2010 Season Announcement

Contact: Mona Baroudi

The nation’s longest running festival of contemporary orchestral music
features new works by thirteen distinguished composers, established and emerging alike
Santa Cruz, California, August 1-15, 2010
Music Director, Marin Alsop

“…in the surf mecca of Santa Cruz, 75 miles south of San Francisco, the Cabrillo Festival has made the contemporary repertoire sound urgent, indispensable, and even sexy.” – The Financial Times

SANTA CRUZ, CA—April 13, 2010—An unflagging champion of new music for nearly half a century, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music returns for its 48th season, led by Music Director and Conductor Marin Alsop, August 1-15, 2010.

Since receiving ASCAP’S John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music last year, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music has energetically set about organizing its 48th anniversary season, which will include some of the most adventurous and highly-esteemed composers and musicians––established and emerging alike––in the world.

Twelve of the thirteen featured composers will be in attendance this year, a tribute to the growing reputation of the Festival among today’s composers. For Alsop the opportunity to engage face-to-face with this community of composers and musicians is the very heart of the Festival.

“The Cabrillo experience is all about people and relationships: how we use art to express ourselves; how we communicate with and without words; how we learn and assimilate; how we form opinions and tastes; and, importantly, how we are bound together by creativity and the thrill of discovery,” said Alsop.

The twelve composers in residence for 2010 include several returning artists, and several first-timers. Among the veterans are: John Adams, Philip Glass, Michael Hersch, Jennifer Higdon, and Kevin Puts. The newcomers this year include Anna Clyne, Sean Hickey, Pierre Jalbert, Elena Kats-Chernin, Michael Shapiro, Nathaniel Stookey, and Mark-Anthony Turnage.

In addition, the roster of guest artists includes percussionist Colin Currie, the sextet eighth blackbird, Kronos Quartet, cellist Wendy Sutter, as well as composer and pianist Kevin Puts who will perform as soloist in his own composition.

Opening Night – On a Wire – Friday, August 6, 2010, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

The 48th season of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music kicks off on Friday, August 6 with two West Coast premieres and one World Premiere at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Maestra Marin Alsop leads the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in the West Coast premiere of British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Scherzoid. One of the most admired and widely-performed composers of his generation, Turnage is known for his skillful blend of classical and jazz idioms. Scherzoid has been described as “a kaleidoscopic riot of blue-hued harmonies and silvery tuned percussion… both Scherzo and ‘Schizo’.” The evening also features the West Coast Premiere of On a Wire, by 2010 Grammy-winner and, most recently, Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon, written expressly for the Grammy-winning sextet, eighth blackbird, and co-commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival with a consortium of orchestras. eighth blackbird’s performances have been hailed by the New York Times as “the picture of polish and precision” and CityBeat raves that their “sheer exuberance and affection for the music is as much a draw as the music itself.” The evening concludes with the World Premiere of Michael Hersch’s Symphony No. 3, commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival. The New York Times has said of his music, “If the symmetries and proportions of Mr. Hersch’s music evoke the grounded fixity of architecture, its dynamism and spontaneous evolution are those of the natural world. Its somber eloquence sings of truths that are personal yet not confessional… Within the sober palette, the expressive power and range are vast.”

Rewind – Saturday, August 7, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

On Saturday August 7, the program opens with a newcomer to the Festival, Anna Clyne, and the West Coast Premiere of <<rewind<<. The London-born composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music wrote <<rewind<< for the Hysterica Dance Company based in New York City, taking as inspiration the image of analog videotape scrolling backwards with moments of skipping, warping, and freezing. The New York Times praised its “patterned rhythms and sensual orchestration,” adding that its author represents “no hype, just hard work, and young talent.” Then composers Jennifer Higdon and Mark-Anthony Turnage return for three more West Coast premieres. Scottish percussionist Colin Currie takes the spotlight in Higdon’s Percussion Concerto, which recently won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Currie made his U.S. debut at the Festival when he was only 19 years old, and now returns for his third engagement. Higdon composed the challenging piece especially for Currie, who must single-handedly manage marimba, vibraphone, crotales, drumkit, and gong, among other instruments. Then Maestra Marin Alsop will lead the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in the performance of two major works by Turnage: Chicago Remains, a celebrated piece inspired by the Windy City and which, according to the The Chicago Tribune “captures the true grit of our town”; and Drowned Out, a work which stemmed from Turnage’s four-year period as Composer-in-Association with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle, and was inspired by William Golding’s (Nobel Prize winner for Lord of the Flies) novel Pincher Martin. It’s described as “a nightmare vision of a drowning man, with a devastatingly unexpected conclusion.”

