2012 Season Announcement



July 28-August 12, 2012

Six world premieres, three West Coast premieres, fourteen composers in residence, an historic commission
by Scottish composer James MacMillan & a multimedia collaboration, Hidden World of Girls: Stories for Orchestra
among Cabrillo Festival’s 50th Anniversary highlights

SANTA CRUZ, CA—April 17, 2012—The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, America’s longest running festival dedicated to new music for orchestra, commemorates its 50th anniversary in a historic and expanded 3-week season, July 28-August 12, 2012.

A season that harnesses the momentum of the past five decades, Fearless at 50 celebrates the Festival’s adventurous spirit and its steadfast commitment to new music and innovation. Led by Music Director and Conductor Marin Alsop, the Cabrillo Festival’s 50th anniversary season features six world premieres; three West Coast premieres; a special anniversary commission by Scottish composer James MacMillan; and the premiere of Hidden World of Girls: Stories for Orchestra, an extraordinary multimedia collaboration with NPR’s The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson); Emmy-award winning composer Laura Karpman; three early-career female composers; and world-renowned media design firm Obscura Digital.

Fourteen composers-in-residence will celebrate this major milestone. They are composers Clarice Assad, Mason Bates, Alexandra du Bois, Michael Ippolito, Laura Karpman, Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum, John Mackey, James MacMillan, Dylan Mattingly, Andrew Norman, Behzad Ranjbaran, Huang Ruo, Greg Smith, and John Wineglass.

The Cabrillo Festival honors its past and presents two historic commissions by two Festival luminaries who are no longer with us––Lou Harrison, one of the Festival’s founding members, and famed Mexican composer Carlos Chávez, who served as Music Director from 1970-1973.

This year’s featured guest artists include Joseph Alessi (trombone), Charles Holt (narrator), Kayhan Kalhor (kemancheh), David Krakauer (klezmer clarinet), Cristina Pato (Galician bagpipes), Huang Ruo (vocalist), and Michael Ward-Bergeman (hyper-accordion), as well as the Del Sol String Quartet performing a solo recital.

Hidden World of Girls: Stories for Orchestra – July 28 at 8pm/July 29 at 1pm & 8pm –

Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

A Forum will be hosted on July 29 at 3:30pm

The Festival presents the world premiere of Hidden World of Girls: Stories for Orchestra, a groundbreaking multimedia work by and about women that merges storytelling with digital media and orchestra.

The largest commissioning project in the Festival’s history, the Hidden World of Girls: Stories for Orchestra is based on stories developed by Peabody Award-winning radio producers and writers Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson (a.k.a. The Kitchen Sisters) for their radio series that debuted last year on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. That series explores the lives of girls and the women they become—stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secret identities—women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide. Women and girls’ stories and secrets emerge from telephone messages, overheard conversations, a racetrack in Ramallah, the dunes of the Sahara, a cheerleading competition in Alabama, the prisons of Louisiana, a Sioux reservation on the banks of the Missouri, the planet Venus, and beyond.

In its world premiere at this year’s Cabrillo Festival, Hidden World of Girls: Stories for Orchestra showcases the collaboration between The Kitchen Sisters as lead concept artists; four-time Emmy award-winning composer Laura Karpman as lead composer and creative director; three distinguished emerging female composers––Clarice Assad, Alexandra du Bois, and Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum; the world renowned, San Francisco-based media design group Obscura Digital under the direction of Travis Threlkel and Marta Salas-Porras; sound designer Leslie Anne Jones of Skywalker Sound; and Cabrillo Festival’s esteemed music director and conductor Marin Alsop. The work for full orchestra will also feature two local teenage girl soloists including Santa Cruz’s Jacklyn Partida (a.k.a. Jackie Rocks) on electric guitar, and percussionist Emily Liu of Cupertino.

Picturing the project as a quilt, Marin Alsop envisioned lead composer and creative director Laura Karpman working with a “quilting circle” of young women composers contributing their own voice to a score. Composers Karpman, Assad, du Bois and Kroll-Rosenbaum each chose a specific story from the Kitchen Sisters as their inspiration for a symphonic meditation. What results is a very personal response by each composer. Karpman has created a musical score that weaves the four symphonic chapters (including her own) with spoken word narratives that were created by the Kitchen Sisters’ and underscored by Karpman. The closing section, composed by Karpman, features the young Partida and Liu performing with the Orchestra.

