San Diego Symphony returns to Rancho Santa Fe March 22

Violinist Elena Urioste
Violinist Elena Urioste
(Alessandra Tinozzi

Sunday afternoon, March 22, marks the return of the San Diego Symphony to Rancho Santa Fe in the Village Church Sanctuary.

“I’ve been looking forward to the Symphony returning to the Ranch for months,” said Bill Weber, member of the Symphony board of directors. “The Symphony has performed here in the Sanctuary only once before and that experience was - well, heavenly!”

This program features the classical favorite, The Four Seasons, by Antonio Vivaldi, first written and performed in 1725. Vivaldi, a Roman Catholic priest, reportedly wrote The Four Seasons to accompany four sonnets, each depicting the respective season. The program also features a similarly-themed work by Astor Piazzolla: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, written more than two centuries later. The seasons, as envisioned by each composer, are juxtaposed throughout the program.

The guest conductor is internationally-recognized Australian Christopher Dragon, and the violin soloist is Elena Urioste, who has performed with major orchestras throughout the United States. Her love of nature inspires her musical interpretation of the musical imagery: birds chirping, leaves rustling, thunder, and wind.

Guest conductor Christopher Dragon
Guest conductor Christopher Dragon

It has been two years since the San Diego Symphony performed in Rancho Santa Fe – in the Sanctuary at the Village Church. That concert was the first time that the full orchestra had performed here – to rave reviews from audience and musicians alike. The common message: the wonderful acoustics of the Sanctuary, and the intimate proximity between audience and musicians created the feeling of being enveloped by the music — and (virtually) being part of the orchestra.

Juan Acosta, director of Music Ministries at the Village Church, was instrumental in bringing the Symphony here for this performance: scheduling, coordinating between Symphony and church staff, and helping with the myriad facilities issues of accommodating the large number of musicians. When asked about the upcoming concert, he said, “I’m excited to hear the Vivaldi and the Piazzola and to see what Christopher [Dragon] does with them. I’m always intrigued by new pieces that have been inspired by, or written as companion pieces to classics.”

The Village Church has been a pillar of the Rancho Santa Fe community for more than 60 years, and the Symphony has been a leadings arts organization in San Diego for more than 100 years, so it only made sense for these two institutions to come together again for the Rancho Santa Fe community. On March 22, guests will get to experience this world-renowned orchestra in an intimate and acoustically superb setting in their own backyard: the Village Church Sanctuary.

“This is a transformational year for the Symphony,” Weber said. “First, we’re very excited about the inaugural season of our Music Director, Rafael Payare. Then, July marks debut of the summer concert series at The Shell, our brand new spectacular permanent outdoor venue by the bay. Bringing the Symphony to the Ranch this year is another highlight for me.”

To recap, this not-to-miss performance is at 4 p.m. on March 22. General Admission tickets are just $55, available at the San Diego Symphony website: or at