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Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra dressed to the 90th for season opener


Guest violinist Simone Porter will perform Max Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy" for the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra's season opener on Saturday.

On Saturday, the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra returns to form for its 90th concert season with a performance in front of a live audience at Mechanics Bank Theater.

The season opener features guest violinist Simone Porter, who will perform Bruch’s enchanting "Scottish Fantasy" on a 1740 Carlo Bergonzi violin made in Cremona, Italy, that is on loan from the Master’s University in Santa Clarita.

An award-winning musician, Porter made her professional debut at the young age of 10 with the Seattle Symphony and her international debut at the age of 13 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. 

"We are thrilled to be able to bring the incredible talent of Simone Porter to our community," maestro Stilian Kirov said in a news release.

After Porter's performance, Kirov, who recently extended his commitment with the Bakersfield Symphony through 2026, will take the audience on a journey to the "New World" with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9.

Doors open at 5 p.m., with an optional pre-concert lecture at 5:15 p.m. followed by the concert at 6 p.m. at the theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave.

Concerts this season have been moved to an earlier time to help eliminate some parking issues when other events and hockey games are held at the arena next door, Bakersfield Symphony Executive Director Holly Arnold said in the news release.

"Our hope is the earlier time will also encourage families to attend as well as provide the opportunity for either early bird or relaxed post-concert dining, creating a lovely evening experience."

Speaking of dinner, those who want a nice pre-concert meal can head to the Bakersfield Marriott — the symphony’s premier accommodation sponsor — which will open its restaurant The Nines at 4 p.m. on concert nights.

Visit for more information or to purchase tickets. Tickets ($20-$45) can also be purchased at the box office before the concert.