On a road trip to San Diego a decade ago, two young San Diego Symphony musicians had an idea for a way to expose new audiences to the excitement of classical music. Based on the idea of innovative, “mixtape” programming that would combine both new and old works, Art of Élan created a model of short, one-hour concerts in unique venues, providing for a more personalized and human approach to connecting with concertgoers, and proving that classical music does still have relevance, given the right context.

Now a decade later, Art of Élan has arrived at its 10th Anniversary Season with an impressive catalog of 64 public concerts (many sold out!), 10 world premieres of commissioned works, numerous West Coast premieres, a highly coveted ensemble-in-residence program, a meaningful commitment to community engagement and an energized and growing audience for classical music.

Founders Kate Hatmaker and Demarre McGill are proud of their accomplishments and continue to look ahead. “We believe that with our energy, innovative programming ideas, and genuine desire to share classical music with a wider audience, we can both change the cultural climate of San Diego and be a worldwide example of innovation in the arts.”

The 10th Anniversary Season, “A Place to Call Home,” focuses on creative place-making and defining home in the 21st century. With numerous collaborations and cross-disciplinary productions that include an expanded five-concert series at The San Diego Museum of Art that opens and closes with free community concerts, an encore collaboration with Malashock Dance, and a return to Copley Symphony Hall, the 10th anniversary celebrates the reach of Art of Élan’s programming and engagement efforts as well as its ongoing desire to connect people from all over the globe through music.

Art of Élan’s 10th Anniversary Season features 2 FREE community concerts, 7 world premieres of commissioned works, a new podcast series titled Illuminating Music, and multiple collaborations, both local and national.



For the past 10 years Art of Élan has been pioneering unique chamber music events and bringing the excitement of classical music to diverse audiences. Created by violinist Kate Hatmaker and flutist Demarre McGill, Art of Élan is continually expanding the scope of classical music in San Diego through innovative, one-hour programming in unique performance venues. Its partnerships with The San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park, The Glashaus in Barrio Logan, the Malcolm X Library and A Reason To Survive (ARTS) in National City have led to multiple commissions, world premieres, exciting cross-disciplinary productions and enthusiastic, sold-out audiences.

By drawing inspiration from the word élan, which represents momentum, vigor and spirit, Art of Élan continues to engage and energize audiences in new ways.