The Philharmonic Orchestra is the premier orchestra of the San Jose Youth Symphony. Membership is reserved for outstanding players who demonstrate strong musicianship, have highly advanced technique, and are capable of the discipline necessary to perform in a pre-professional orchestral setting. Musicians have the opportunity to study and perform a wide range of challenging masterpieces from the standard symphonic repertoire, and select musicians have the opportunity to play in chamber music groups that perform at various venues throughout the year.

Watch an excerpt from one of their concerts last season!

Artistic Requirements

Musicians must meet these artistic requirements in order to be accepted into the Philharmonic Orchestra.

2019 – 2020 Season Repertoire

Season Opener Concert – December 1, 2019, 5 pm, at the McAfee Performing Arts Center, Saratoga High School, 20300 Herriman Ave., Saratoga, CA 95070
    • Chadwick (arr. Mauffray) – Overture to the Burlesque Opera Tabasco
    • Gould – American Symphonette No. 2
    • Anderson – Bugler’s Holiday
    • Shostakovich – Cello Concerto No. 1
      Severin Michael, cello
    • Piston – The Incredible Flutist
Second Concert – March 21, 2020, 4 pm, at the California Theatre
    • Dvorák (arr. Szell)  – Slavonic Dance Op. 46 No. 1 in C
    • Krommer – Clarinet Concerto No. 1
  •        Luke Nam, clarinet
    • Kodály – Háry János Suite
    • Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto in E minor
      Khushi Parikh, violin
    • Liszt (arr. Muller-Berghaus) – Hungarian Rhapsody
Season Finale June 6, 2020, 4 pm, at the California Theatre
    • Copland – Party Scene from The Tender Land Suite
    • Saint-Saëns – Cello Concerto No 1 in A Minor
    • Grofé – Mississippi Suite (A Tone Journey)
    • Bernstein – Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
    • Bolvin – Free Climb


phil1The Philharmonic Orchestra performs three subscription concerts per year in December, March and June at the historic California Theatre in downtown San Jose. In addition, the orchestra performs at many special events, including the annual Season of Hope concert at the St. Joseph Basilica in downtown San Jose. This event is part of San Jose’s Christmas in the Park celebration.

The Orchestra has performed with many internationally renowned artists in concert and on tour. They include Jon Nakamatsu, Gold Medal winner of the 1997 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Axel Strauss, professor of violin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Taylor Eigsti, renowned jazz pianist and two-time Grammy Award nominee, and Max Zorin, critically acclaimed violinist and faculty member of the Penn State School of Music.

In addition to the standard symphonic repertoire, the orchestra has collaborated with many local and international leading arts groups, among them the San Jose Symphony Orchestra, thetaiko Asian Youth Orchestra, the Okayama Youth Orchestra, San Jose Taiko, Firebird Youth Chinese Orchestra, Mariachi Cobre, San Jose Children’s Musical Theater, the Batucada nana Latin Ensemble, the Crystal Children Choir, the Homestead Jazz Ensemble, the Latin Jazz Ensemble from San Jose State University, and the Los Gatos Ballet in its annual full productions of The Nutcracker.


Rehearsals are held every Monday from 6:30 – 9:30 pm at the Los Gatos United Methodist Church (LGUMC), 111 Church Street, Los Gatos.


phil2In every concert, musicians will receive up to two sectionals coached by leading professional musicians from the area. Approximately every 6 – 8 weeks the orchestra will be divided into small groups based on their instrument and professional musicians will assist SJYS members to develop their skills.

International Tour

Every two years the Philharmonic Orchestra embarks on an international concert tour in the summer. Past destinations include Europe (Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal), South America (Argentina & Chile), Eastern Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland) and Asia (Japan). Please visit our tour page for more information about past tours.