Our History in Walnut Creek

At a concert in San Francisco during our 2005 season (thus, our second season in SF) a patron came up to us at intermission and said “You know, you might consider doing some concerts in Walnut Creek. Nobody is doing music like this out there.”

This was something of a surprise, because we had been under the impression that the performing arts were flourishing in Contra Costa County, particularly in Walnut Creek (which functions as sort of the county's “downtown”) and particularly at the lovely Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.

We did some research and discovered that, although indeed there was plenty of existing classical music performance in Contra Costa County, there was no concert series presenting touring artists of the highest caliber.

Accordingly, we contacted the Diablo Regional Arts Association (the lead funding agency for the arts in Contra Costa County) and proposed that we strike up a partnership. We asked if they would help make it possible for us to open a “branch office” at the Lesher Center for the Arts. They responded that they had been thinking along the same lines themselves! In fact, the DRAA had commissioned an Arts Vision Task Force to ascertain what the audiences there wanted, and their report stated (in part) that audiences seeking “quality of performance” were going to San Francisco, and would welcome high-quality musical performances at the Lesher.

So clearly this was an idea whose time had come. We worked things out with the DRAA, enlisted some other key supporters (including Chevron, which is based in Contra Costa County) and began our concerts in 2007, with a season featuring Lynn Harrell and Charles Rosen. We had an immediate hit on our hands! in 2008 we brought the Beaux Arts Trio and from that point onward, in every season, all performances have been sold out in our 300-seat theatre, almost entirely on subscription.

Our mission in Walnut Creek is simple: to bring the finest musicians in the world to the Lesher Center for the Arts. And being fully subscribed means that we no longer have to spend money on advertising each individual concert; we spend those funds on artist fees instead, so that our subscribers get the best possible concerts to enjoy. Our marketing slogan sums it up: Big City Musicians. No Bridge. No Tunnel.

 

 

Our Cornerstone Sponsor

 

We are grateful to the Diablo Regional Arts Association for their leadership support of our concert series in Walnut Creek.