Free Family Concert – Sunday, August 8, 1pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

The Cabrillo Festival hosts its annual Free Family Concert on Sunday, August 8 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. The Cabrillo Festival’s Free Family Concerts have become legendary––a staple in the musical education and upbringing of area youngsters, and a no less entertaining and engaging experience for their parents. It begins, once again, with the popular petting zoo-style Tour of the Orchestra so kids make an up-close and personal connection to the different instruments and players. This year Nathaniel Stookey’s “tartly funny” The Composer is Dead, written for narrator and orchestra, will be performed. Composer Stookey (who is NOT dead) will narrate the work, a libretto written by Lemony Snicket (San Francisco-based writer Daniel Handler). It’s a murder mystery about the killing of a composer. Like Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Stookey’s The Composer Is Dead is intended to introduce young audiences to the instruments in the orchestra, though with a dash or two of irony thrown in.

In the Blue Room with eighth blackbird and Kronos Quartet – Recital – Sunday, August 8, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

A special event to benefit the Cabrillo Festival, In the Blue Room features new music’s preeminent proponents: eighth blackbird and Kronos Quartet, sharing the stage for the very first time. On Sunday, August 8, at 8pm, the two Grammy-award winning ensembles will split the bill, each performing the innovative, adventurous repertoire for which they’ve become acclaimed. The Kronos Quartet has been breaking new ground, commissioning new works, and recording for the past 30 years. The sextet eighth blackbird was established fourteen years ago and has become widely lauded for their performing style––often playing from memory with theatrical flair.

Dalliance – Saturday, August 14, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

On Saturday, August 14 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, Maestra Marin Alsop will lead the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in the West Coast premiere of Michael Shapiro’s fast-paced and exciting work, Roller Coaster. On creating this new piece, Shapiro writes, “I took a deep breath and imagined a coaster’s sights and sounds, its shakes and thrusts, the taste of stomach in mouth, the ultimate rush (short of parachuting), dropping quick, twisting about, rising, rising, rising, falling away, slow, slow, slow, FAST.” Sean Hickey’s 2005 composition, Dalliance, a short, “extroverted” piece for full orchestra, receives its world premiere tonight. Best known for a collection of chamber music recorded on the Naxos Label—Left at the Fork in the Road—Hickey has also written a variety of works in other forms, including orchestral and church music, a film score, and the music for a much-performed children’s play. The evening culminates with works by two Cabrillo Festival veterans, Kevin Puts and John Adams. Though composer-in-residence on many occasions prior, Puts will make his guest artist debut at the Festival as featured soloist in his piano concerto, Night. Displaying a neo-Romantic style with minimalist influences, Night’s innocent beginning quickly turns dark. The Los Angeles Times remarks that “before long, the pianist needs more hands than nature provides. The solo writing is virtuosic.” One of America’s most respected composers, John Adams returns for the evening’s finale. City Noir is the final installment in Adams’ triptych of orchestral works that have “the California experience, its landscape, and its culture” as theme. This 30-minute, three movement symphonic work, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and premiered at Music Director Gustavo Dudamel’s inaugural concert, was inspired by the ambience and mood of Hollywood films of the late 40s and early 50s, and is an homage to the overall aesthetic of the era.

Music at the Mission: In Aeternam – Sunday August 15, 4:30pm & 8pm –Mission San Juan Bautista

Maestra Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, will be joined by composers Elena Kats-Chernin, Philip Glass, and Pierre Jalbert, as they bring the 2010 Festival to a resplendent close with two Grand Finale performances––including one West Coast Premiere, and one U.S. Premiere––in the sanctuary of the Old Mission San Juan Bautista. Soviet-born Elena Kats-Chernin is one of Australia’s leading contemporary composers, and her dramatically vivid music combines strong rhythmic figures with elements of cabaret, tango, ragtime, and klezmer. Her piece, Heaven is Closed, is a quick, energetic, and rhythmically driven work that will receive its U.S. Premiere. She describes it as an “emotional journey,” one inspired by the despair of discovering the incurable illness of a son, and yet holding onto the hint of optimism. In Philip Glass’ Cello Concerto, featuring soloist Wendy Sutter, the composer creates a haunting, beautifully poignant, and almost baroque experience for the audience. A champion of contemporary works, Sutter was a member of the Bang on a Can “All Stars,” and her “fearless playing and rich, mahogany tone” (San Francisco Classical Voice) has earned her critical acclaim. In 2001, Pierre Jalbert, an American of French-Canadian heritage, earned the BBC Masterprize for his orchestral work In Aeternam, selected from among more than 1,100 scores by a jury that included Marin Alsop, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and Sir Charles Mackerras. The work was written as a memorial to his niece who died at birth, and the Latin title, In Aeternam, means In Eternity. The final work of the Festival was written by George Walker, the first African-American composer to win a Pulitzer Prize for composition and the only living composer-pianist to be inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. Under Maestra Alsop’s baton the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra will present the West Coast premiere of his Foils for Orchestra (Hommage à Saint George). A work in one movement, Foils was commissioned and premiered by the Eastman School of Music. The title suggests swords used in a fencing match and conjures up associations with the myth of Saint George and the Dragon as well as the exploits of the Chevalier de Saint George. Walker describes the music as “suggesting explosive clashes and a violent duel of thrusts and parrying. The victor emerges scarred, but triumphant.”

