The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center


Click each question to view the answers to frequently asked questions about The Conrad. If you have a question that has not been answered, please use the form below to submit your question and we will get back to you with an answer.

What is The Conrad?

The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center, also known as The Conrad, will enrich the cultural life of San Diego and will be the permanent home of La Jolla Music Society. The Conrad, which includes a 500-seat concert hall and a 2000 square foot flexible performance space, has been thoughtfully designed to accommodate a wide variety of activities and performances and will be available to the community for events.

Where in La Jolla will The Conrad be located?

The Conrad will be located at 7600 Fay Avenue in the heart of the village of La Jolla.

Why build The Conrad instead of continuing to operate out of Sherwood Auditorium?

The Museum of Contemporary Art will be repurposing Sherwood Auditorium as gallery space, and so La Jolla Music Society needed to find a new venue to hold many of its performances. This change furthered the desire LJMS has always had to build their own special home and expand their programmatic reach. With this new building, and the expansion of MCASD, we believe the community as a whole – from arts organizations to local businesses, restaurants and hotels, and individual community members – will benefit greatly.

What is La Jolla Music Society?

La Jolla Music Society is San Diego’s largest performing arts presenter. Its mission is to enhance the cultural vitality and deepen the cultural life of San Diego by presenting and producing a dynamic range of performing arts for its increasingly diverse community. As La Jolla Music Society grows and broadens its service to the San Diego community, the institution believes that The Conrad will further increase their contribution to the quality of life in San Diego, which is at the core of their mission.

Are public funds being used to construct this project?

No taxpayer money is being used to build this new performance venue. The Conrad is being constructed exclusively through generous private donations from major philanthropists including Conrad Prebys and Debra Turner, Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Stephen Baum and Brenda Baker, and John and Raffaella Belanich among others. The Conrad will bring economic vitality to the region and the La Jolla arts community and your support is needed to assure the lasting legacy of The Conrad, which will truly be a gift for all to enjoy. Please visit Support The Conrad to make a gift.

What is the total project cost?

We have a Capital Campaign goal of $76 million. This goal includes the cost of purchasing the land, parking acquisition, construction, and an operating endowment. As of today we have received gifts totaling $62 million, and we are enthusiastic to be launching the Public Phase of our Capital Campaign to raise the additional $14 million needed to meet the goal.

Who designed The Conrad?

EPSTEIN JOSLIN Architects, Inc., from Cambridge, Massachusetts, have been selected to design The Conrad. La Jolla Music Society went through a yearlong competitive process to select an architecture firm that had extensive experience building acclaimed music halls and could build a distinctive and beautiful performing arts center that would immediately be recognized as having its roots in La Jolla.

Was the community involved in the design discussion?

Yes. La Jolla Music Society has a board of directors made up of 30 community leaders from La Jolla, Del Mar, San Diego, and Rancho Santa Fe, all of whom were regularly involved in helping guide and review the preliminary designs. Informal discussions were undertaken with local politicians, civic and arts leaders, and patrons to gauge what they felt were important to incorporate into the design. The design was presented to, and unanimously approved by, the La Jolla Planning Commission.

What makes The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center unique?

Also known as The Conrad, the 49,000 square foot facility will include a 500-seat concert hall (The Baker-Baum Concert Hall), a 2000 square foot flexible performance space (know as The JAI), a meeting/reception room, a large open courtyard, and offices for La Jolla Music Society.

Though it is first a concert hall with superior acoustics, The Baker-Baum Concert Hall in The Conrad will have many other technical capabilities. It will boat professional cinema projection and surround sound, a well-equipped LED stage lighting system, and streaming video capabilities into and out of the facility. It will be a perfect venue for everything from chamber music to film, conferences, amplified music, and more.

The JAI is a flexible use performance space with high ceilings, advanced sound and lighting capabilities, and concession services. This will be a perfect space to enjoy a jazz band while sipping drinks around small tables. The JAI will also be available for meetings, parties, and receptions.

Will the community be able to use The Conrad?

Absolutely. Even given La Jolla Society’s full presenting season, the majority of the year The Conrad will be available for rentals. We hope many other San Diego Arts institutions will present concerts at The Conrad. It will also be a perfect facility for film festivals, corporate and community meetings, galas, weddings, and many other events.

Email to learn more.

Where will people attending events at The Conrad find parking?

In the four-story Bank of America parking structure, only 130 feet diagonally across the street from The Conrad, there are 201 parking spaces. This structure will have dedicated daytime parking for La Jolla Music Society staff and guests. Addition evening parking will be available to patrons on a first come first served basis. In addition, there will be more than 500 parking spaces within a 5 minute walk that will be made especially available to patrons attending events at The Conrad. From the beginning of the design process, La Jolla Music Society and EPSTEIN JOSLIN Architects, Inc. have worked in tandem with leading traffic engineers Kimley-Horn to develop a parking plan that takes advantage of many existing parking options not previously available to the public in the evenings. The Conrad has the support of five other parking owners/managers in La Jolla, which include La Jolla Presbyterian Church and The Bishop’s School, please reference the map below. These parking spaces will be made available during evening and weekend events at The Conrad. This is in addition to all of the existing resources that currently serve the area. The Conrad will also offer valet parking for evening performances. Weekday daytime events will be predominately educational events, having no impact on local parking or will have dedicated parking in a nearby parking garage.

The Conrad Parking Map

How can I support this effort?

There are many ways to support The Conrad. To learn more, please email Ferdinand Gasang, Development Director for La Jolla Music Society or call 858.459.3724.

Will The Conrad be used for other events and activities besides classical music performances?

Absolutely. With top of the line sound, lighting, and cinema capabilities, The Conrad will be an ideal location for film, dance, conferences, lectures, jazz, cabaret, and a broad array of popular music.

Will La Jolla Music Society present performances around San Diego or only at The Conrad?

La Jolla Music Society will continue to present concerts throughout San Diego at various venues including; Jacobs Music Center – Copley Symphony Hall, Balboa Theatre, Civic Theatre, and Spreckels Theatre, and we may even discover alternative venues to showcase new genres not currently presented by La Jolla Music Society.

When will The Conrad open?

Construction of the new performing arts center began in February of 2017. The construction is expected to be complete in the fall of 2018, with the first public performance in The Conrad in April 2019.

How does the audience capacity at The Conrad differ from MCASD Sherwood Auditorium?

They are the same; 500 seats. The Concert Hall in The Conrad will have an orchestra level with 350 seats and a Mezzanine level with 150 seats. In addition there will be a 140-seat flexible use space.

Does the project require City Council approval?

City Council approval is not required, however, we have met with most city council members to share our plans  We have worked closely with the community to keep them informed about The Conrad and listened to their comments received during our presentations to the La Jolla Community Planning Association, where, The Conrad received unanimous approval.

Will there be opportunities for consultants and/or contractors to work on The Conrad?

Construction of The Conrad is managed by Boretto + Merrill. All interested parties should direct their inquiries to Brad Miller.

Submit your Question

If you have a question that has not been answered, please feel free to submit the question using this form.

First Name*

Last Name*

Email Address*