The San Antonio Philharmonic has purchased the library and instruments of the San Antonio Symphony

The extensive music library holds thousands of works

September 27, 2022

Nancy Cook-Monroe: 210 857-0822

An offer by the San Antonio Philharmonic board of directors to purchase the former San Antonio Symphony’s assets has been accepted and transacted as of September 27. The Philharmonic was represented by attorney Thomas McKenzie. 

The future of these assets, including musical instruments, the music library, historical archives, and recordings, had been uncertain since the Symphony Society of San Antonio declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy on June 16.  

The assets are currently held at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. The music library is housed in a specially designed room in the Tobin Center outfitted with movable shelving at a cost of more than $100,000. It was paid for by the Symphony Society of San Antonio for this purpose.   

The purchase was made possible by David Wood and Colette Holt, and by the American Federation of Musicians Local 23. Wood and Holt stated, “We are honored to have been able to help ensure that classical music will continue to enrich the lives of the residents of San Antonio.” 

Richard Oppenheim, president of AFM Local 23, said, “AFM Local 23 is delighted to have been able to offer assistance, financial and otherwise, toward this historic endeavor. It is only fitting that the first major material purchase by the musician-built SA Phil is facilitated in large measure by contributions from AFM orchestral musicians across the U.S. who stood in solidarity with their peers in San Antonio.”  

Brian Petkovich, president of the San Antonio Philharmonic, led the effort to preserve the library and other items. “We are gratified that the Philharmonic is able to ensure the music library and instruments will stay in San Antonio,” he said. “They reflect 83 years of San Antonio’s cultural history.”

The music library holds thousands of works that have been gathered over more than 80 years. Many of these works are no longer available for purchase. The collection of instruments includes large instruments such as timpani and a bass drum, and rare or seldom used instruments including a wind machine and alto flute.    

The process of purchasing assets out of bankruptcy involved several steps and required nearly a month to complete.   


The public announcement of the San Antonio Philharmonic, August 24, unfurled a vision for the city in which every resident has access to high-quality orchestral performances and educational opportunities. The “SA Phil” is striving to involve new audiences in the transformative power of music.