this.
Most of the San Francisco Symphony concerts take place at Davies Symphony Hall, in the Civic Center area. But throughout the year you can also enjoy their concerts at other locations around the city, like Stern Grove and Dolores Park, and the Symphony’s popular 4th of July Fireworks Concert.
If you’re going to a concert at Davies, head up to the second level during intermission to check out the spectacular San Francisco skyline, with a closeup view of City Hall. Also, here’s a fun idea that will save you time: did you know you can pre-order a cocktail and have it waiting for you at intermission? (For details see “Know Before You Go” tips at the bottom of this page.)
SF Symphony often makes tickets available for less for certain performances via a few savvy sources. Here’s a current list of discount ticket offers.
San Francisco Symphony Ticket Deals
Over on the SavvyTix pages I highlight big discount offers via savvy partner sites. If you don’t see links under the Davies Symphony Hall 50% off listing, they may have sold out, but check back later as more tickets are added.
Brahms’ Violin Concerto With Ray Chen | San FranciscoMusic for Families: “Work Hard, Play Hard –The Lives of Composers & Conductors” | San FranciscoGautier Capuçon and Pines of Rome | San Francisco“French Greats: Debussy and Ravel” With San Francisco Symphony | San FranciscoGerstein Plays Brahms with the San Francisco Symphony | San Francisco
Other Ways to Save:
- Rush Tickets — You can sometimes get $20 rush tickets for select performances (limited),
- Student Tickets — The SF Symphony offers 50% off subscription concert tickets for students.
- The Cheap Seats — For select concerts you can get Terrace Seating (behind the stage) starting at $15 on the SF Symphony’s website.
- Group Discount — Groups of 10 or more can save 25% on most concerts. Contact the Symphony directly.
Know Before You Go
- Website: San Francisco Symphony Concerts — sfsymphony.org
- Address: Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness San Francisco CA 94102.
- Getting There: Davies Symphony Hall is located in the Civic Center area of San Francisco, between Van Ness, Franklin, Hayes, and Grove Streets. Get there from Muni Metro (Van Ness or Civic Center stations) or BART (Civic Center station).
- What to Wear: Most people dress in business attire, but you’ll see anything from jeans to cocktail dresses. When I go, I dress like I’m going to a nice restaurant (which I usually do before the concert). Formal attire is only seen at the Symphony Opening Gala.
- Pre-order Drinks: You can pre-order a drink and it will be waiting for you in the lobby at intermission. Call 415-252-1937 or pre-order with the bartender when you first get there.
- For Families: Check out the San Francisco Symphony’s Music for Families series, Concerts for Kids here.
- Restaurants Nearby: You’ll find many dining options in the Hayes Valley neighborhood near Davies Symphony Hall. Plus, if you’re driving, you’ll beat the rush for a parking spot when you go early. Reservations are recommended on concert nights. A few to try: Hayes Street Grill (415-863-5545), Jardiniere (415-861-5555), Absinthe Brasserie & Bar (415-551-1590), Zuni Café (415-552-2522).
Photo Credit: Images courtesy of San Francisco Symphony and Davies Symphony Hall