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Symphony 101: Your Questions Answered

Symphony 101: Your Questions Answered

Welcome Back to the California Symphony!

If you’re reading this page, that means you’re hopefully joining us soon for a concert, and we love that.

Whether you’re planning your first visit or your 100th, you probably have questions about the concert experience as together we navigate the return to live, in-person concerts once more. (Huzzah!)

Have a question that’s not answered here? Send us a message on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or you can email us at

Does California Symphony require vaccination and masks?

In line with city directives and most Bay Area performing arts venues, we ARE requiring patrons, staff, volunteers, and musicians to show proof of vaccination. Additionally, masks must be worn regardless of vaccination status.

For further details and the most up-to-date COVID safety policies, please visit our COVID safety page and the Lesher Center’s safety page.

Are tickets still available for EPIC FINALE?

Yes! You can buy online at or call the Lesher Center Ticket Office at 925.943.7469, Wed through Sun, from 12:00 noon till 6:00 pm.

When should I arrive?

Saturday’s performance starts at 7:30 pm and Sunday’s at 4:00 pm, and you are also welcome to attend the free, 30-minute pre-concert talk, starting one hour before each show. We recommend allowing plenty of time to park, complete the vaccine status check, and get to your seat. If you’re late, you’ll be allowed in at a suitable break in the program.

What’s the process for checking vaccine status?

Vaccination checks will be on Rudney Plaza, near the front doors to the Lesher Center.  Patrons picking up tickets can visit Will Call before getting in the vaccination queue.  You should have your photo ID and vaccination information ready when approaching the front doors to the Lesher Center.

The lines open at approximately 5:00pm on Saturday and 1:30pm on Sunday, giving you plenty of time to get situated before the free pre-concert talk.

Is there a pre-concert talk?

Yes! If you like, you can join Music Director Donato Cabrera, Concertmaster and soloist Nathan Chan and California Symphony Composer-in-Residence Viet Cuong for a free, 30-minute, pre-concert conversation starting one hour before the performance. Please make your way to your ticketed seats in the Hofmann Theater to enjoy the talk.

Will you be handing out EPIC FINALE programs?

We understand that some patrons prefer printed programs, so there will be some available on entry to the Hofmann theater.

If you’re happy with an environmentally-friendlier option, you can access a flippable PDF version of the program online here or by scanning the QR code you will see posted around the lobby. And as a bonus, you’ll find clickable deep links to more content throughout the digital program.

Will there be wine? And signature cocktails..?

Is this the California Symphony..?

Wine, beer, sodas and snacks will be available to purchase at the bars on the 2nd floor lobby at Lesher.

Can we still take beverages into the hall?

Not for these concerts. Please finish your beverages in the lobby, before entering the theater, and for everyone’s comfort, please pull your mask down only to take a sip – thank you!

Will there be ice cream?

Sadly not this time, but we do expect the volunteer vendors to return in the future.

I have tickets but I’m not ready to come back to the hall. What can I do?

We understand. You can:

  • Give them to friends
  • Exchange them for another performance in the season
  • Donate them to the Symphony and receive a tax receipt in return

If you’d rather get a refund, please contact the Lesher Center Ticket Office at least two hours before your scheduled performance.