Genre: Orchestra

Country of Origin: Singapore

Named "Best of America" by the editors of Reader's Digest Magazine May, 2005), the critically acclaimed Symphony's mission is to perform the full range of music from the orchestral repertoire, with particular emphasis on works by American composers. Since its inception in 1986, the Symphony has included a work by an American composer and featured world-renowned guest artists on many of its programs.

Additionally, the Symphony is passionately committed to providing music education programs to children and adults in the San Francisco East Bay; to cultivating composers through its renowned Young American Composer-in-Residence Program; and for giving extraordinarily talented young performers their first professional concert appearances in the United States. Among those who have gone on to make their marks on the symphonic world are violinist Sarah Chang, cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Helen Huang.

Since 1990, the California Symphony has been the resident professional orchestra of the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek and regularly performs to capacity audiences in the Hofmann Theatre. The California Symphony also performs in the San Ramon and Concord Communities in September, providing a free concert the whole family can enjoy.

In March 1997, the California Symphony received international recognition when it recorded its first compact disc on the Decca/Argo of London label. The CD, Lou Harrison: A Portrait, features Grammy Award-winning vocalist Al Jarreau as the soloist in Lou Harrison's Symphony No. 4 (Last Symphony). The recording has continued to garner critical acclaim and recognition, including being named "Recording of the Month" in the August 1998 issue of Gramophone Magazine.

Reader's Digest chose the California Symphony as the Best Symphony Orchestra in America in its May 2005 issue hailing the Symphony's Young American Composer-in-Residence Program and its focus on young musicians and American composers.