Under the direction of Music Director and Principal Conductor Martin West, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra is internationally recognized as one of the foremost ballet orchestras in the world.
After decades of using freelance musicians, the Orchestra was founded in 1975 – as the Performing Arts Orchestra – under Music Director Denis de Coteau. The Orchestra performs all of San Francisco Ballet’s repertory programs at the War Memorial Opera House, and has accompanied other companies including Hamburg Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Bolshoi Ballet, and The Royal Ballet.
The Orchestra has established a critically acclaimed discography of 17 recordings. The Orchestra has appeared in televised recordings such as the inaugural Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance broadcast of SF Ballet Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet, and PBS’s Great Performances: Dance in America broadcasts of John Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, Lar Lubovitch’s Othello, Tomasson’s Nutcracker, and former Co-Artistic Director Michael Smuin’s productions of The Tempest, Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, and A Song for Dead Warriors.
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