2011 Season Announcement

Contact: Mona Baroudi | 415.615.2735 | mona.baroudi@sbcglobal.net


July 31-August 14, 2011

Seven world premieres (including five short anniversary pieces dedicated to Marin Alsop), two US premieres and nine West Coast premieres featured at the nation’s longest running festival of contemporary orchestral music

“At the center of it all is Alsop, an indefatigable new-music specialist who, in addition to conducting duties, serves as Cabrillo’s intrepid programming mastermind. Each summer, the award-winning maestra returns to Cabrillo with a variety of emerging works that please the faithful while turning first-timers into lifetime subscribers.” -San Francisco Classical Voice

SANTA CRUZ, CA—April 12, 2011—The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music is pleased to announce its 49th season and a very special year for the festival – the 20th Anniversary of its celebrated Music Director and Conductor Marin Alsop, July 31-August 14, 2011.

The 2011 season features seven World premieres, two US premieres, nine West Coast premieres and 15 Composers in Residence. This year five distinguished composers who have a long history with the Festival have created new short works in honor of Marin Alsop. These composers are Mark Adamo, John Corigliano, Michael Daugherty, Avner Dorman, and Philip Glass. Commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival, these works will be presented as “nightcaps” throughout the evening concerts.

Fifteen composers – a record number in the history of the Festival – are in residence to celebrate this momentous occasion. They are composers Mason Bates, Margaret Brouwer, Chiayu, Anna Clyne, Michael Daugherty, Tina Davidson, Robin de Raaff, Zosha Di Castri, Pierre Jalbert, Elena Kats-Chernin, Shuko Mizuno, Behzad Ranjbaran, Christopher Rouse, George Tsontakis and Dan Welcher.

Since arriving at the Cabrillo Festival 20 years ago, Marin Alsop has championed the music of some of the world’s most exciting composers of contemporary music, and has built a devoted audience for new music at the Festival. In her tenure Alsop has invited nearly 100 composers to join her at the Festival, to participate in the rehearsals and performances, and to share their compositions with an audience eager to listen to new music. Some of the preeminent composers she has consistently supported throughout her tenure include Christopher Rouse, John Adams, Michael Daugherty, John Corigliano, James MacMillan, Joan Tower, Philip Glass, and Jennifer Higdon. Alsop has also afforded incredible opportunities to young emerging composers, including Kevin Puts, Michael Hersch, Chiayu, Mason Bates, Avner Dorman, Mark O’Connor, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Greg Smith.

“Marin’s connection to the Cabrillo Festival is so deeply rooted now, and her accomplishments are so meaningful and enduring,” explains Executive Director Ellen Primack. “This season is a wonderful reflection of just how much momentum Marin has here. And twenty years is really just a jumping off point for her to continue to build excellent programming, to cultivate strong relationships with artists, and to deepen her powerful relationship with this community.”

This year’s featured guest artists include renowned French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who was recently inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame; horn player Kristin Jurkscheit, principal horn of the Festival Orchestra and a member of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra; and electric guitarist D.J. Sparr. Author and National Public Radio host Scott Simon joins the Festival for a special interview program with Marin Alsop, “In the Blue Room.”

Opening Night – Mysteries of Light – Friday, August 5, 2011, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music kicks off its 49th season with an opening night concert featuring four West Coast premieres and a World premiere anniversary “nightcap” by Philip Glass, titled Black and White Scherzo. Maestra Marin Alsop leads the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in the West Coast premiere of Pulse, a work by Guggenheim Fellow Margaret Brouwer. Pulse features rhythmic pulses that grow “from whispers to affirmation in the course of six minutes.” Alsop has long championed the work of James MacMillan, and the West Coast premiere of Piano Concerto No. 3 (The Mysteries of Light) marks the ninth work Alsop has presented by the esteemed Scottish composer. Featuring renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet on piano, The Mysteries of Light is inspired by the Catholic Mysteries, and attempts “to revive the ancient practice of writing based on the structure of the rosary,” states MacMillan. Composer Mason Bates, who currently serves as composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony, offers the West Coast premiere of Desert Transport, a work about flying over the Arizona desert in a helicopter. Pulitzer and Grammy-winning Christopher Rouse’s work, Odna Zhizn (A Life), will be the eighteenth of his works that Alsop presents at the Festival and is an “homage to a person of Russian ancestry who is very dear to me,” writers Rouse. Of this work the New York Times wrote, “Against a backdrop of haunting, pianissimo strings, which move at a glacial pace, Mr. Rouse imposes short bursts of fast, angular flute figures, darkly mysterious contributions from lower-lying woodwinds, and sudden bursts of fortissimo brass.”

