After a nearly two year search process, the Palo Alto Philharmonic is proud to introduce its fourth Music Director:

Lara Webber

Lara writes,
"I’m excited and grateful to have the opportunity to lead the Palo Alto Philharmonic, and to collaborate with such wonderful musicians within this great community. We have planned a beautiful season of music, from across the varied spectrum of symphonic repertoire, including works from Mahler, Prokofiev, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Actor, Mozart and Barber. Highlights include appearances by soprano Heidi Moss and violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn, as well as pianist Solomon Ge, and flutists Natalie Haworth-Liu, and Ray Furuta in the premiere of Lee Actor’s Double Flute Concerto.

"We invite you to join us -- to help us make the Palo Alto Philharmonic a place to find connection and community, through this extraordinary music we have the privilege to bring to life and share with you. Symphonic music has this unique capacity to connect us, tap into our collective imagination, and transcend barriers. Our society is so hungry for real connections between people, for a sense of community. This is our purpose, and what music is all about. This is what we hope to create for our listeners, and ourselves, as we strive together to make this beautiful music soar. Come listen, get involved and be a part of it!"

The Philharmonic would like to thank all the finalists and applicants for their time, as well as our musicians and audience members for their comments and suggestions. We would particularly like to thank the members of the Search committee, led by Laura Shea-Clark.


Overview of our 2019-2020 Season


Baroque Concert ††  8 pm SATURday, SEPTEMBER 7, 2019

Philharmonic musicians and their friends performing a delightful array of music from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.


Heaven and Earth †  8 pm Saturday, OCTOBER 19, 2019

Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915
       featuring soprano soloist Heidi Moss
Mahler Symphony No. 4
       featuring soprano soloist Heidi Moss
   conducted by Music Director Lara Webber


Fall Chamber Concert ††  8 pm SATURday, NOVEMBER 9, 2019

Philharmonic musicians and their friends in wind, string and brass ensembles


Russian Remarks †  8 pm Saturday, DECEMBER 7, 2019

Actor Opening Remarks
Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3
      featuring piano soloist Solomon Ge
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 3
      conducted by Assistant Conductor Lee Actor


Love Stories †  8 pm Saturday, February 15, 2020

Rossini  Overture to Barber of Seville
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
      featuring violin soloist Elizabeth Pitcairn
Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet: Suite No. 2
      conducted by Music Director Lara Webber


Spring Chamber Concert ††  8 pm SATURday, MaRCH 14, 2020

Philharmonic musicians and their friends in wind, string and brass ensembles


Fantastic Flutes †  8 pm Saturday, April 4, 2020

Mozart Overture to The Magic Flute
Actor Double Concerto for Two Flutes (World Premiere!)
      featuring flute soloists Ray Furuta and Natalie Haworth-Liu
Grieg Symphonic Dances
      conducted by Music Director Lara Webber


Family Concert †  3 pm Sunday, May 17, 2020

Music for the young and the young-at-heart!
      conducted by Music Director Lara Webber 

Concerts at:      † Cubberley Theatre   †† First Lutheran Church

*Evening orchestra concerts include a pre-concert talk at 7:30pm


About the Philharmonic —

In 1988, a group of musicians and lovers of classical music organized a new community-based orchestra in Palo Alto, with the goal of presenting an annual series of orchestral and chamber music concerts performed by local musicians and led by conductor Gideon Grau for a discriminating local audience.

Today, 31 seasons later, the orchestra will soon complete the search for its next Music Director. The new Music Director will take the podium for the 2019-2020 season, assisted by Composer-in-Residence and Assistant Conductor Lee Actor.

The Palo Alto Philharmonic Association is a registered non-profit organization, governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. In addition to presenting musically stimulating concerts at reasonable prices and in venues convenient to many, the Philharmonic is dedicated to encouraging all — young and old — to perform and appreciate serious contemporary and classical music. Our members as well as our audience, come from all over the Bay Area to make and enjoy music together.

In addition to the four Orchestra Concerts that constitute the backbone of the season, there are two Chamber Concerts and a Family Concert. The Chamber Concerts are a mix of small instrumental groups, that include orchestra members and invited guest musicians. Over the years, a loyal following has attended these performances. Our most recent addition is our Baroque Concert, held at the beginning of each concert season in September. This concert, featuring chamber and small-ensemble music from the Baroque period, has been tremendously successful. Our Family Concert, at the close of each season in May, has attracted its own following. These concerts have featured winners of student concerto movement competitions, educational and musical journeys designed to interest and entertain young and old.

Ticket prices cover only a small percentage of our operating costs; a large part of our success is due to your generous donations.




Composer-in-Residence and
Assistant Conductor Lee Actor