San Francisco Ballet Orchestra

Since its 1975 performance debut with the Ballet’s Nutcracker, under Music Director Denis de Coteau, the orchestra’s home has been the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House. At that time, the ensemble was credited by the name the Performing Arts Orchestra of San Francisco. Later, in 1983, the name was officially changed to the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

With a core group of 49 regular members, augmented up to 65 players for certain productions, the orchestra’s performance season includes an annual production of The Nutcracker and a winter/spring repertory season. The orchestra’s repertoire varies from such classics as Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Adam’s Giselle to the more abstract and contemporary of ballet and symphonic works.

San Francisco Ballet Orchestra Reviews:

“Martin West and his San Francisco Ballet Orchestra do a bang-up job… West’s tempos [are] broader in some key movements, and hence more conducive to listening without visuals.… This latest release from Bay Area’s Reference Recordings, captured over two days at Skywalker Sound by Grammy Award–winning recording engineer Keith O. Johnson and recordist Sean Royce Martin, is sensational. That’s SENSATIONAL.” —Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice

“Led by conductor Martin West, the San Franciscans brings out its many colorful gestures, such as the alto saxophone solo in the Act III barcarolle (Delibes was one of the first composers to write for the alto sax)…There is no profundity here, only the enchanting melodies and rhythms of the dance…” —WQXR

“Martin West continues to show his conductorial prowess, and proves that his orchestra is a first-rate ensemble…” —Chris Hathaway, Houston Public Radio – Classical