We’re excited to have you join us and experience the music… LIVE!
Our performances are held at the Des Moines Civic Center.
Des Moines Civic Center
221 Walnut Street Des Moines, IA 50309
If you’re visiting Des Moines for the first time, please visit Catch Des Moines for great places to stay and dine. We especially recommend staying at the Renaissance Savery Hotel and dining at BOS (show your Symphony tickets on concert nights and receive 20% off dinner), Splash, or in the Court Avenue District — all are within walking distance of the Civic Center.
Are you new to the Des Moines Symphony? This next part is for you!
How long is a typical concert?
Des Moines Symphony performances are usually just over two hours in total length, which includes a 20-minute intermission.
I’d like to capture this moment. Can I take photos and videos?
Because of our contractual agreement with the American Federation of Musicians, unauthorized photographic, audio recording and video equipment may not be used during this performance. All Des Moines Symphony Masterwork concerts are recorded for later broadcast on IPR Classical.
What should I wear?
You don’t have to wear tuxedos and evening gowns to enjoy a Des Moines Symphony concert! Most of our patrons wear business casual or business formal attire.
When should I arrive?
Our concerts start on time, so arrive slightly early to find your proper seat. Late comers will be seated by ushers at designated times throughout the performance or during intermission. If you have to leave a concert before its end, please do so between pieces. Learn more about the pieces you’ll hear — arrive 45 minutes before any Masterworks concert for a free Concert Prelude Talk in the Civic Center’s Prairie Meadows (East) Lobby.
Where can I park?
On-street parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays in Downtown Des Moines. Parking structures are located at 3rd & Court and 4th & Grand. Valet parking is available for all Des Moines Symphony performances at the Civic Center. The cost is $15 per event and can be pre-ordered through the Civic Center Ticket Office (221 Walnut Street, 9am-5pm Mon-Fri; 515.246-2300 for Civic Center Members) or purchased at the event.
I was so moved by the music! When should I clap?
We’re so glad you’re enjoying the music. We ask that you applaud to show your appreciation (and shout “Bravo” if you’d like) when each piece is fully complete. You can take your cue from the conductor – he’ll turn around when the piece is over! If a piece has four movements, for example, it is appropriate to clap only after the last movement. You’ll receive a program book at the concert which will tell you the number of movements in each piece.
What am I listening to?
Learn about the pieces you’re enjoying today and the musicians performing them by clicking on each concert page and reading the program notes (you’ll receive a hard copy of this program book at our concerts). Our 30 Second Notes provide a brief overview, and the program notes that follow provide historical context, analysis and performance history. Learn more about our Orchestra musicians here.
What about other noises — coughing, cell phones and pagers?
Do you have a tickle in your throat or are you anticipating a coughing attack? Please visit the Guest Services Counter or see a Civic Center usher for a lozenge. If you find you cannot stop coughing, thank you for excusing yourself from the performance while you recover. Please be sure the electronic signals and lighted screens on all electronic devices are turned off.
Thank you for helping us keep these performances free of interruption and allowing your neighbors to fully experience today’s concert. There are few quieter, more beautiful moments in our world than 90 musicians in a symphony orchestra playing pianissimo!
Is the Orchestra being amplified?
At Masterworks concerts – no. The microphones you see suspended above the Orchestra and in front are solely for recording the Orchestra for later broadcast on IPR Classical, The Radio Home of the Des Moines Symphony. View the 2013-2014 IPR rebroadcast schedule here.