Summer – Saturday, August 6, 2011, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

Two World premieres, two US premieres, and one West Coast premiere are featured in the second concert of the season, Saturday, August 6. Maestra Marin Alsop conducts the US premiere of Re-Collecting ASTORoids by Elena Kats-Chernin. The Soviet-born Kats-Chernin is considered one of Australia’s leading contemporary composers – this work is her homage to the music of Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla. The West Coast premiere of Iranian composer Behzad Ranjbaran’s Concerto for Piano features Jean-Yves Thibaudet on piano, for whom it was composed. Trained in Tehran and at the Juilliard School, Ranjbaran writes music that is lushly tonal and draws on the music and culture of his native Iran. The World premiere of Mark Adamo’s “Prepositions and the Names of Fish” is the first anniversary “nightcap” of the evening. It is followed by Alsop leading the Festival Orchestra in the US premiere of Japanese composer Shuko Mizuno’s symphonic poem Natsu (Summer), a work inspired by the summers of the composer’s past – his memories of brilliant sunshine, cloudy mountain peaks, thundering storms, fierce winds, violent rains and summertime breezes influence the work. The world premiere of John Corigliano’s anniversary “nightcap,” Cabrillo Lullaby, closes out the evening.

Free Family Concert – Sunday, August 7, 1pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

The Cabrillo Festival hosts its annual Free Family Concert on Sunday, August 7 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. The Festival’s wildly popular Free Family Concerts are suitable for children and families alike and are designed to introduce kids to the wonderful world of orchestral music. The concert begins with the popular petting zoo-style Tour of the Orchestra where kids can make an up-close and personal connection to the different instruments and players. This year the concert features Tina Davidson’s The Selkie Boy, written for narrator and orchestra. Conducted by Carolyn Kuan, Cabrillo Festival Associate Conductor, The Selkie Boy is ideal for all audiences in its warm account of self-realization and acceptance. Narrated by Ian McRae, the text for this work is based on an old Scottish folk-tale about selkies, or seals. The story tells about a little boy named Willie, who is found on the beach of the Orkney Islands and is adopted by a large family. Somehow he never feels as if he fits in, and longs for the sea and the selkies. Through the help of a little girl, he learns that the selkies are magical folk – changelings, who can shed their skins and walk on the earth. Willie is able to speak to the selkies and finds out his true identity.

In the Blue Room with Marin Alsop and Scott Simon – Sunday, August 7, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

Maestra Marin Alsop and author and radio host Scott Simon come together for a two-sided interview. Simon interviews Alsop on her extraordinary career and her 20 years at the Cabrillo Festival. Alsop interviews Simon on his career as a Peabody and Emmy-Award winning correspondent, the host of NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, and a celebrated author.

Entangled – Saturday, August 13, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

The second weekend opens with the World premiere of Alba, by Canadian composer and pianist Zosha Di Castri. Alba is sponsored by renowned composer John Adams and his wife Deborah O’Grady in honor of Marin Alsop. Dutch composer Robin de Raaff’s Entangled Tales gets its West Coast premiere. The experience of this work “is ebb and flow of musical density and intensity, from active hyperactive tutti orchestra to transparent, chamber-music like passages and back again, with all entangled details sparkling.” The recipient of two of the most prestigious awards in all of classical music – the Grawemeyer Award and the Ives Living award – George Tsontakis is most often recognized for his longer movements within larger musical forms. In contrast, his work at the Cabrillo Festival, Laconika, is a 15-minute work that, true to its Grecian title, consists of five short, pithy or “Spartan” pieces, each with an identifiably “catchy” character. Alsop leads the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra and electric guitarist D.J. Sparr in the West Coast premiere of Michael Daugherty’s Gee’s Bend. Inspired by the quilters in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, Daugherty describes his composition as a “patchwork of various crosscurrents. I intertwine American guitar rock and southern folk music with contemporary classical music to create a colorful and unique tapestry of sound.” Daugherty also offers the World premiere of Fever, the anniversary “nightcap,” in tribute to Alsop’s 20th Anniversary year.

Music at the Mission: Bright Wings – Sunday August 14, 4:30pm and 8pm – Mission San Juan Bautista

The 49th Season of the Cabrillo Festival and Maestra Marin Alsop’s 20th Anniversary year culminates with two spectacular Grand Finale performances at Mission San Juan Bautista. Taiwanese composer Chiayu returns for the World premiere of Xuan Zang, a Festival commission written for and featuring soloist Kristin Jurkscheit, principal horn of the Festival Orchestra. The most famous Chinese monk, Xuan Zang lived in the Tang dynasty, and in this one-movement work the solo French horn represents the heroic figure on his nineteen year journey across the culturally diverse regions of Asia. Anna Clyne’s Within Her Arms for string ensemble, celebrated by the Los Angeles Times for its “luminous textures,” refers to the words of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and pays homage to Clyne’s mother. Guggenheim Fellow Dan Welcher’s Bright Wings: A Valediction gets its West Coast premiere at the Festival. Bright Wings was written as a farewell to someone who recently died, yet the Dallas Morning News writes, “there is nothing mournful in any sense in the music. Indeed, it seems, on the whole, downright celebratory, and perhaps it was meant as a paean for living.” Pierre Jalbert’s composition, Fire and Ice, is a work of contrasts. The San Francisco Chronicle writes “ ‘Ice’ proceeds in large, slow-moving slabs of sound—the model here seems to be one of Shostakovich’s rhetorically weighty slow movements—with eerie string harmonics and bowed percussion to add a frozen gloss; ‘Fire’ is a fierce, bouncy orchestral explosion.” The season culminates with the World premiere of Reflections, an anniversary “nightcap” by Avner Dorman.