August 1-15, 2010

Maestra Marin Alsop conducts the award-winning Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in two World Premieres, one U.S. Premiere, and seven West Coast Premieres, with all 13 featured composers in residence—an historic first!

Festival tickets range from $30-$50 with many events free and open to the public. As of April 13, the public may access information on the Festival website at https://cabrillomusic.org/new/2010-season/order-tickets.html or call (831) 426-6966.

Tickets may be ordered by mail beginning mid-May through the Festival’s Advance Ticket Order Form; and then via phone, walk-up, or on-line beginning June 15.

Opening Night: On a Wire
Friday, August 6, 2010, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Mark-Anthony Turnage: Scherzoid (West Coast Premiere)
Jennifer Higdon: On a Wire, concerto for sextet and orchestra, featuring eighth blackbird (West Coast Premiere, Cabrillo Festival co-commission)
Michael Hersch: Symphony No. 3 (World Premiere, Cabrillo Festival Commission)
(Preceded by a Pre-Concert Dinner & Talk on Church Street outside the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, beginning at 6:30pm.)

Saturday, August 7, 2010, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Anna Clyne: <<rewind<< (West Coast Premiere)
Jennifer Higdon: Percussion Concerto, featuring Colin Currie
Mark-Anthony Turnage: Chicago Remains (West Coast Premiere)
Mark-Anthony Turnage: Drowned Out (West Coast Premiere)
(Followed by a Talkback Session with Marin Alsop, featured composers, and soloists.)

Free Family Concert
Sunday, August 8, 2010, 1pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Petting Zoo-Style Tour of the Orchestra
Nathaniel Stookey: The Composer is Dead (narrator, Nathaniel Stookey)

Recital: In the Blue Room with eighth blackbird and Kronos Quartet
Sunday, August 8, 2010, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
A special concert to benefit the Cabrillo Festival marks the first time eighth blackbird and Kronos Quartet will share the concert stage. They will split the program to present the groundbreaking repertoire for which they’ve each earned critical acclaim. Program TBA.

Saturday, August 14, 2010, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Michael Shapiro: Roller Coaster (West Coast Premiere)
Sean Hickey: Dalliance (World Premiere)
Kevin Puts: Night, piano concerto, featuring Kevin Puts
John Adams: City Noir

Music at the Mission: In Aeternam
Sunday, August 15, 2010, 4:30pm & 8pm, Mission San Juan Bautista
Elena Kats-Chernin: Heaven is Closed (U.S. Premiere)
Philip Glass: Cello Concerto featuring Wendy Sutter
Pierre Jalbert: In Aeternam
George Walker: Foils for Orchestra (Hommage à Saint George) (West Coast Premiere)


Two World Premieres
Michael Hersch: Symphony No. 3 (Cabrillo Festival commission)
Sean Hickey: Dalliance

One U.S. Premiere
Elena Kats-Chernin: Heaven is Closed

Seven West Coast Premieres
Anna Clyne: <<rewind<<
Jennifer Higdon: On a Wire featuring eighth blackbird (Cabrillo Festival co-commission)
Michael Shapiro: Roller Coaster
Mark-Anthony Turnage: Scherzoid
Mark-Anthony Turnage: Chicago Remains
Mark-Anthony Turnage: Drowned Out
George Walker: Foils for Orchestra (Hommage à Saint George)

Thirteen Featured Composers
John Adams
Anna Clyne
Philip Glass
Michael Hersch
Sean Hickey
Jennifer Higdon
Pierre Jalbert
Elena Kats-Chernin
Kevin Puts
Michael Shapiro
Nathaniel Stookey
Mark-Anthony Turnage
George Walker (not attending)

Guest Artists
Colin Currie, percussion
eighth blackbird, sextet
Kronos Quartet
Kevin Puts, piano
Nathaniel Stookey, narrator
Wendy Sutter, cello

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC is America’s longest running new music festival dedicated to orchestra, and winner of the League of American Orchestra and A.S.C.A.P.’s 2008-2009 John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music, and of the national A.S.C.A.P Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music from 1982-2009.


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