Riverside PhilHarmonic

The Mission of the Riverside Philharmonic is to advance the enjoyment and appreciation of symphonic music to the diverse communities in the Inland Southern California region through performances and innovative programs that challenge, educate, enrich, and entertain.


Established in 1959 as the Riverside Symphony, the orchestra’s debut concert took place April 7, 1959 at Ramona High School and was a sell-out.  The Philharmonic has been delighting its audiences ever since with performances of well known masterworks and newer compositions. 

The orchestra has been acclaimed by local and out-of-town critics for compelling performances and for its unique programming and exceptional roster of guest soloists. On several occasions, reviewers have dubbed the Philharmonic: “Best orchestra in Southern California.” 

The orchestra performs weekend concerts in the state-of-the-art concert hall at the Coil School for the Arts in downtown Riverside.  The orchestra has also appeared throughout the region, including Cerritos, the Ramona Bowl, Lake Elsinore, Fallbrook, Rancho Cucamonga, and Temecula.  It performs at the annual Concert for Heroes at Riverside’s National Cemetery as a part of 4th of July observances.​

Riverside Philharmonic is a non-profit organization.


Tomasz Golka

Music Director 

Since winning 1st Prizeat the 2003 Eduardo Mata International Conducting Competition, conductor and composer Tomasz Golka has appeared with orchestras in North and South America and Europe to great critical acclaim.


As guest conductor, he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Seattle, Fort Worth, Buffalo, Spoleto Festival USA, Xalapa, Jalisco, Warsaw Philharmonic, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, as well as the OFUNAM in Mexico City, and he has collaborated with some of the world’s top soloists, including Susan Graham, Alisa Weilerstein, Gary Hoffman, Inon Barnatan, Miriam Fried, Yuval Yaron, Joseph Swensen, and his pianist-brother Adam Golka.


The 2018-2019 season includes guest conducting engagements throughout Mexico in Chihuahua, Juarez, Monterrey, and Saltillo as well as with the Puerto Rico Symphony.


Golka has served as Cover Conductor for Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Solti International Conducting Competition and the 2005 Malko International Conducting competition, where he conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and the Danish Radio Symphony, respectively.


Past positions include Chief Conductor of Colombia National Symphony in Bogotá, Music Director of the Lubbock Symphony, and Interim Music Director of the Chamber Orchestra at St. Matthew’s. He is currently Music Director of Riverside Philharmonic, a virtuoso orchestra made up of the top studio musicians in Hollywood.


A composer of both film and concert works, he was named Composer-in-residence of the 2018 Boulder International Chamber Music Competition, which commissioned his piece “True Green” to be the required composition for all competitors to perform. He composed the score for the 2018 short film “The Dare” and the web series "Pagan Holidays." He is currently working on an original score for the film “Shaking Cup." His concert works have been performed by the symphony orchestras of California, El Paso, Williamsport, Boca del Rio, and the Suffolk County Festival Orchestra.


As a conducting fellow at the 2006 Tanglewood Music Festival, Golka worked with world-renowned conductors James Levine and Bernard Haitink, with whom he shared the podium (conducting Richard Strauss's Death and Transfiguration before Maestro Haitink conducted Shostakovich's 10th Symphony). Golka also conducted a historic performance of Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale with legendary composers Milton Babbitt, Elliott Carter, and John Harbison as narrators – a recording that is now available through the Boston Symphony. He has also recorded Ciranda das sete notas by Heitor Villa-Lobos for Melo Records. He was also a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival in 2002 and has conducted in masterclasses for such esteemed conductors as David Zinman and Yuri Temirkanov.


Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1975, Golka’s family emigrated to Mexico in 1980 and to the United States in 1982. His conducting teachers were David Effron at Indiana University and Gustav Meier at the Peabody Conservatory. He has a Certificate in Film Scoring from the prestigious UCLA Extension Film Scoring Program where he was the recipient of the coveted BMI/Jerry Goldsmith Film Scoring Scholarship. He also holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in violin performance from Rice University, where his teachers were Sergiu Luca and Kenneth Goldsmith. His other violin teachers included Tadeusz Wronski and Marina Yashvili.

Board Members
Executive BoarD
Robert Herrick
Ethan Castro
Moises Alvarez
Ken Gutierrez
Board Members
Virginia Blumenthal
Kim Devlin
Amy Harrison
Gerri Hunt
Donna Knox
Stan Morrison
Mary Parks
Norm Pelzer
Mireille Savona
Dwight Tate
Kathy Wright
Billie Yeager
Marcia McQuern
Immediate Past President
Larry McAdara
Executive Director
Frankie Salpas
Bookkeeper/Office Assistant
Personnel Manager
Kris Mettala
Orchestra Librarian
Kris Mettala
Orchestra musicians

Violin I

Eugene Sam Fischer


Anna Kostyuchek

Jennifer Y. Takamatsu

Violin II

Michelina Wright 

Linda Wilson


Aaron Oltman


Rachel L. Coosaia


James F. Bergman

Lisa J. Gass


Mary C. Dropkin, Principal


Eileen M. Holt, Principal

Julie R. Long, 2nd 


Rong-Huey Liu, Principal


Linda G. Silva, 2nd


Duncan F. Massey, Principal

William J. Wood, 2nd  


Sarah C. Bach, Principal

Amy M. Sanchez, 2nd

Laura K. Brenes, 3rd

Audrey H. Lamprey, 4th


David L. Scott, Principal

David A. Etterbeek, 2nd


Steven H. Suminski, 2nd

Philip M. Keen, Bass Trombone


Scott W. Sutherland, Principal


Danielle R. Squyres, Principal

Corey Ritter


Kris R. Mettala, Principal


©2019 Riverside Philharmonic

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