July 31-August 14 2011

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music celebrates its 49th Season and the 20th Anniversary of Maestra Marin Alsop. The season presents seven World premieres (including five short anniversary “nightcaps” dedicated to Marin Alsop), two US premieres and nine West Coast premieres. Fifteen composers will be in residence.


Festival tickets range from $30-$50 with many events free and open to the public. The public may access information on the Festival website at cabrillomusic.org or call (831) 426-6966; and people are encouraged to join the mailing list to receive advance notification.

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 14.

Opening Night: Mysteries of Light

Friday, August 5, 2011, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
(A Pre-Concert Dinner & Talk on Church Street takes place outside the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, beginning at 6:30pm.)

Margaret Brouwer: Pulse (West Coast Premiere)
James MacMillan: Piano Concerto No. 3 (The Mysteries of Light) (West Coast Premiere)
featuring Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Mason Bates: Desert Transport (West Coast Premiere)
Philip Glass: Black and White Scherzo | Anniversary “nightcap” (World Premiere | Festival Commission)
Christopher Rouse: Odna Zhizn (A Life) (West Coast Premiere)


Saturday, August 6, 2011, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
(Followed by a Talkback Session with Marin Alsop, featured composers, and soloist.)

Elena Kats-Chernin: Re-Collecting ASTORoids (US Premiere)
Behzad Ranjbaran: Concerto for Piano (West Coast Premiere) featuring Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Mark Adamo: Prepositions and the Names of Fish | Anniversary “Nightcap” (World Premiere | Festival Commission)
Shuko Mizuno: Natsu (Summer) (US Premiere)
John Corigliano: Cabrillo Lullaby | Anniversary “nightcap” (World Premiere | Festival Commission)

Free Family Concert

Sunday, August 7, 2011, 1pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Petting Zoo-Style Tour of the Orchestra

Tina Davidson: The Selkie Boy (West Coast Premiere)
Ian McRae, narrator

In the Blue Room with Marin Alsop and Scott Simon (of NPR’s Weekend Edition)

Sunday, August 7, 2011, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Marin Alsop and Scott Simon interview one another in this special anniversary event.


Saturday, August 13, 2011, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
(Followed by a Dessert Reception for the artists and audience.)

Zosha Di Castri: Alba (World Premiere | Festival Commission)
Robin de Raaff: Entangled Tales (West Coast Premiere)
George Tsontakis: Laconika
Michael Daugherty: Gee’s Bend featuring D.J. Sparr, electric guitar (West Coast Premiere)
Michael Daugherty: Fever | Anniversary “nightcap” (World Premiere | Festival Commission)

Music at the Mission: Bright Wings

Sunday, August 14, 2011, Two Grand Finale performances-4:30pm & 8pm, Mission San Juan Bautista

Chiayu: Xuan Zang (World Premiere | Festival Commission) featuring Kristin Jurkscheit, horn
Anna Clyne: Within Her Arms
Dan Welcher: Bright Wings: A Valediction (West Coast Premiere)
Pierre Jalbert: Fire and Ice
Avner Dorman: Reflections | Anniversary nightcap (World Premiere | Festival Commission)


Seven World Premieres | Festival Commissions

Chiayu: Xuan Zang Concerto for Horn
Zosha Di Castri: Alba

Five anniversary pieces composed in honor of Marin Alsop’s 20th Anniversary:

Mark Adamo: Prepositions and the Names of Fish
John Corigliano: Cabrillo Lullaby
Michael Daugherty: Fever
Avner Dorman: Reflections
Philip Glass: Black and White Scherzo

Two US Premieres

Elena Kats-Chernin: Re-Collecting ASTORoids
Shuko Mizuno: Natsu (Summer)

Nine West Coast Premieres

Mason Bates: Desert Transport
Margaret Brouwer: Pulse
Tina Davidson: The Selkie Boy
Michael Daugherty: Gee’s Bend
Robin de Raaff: Entangled Tales
James MacMillan: Piano Concerto No. 3 (The Mysteries of Light)
Behzad Ranjbaran: Concerto for Piano
Christopher Rouse: Odna Zhizn (A Life)
Dan Welcher: Bright Wings: A Valediction

Twenty Featured Composers (15 composers in residence)

Mark Adamo (not attending)
Mason Bates
Margaret Brouwer
Anna Clyne
John Corigliano (not attending)
Michael Daugherty
Tina Davidson
Robin de Raaff
Zosha Di Castri
Avner Dorman (not attending)
Philip Glass (not attending)
Pierre Jalbert
Elena Kats-Chernin
James MacMillan (not attending)
Shuko Mizuno
Behzad Ranjbaran
Christopher Rouse
George Tsontakis
Dan Welcher

Guest Artists

Kristin Jurkscheit, horn
Carolyn Kuan, conductor
Ian McRae, narrator
Scott Simon, author, journalist, radio host
D.J. Sparr, electric guitar
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

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 2008-2010 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 for 27 consecutive years.


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