Our mission is to enrich the lives of today’s and tomorrow’s passionate music lovers by connecting them to the genius and innovation of Mozart and the Masters, to world-class musicians and music-making, and to each other.
For thirty years, Mainly Mozart has been a mission-driven organization with one guiding inspiration: Mozart. His music, his mastery, and all that he embodied as a multi-faceted man inspires our mission and vision—and is what sets us apart. Mozart personifies much more than classical music. He exemplifies prodigy, composer, genius, innovator, collaborator—and Mainly Mozart is driven to express these qualities in everything we produce.
Mainly Mozart is chartered and a press conference announcing the new organization is held at the Old Globe Theatre, with David Atherton as founding Music Director and Nancy Laturno as founding Executive Director. The new organization is housed in corporate offices of Blaine Quick, Mainly Mozart’s founding Board Chair.
The first sounds of the all-star Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, under the baton of founding Maestro David Atherton, are heard in 1989. Having been chartered as a non-profit corporation in September, 1988, the first Festival is performed on the outdoor stage of the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park to critical and popular acclaim. Pianist Anton Nel performed as Mainly Mozart’s first featured soloist.
The Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra moves indoors to the 1,400 seat Spreckels Theatre in downtown San Diego. Club Amadeus is born as Club Twelve-Fifty, with intimate members-only concerts featuring world-class artists in exclusive private residences.
Mainly Mozart becomes binational, adding “Mozart Binacional” with concerts and educational programs in Tijuana, eventually to extend to Mexicali, Puerto Nuevo, Rosarito, Ensenada, Tecate and Mazatlan. In San Diego, “Living Composers” is launched for elementary school students.
Mainly Mozart began its winter presence with a 5-concert piano recital series begun in 1996 at the Neurosciences Institute (now The Auditorium at TSRI). The original purpose of this very popular series was to “shine a spotlight” on Mainly Mozart’s Festival artists from January through May. Additional series venues were added in 2004 (St. Elizabeth Seton Church, Carlsbad) and 2006 (The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe).
Mainly Mozart leads a goodwill tour of the three Californias, commissioned by the Governors of California, Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur, as Mainly Mozart’s “Orchestra of the Californias.” Public concerts, outreach programs and instrument distribution to children of need were part of this two week, bi-national mini-festival.
Mainly Mozart spearheads a year-long celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, with more than 80 San Diego/Tijuana organizations in nearly 300 Mozart-themed events ranging from classical music to theatre to dance to art exhibitions. That year’s Mainly Mozart Festival programming was all Mozart.
The Mainly Mozart Festival makes the newly remodeled, historic Balboa Theatre its permanent summer home. Pianist John Lill thrills a sold-out house by performing all five Beethoven Piano Concerti in a single evening.
Mainly Mozart introduces three new series; Mozart & the Mind – Exploring the Music Brain Effect, Evolution at The Abbey – Today’s Musical Innovators, and Festival Chamber Players at The Timken Museum. The merger between 25 year-old Young Artists Symphony and Mainly Mozart was completed in May, creating the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra and Youth Orchestra of the Californias (in partnership with Tijuana’s music conservatory). Maestro David Atherton ends his tenure as Music Director of the Mainly Mozart Festival which he founded 25 years earlier, conducting his final season in June.
British conductor Michael Francis raises his baton as the Mainly Mozart Festival’s second-ever Music Director in its 27-year history. Ticket sales for the first season of the dynamic young conductor nearly double.
Year One of Maestro Francis’s six-year journey launches with “The Prodigy Year: Mozart from 3-17” during the 28th annual Mainly Mozart Festival.
Year Two of Maestro Francis’s six-year journey explores “Beauty through Adversity: Finding His Voice” during the 29th annual Mainly Mozart Festival.
Year Three of Maestro Francis’s six-year journey explores “Brave New World: From Rebel to Entrepreneur” during the 30th annual Mainly Mozart Festival.
Nancy Laturno founded Mainly Mozart with Maestro David Atherton in 1988. Under Laturno’s leadership, Mainly Mozart has grown from a two week festival into a year-round producer of world-class orchestral and chamber music concerts, youth orchestra, outreach for students and adults, and innovative programs such as Music & the Mind. She is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s strategic, artistic and operational planning and implementation.
Gregory has an extensive career in arts management and is a trained musician with a love for many different art forms. Before joining Mainly Mozart he was working as a consultant in Southern California for Parry Arts Consulting, a company he founded in 2009 in Paris, France after being awarded a Competencies and Talents Visa by the French government. Before moving to France, Mr. Parry was Director of Marketing and Public Relations for San Diego Symphony and was a key member of the senior management team which successfully doubled the organization’s budget and lead the orchestra to being recognized as a Tier 1 organization by the League of American Symphony Orchestras. He began his career in arts administration at The Banff Centre for The Arts (Alberta, Canada) where he held the position of Assistant Director in the Theatre Arts Department, Marketing and Public Relations.
Luis oversees Box Office Operations, setting up concerts and events for sale on the website and in-house, managing data systems and project workflow within the office, updating the website, and providing computer and design technical assistance. Luis has been with Mainly Mozart since 2010.
Katie oversees staff operations, as well as patron and community engagement. She serves as liaison to our Club Amadeus, Adopt-an-Artist and Maestro Society members, as well as organizing all donor travel and special events. Katie joined Mainly Mozart in May 2017.
Kathy came on board as a temporary assistant to our Chief Executive Officer, but her decades of office administration experience have proven an invaluable asset to our organization, so she will be staying on permanently. In addition to assisting our CEO she will be part of our Development Team.
Max brings his broad musical knowledge and operational expertise to the Mainly Mozart team after several years in northern California. While attending California State University Chico, Max earned a BA in Music Industry and Keyboard Performance. Before moving back to San Diego, Max worked as the Personnel and Production Manager for the North State Symphony for three years. During the off-season, Max works as Assistant Stage Manager for the Cabrillo Modern Music Festival.
Joseph Shanks is an active and passionate musician who desires to share his love of music with those around him. He received his BA in Music at California Polytechnic University (Cal Poly) and is currently seeking a MM degree in viola performance at San Diego State University. Before moving to San Diego, Joseph performed regularly with the San Luis Obispo Symphony, the San Luis Obispo Master Chorale, and Orchestra Novo. In addition to performing, Joseph actively teaches private music lessons and helps his church as a pianist, violist, and congregational song leader. Joseph assists the conductors of the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra in their weekly rehearsals as well as handling all the administrative duties for the youth orchestra.