The mission of the Peninsula Symphony is to enrich the lives of people in our community with inspiring, innovative, high-quality musical presentations at affordable prices, and to promote music education through engaging programs for children and adults.
The start of the Peninsula Symphony was like the confluence of three streams: two distinct musical ensembles (the Sequoia Symphony & the Peninsula Symphony), and one conductor, Russian-born violinist/conductor Aaron Sten, joined forces in 1949. In that very first year, many features were established which were to become trademarks of the Peninsula Symphony: four concerts in October, January, March, and May; a balanced musical program featuring first-class guest artists; an attractive concert program with informative notes; and strong support from the community. In those first years, Maestro Aaron Sten also founded the California Youth Symphony, and began the tradition of incorporating outstanding young musicians into Peninsula Symphony performances.
In 1951, under Vincent Guida, symphony clarinetist and business manager, the organization was incorporated as a non-profit association, and a formal board was chosen. In 1956, Board President Robert L. Clark was the driving force behind the creation of the Peninsula Symphony Auxiliary, which was instrumental to the development of an audience base. With no office or Executive Director yet, volunteers played a crucial role in symphony operations. By 1985, the time had come to open an office in San Mateo and hire a paid Executive Director. Coincidentally, this was also the last year of founding conductor Aaron Stens leadership.
With the arrival of current conductor Mitchell Sardou Klein, the Peninsula Symphony grew from a grassroots ensemble to a polished 90-plus member orchestra of well-trained community musicians. Following Maestro Stens tradition of nurturing young musicians, the Peninsula Youth Orchestra was established in the spring of 1997, with Mitchell Sardou Klein serving as the Music Director. Through Maestro Kleins artistic collaborations, last season saw expansion of patronage to over 10,000, with acclaimed performances in both the San Mateo Performing Arts Center and the Flint Center in Cupertino.