Dan has been serving as our announcer for the past 6 years. You can hear Dan every morning on Sunny 103.1 FM. Dan has interviewed many of our guest artists with expertise. Thank you Dan and the staff at Sunny 103.1 FM for your talent and time!
our mission is to provide a professional orchestra committed to enhancing and enriching the cultural life of the people in the Desert Cities. We offer a series of concerts, recitals and special events with programs of musical, artistic excellence that entertain, educate and engage the audience. We are also dedicated to providing free concerts to schoolchildren where they can experience a live symphony orchestra
To those who make The Desert Symphony work year after year
Gary Berkson, Music Director
Dan McGrath -
"The Voice of The Desert Symphony"
Gary Berkson, Music Director and Conductor of The Desert Symphony, has served as Resident Conductor of the Royal Swedish Ballet and Royal Swedish Opera as well as Principal Conductor of the Gothenburg opera house “Stora Teatern” where he was also Artistic Adviser. He has also spent ten years as Head of the Opera Division at the Royal Swedish Opera House.
Gary Berkson is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He is best known for his work as a conductor in the theatre, appearing with companies like the Dutch National Ballet, the Nederlands Dans Theater I & II, Hamburg Ballet, Norwegian National Ballet, Royal Swedish Ballet, Finnish National Ballet and in the operatic field with the Greater Miami Opera, Chattanooga Opera, Royal Swedish Opera, Malmö Opera och Musikteater and at international music festivals in the United States, Germany, Bulgaria and Norway conducting operas and ballets ranging from the traditional to the contemporary as well as musicals and operettas.
Gary Berkson is no stranger to symphony orchestras. He has appeared with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Gothenburg Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Swedish Court Orchestra, Sophia Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfonica de Bilbao, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Holland Symfonia, Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony and Malmö Symphony Orchestra; orchestras he has conducted in North America include the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, Evansville Philharmonic, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra and the San Antonio Symphony.
Mr. Berkson has had the honor of conducting for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of Great Britain, King Carl XVI Gustav and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands as well as the Presidents and Prime Ministers of many European countries.
Sydne Heidrich, Robert Morrison
Pat Krause Manny the Movie Guy- KMIR
The Muse of the McCallum Theatre
Palm Springs Life magazine
Palm Springs Women and Film
Sophia Perrone, Terra Webb and the Box Office
The McCallum Theatre, Chris Plasse
Nancy & Eddie Ortiz, Fran Snelling
Melinda Read - "Talk of The Desert"
Charles Shubow " Broadway World"
Andreas Stepanek, Madeline Zuckerman
Gary Walker- "Desert Entertainer"
Linda Williamson, Valley Woman
Thanks to the Back Stage Theatre Crew and Staff!
The Desert Symphony
Gary Berkson, Music Director
Jodi Adams design, Francis Allen,
Hal Asher, Dan Bell-KMIR
Chuck Baum"Lamar Advertising"
Roger Benachowski, Jeff Clark
Patti Daily Caruso-"Valley Views"
Choachella Valley beacon
Will Cook, FG Creative
Rick Darius, El Paseo Jewlers
Patrick Evans", Jim 'Fitz" Fitxgerald
Denise Fleig"Desert Sun"
Bill Feingold & Kevin Holmes - "The Bill Feingold Show", Betty Francis
Gay Desert Guide, Gloria Greer