“The ultimate goal of Hidden World of Girls: Stories for Orchestra is to create a performance work that will cross the boundaries that often divide communities, and trigger people’s curiosity and understanding of others they might otherwise not encounter or trust,” said Alsop. “We hope this project will strengthen our bonds to one another as human beings around social issues that are sometimes difficult to address.”

Cabrillo Festival will also host a Hidden World of Girls Forum: Stories Behind the Stories designed to give audience members the opportunity to learn more about the women included in the featured stories and the personal and social issues they faced. The forum will take place on July 29 at 3:30pm and will be moderated by psychologist, scholar, writer, activist, and University of California Santa Cruz faculty member Faye Crosby.

Lou Harrison: A World of Music – Monday, July 29, 2012, 7pm – Del Mar Theatre

The Cabrillo Festival presents a special screening of Lou Harrison: A World of Music. This new, critically-acclaimed film by Eva Soltes is an intimate portrait of a great composer who embraced artistic playfulness over the business of composing, forging a new course for 20th century music. Soltes will participate in an audience talkback after the screening.

Discovery – Saturday, August 4, 2012, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

The Festival’s second weekend kicks off with two world premiere Festival commissions, one West Coast premiere and an anniversary tribute to former Music Director Carlos Chávez. Composer Huang Ruo’s vibrant and inventive musical voice draws equal inspiration from Chinese folk, Western avant-garde, rock, and jazz. In the West Coast premiere of his Shattered Steps, Ruo is a featured guest artist, performing live vocal improvisation. Shattered Steps, translated in Chinese as Sui Bu, has two meanings: 1) broken steps; 2) small steps in continuous and rapid motion. Ruo based this work on a tune he composed during a trip to the mountains in the Guizhou Province in Southwestern China. “The running chain of small steps becomes the energy drive of the piece,” Ruo writes. The world premiere of Emmy-award winning composer John Wineglass’ Someone Else’s Child follows. Commissioned by philanthropist David Kaun for the Cabrillo Festival, this symphonic poem was inspired by and integrates the poetry of Santa Cruz County juvenile detainees, and will be narrated by Broadway actor, singer, writer, and inspirational speaker Charles Holt. The Cabrillo Festival then tips its hat to an integral figure in its history with an anniversary tribute to celebrated Mexican composer and former Cabrillo Festival Music Director Carlos Chávez. Maestra Alsop leads the Festival Orchestra in Chávez’s Discovery, the first ever Cabrillo Festival commission, premiered in 1969. Of this work Chávez wrote: “To me, ‘discovery’ means discovery of sound, discovery of music, inventing of music. And constant discovery, which had led me to drastically reduce the use of repetition: if one repeats one does not discover; if one discovers one does not repeat, because one does not call discovery what is already known and just done over again, no matter how disguised it appears to be.” The evening concludes with a special anniversary work, Woman of the Apocalypse, by preeminent Scottish composer James MacMillan, commissioned by Mary Solari and Marin Alsop as a centerpiece of the 50th anniversary. This major new symphony was inspired by a range of visual artworks treating the Woman of the Apocalypse from the Book of Revelation, including those by Albrecht Dürer, Peter Paul Rubens, Paul Gustave Doré, William Blake, and Pat Marvenko, among others. MacMillan has a long working relationship with Alsop and the Cabrillo Festival––this will be his tenth work performed at the Festival.

Free Family Concert: The Animated Orchestra – Sunday, August 5, 1pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

The Cabrillo Festival hosts its annual Free Family Concert on Sunday, August 5. This year features a world premiere Festival commission composed and narrated by Gregory (Rians) Smith, whose family/educational concert works have received over 700 performances by more than 160 orchestras around the world. The Animated Orchestra is a narrated work about a cartoon score being performed at a symphony concert. The hero of the cartoon is a ferret (an animal known for its insatiable curiosity and playfulness) that sneaks into an instrument repair shop owned by a sleepy older gentleman. All sorts of adventures ensue as the ferret explores the shop’s many instruments. This event promises to be a perfect addition to the Festival’s wildly popular Free Family Concert program! These 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.

In the Blue Room with Del Sol String Quartet – Sunday, August 5, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

The San Francisco-based Del Sol String Quartet is known for actively working with living composers from a wide range of cultural perspectives. For this special evening the quartet has curated a recital program that includes works by several composers familiar to Cabrillo Festival audiences. The major work of the evening is the world premiere of Mason Bates’ Bagatelles for String Quartet for string quartet and electronica, commissioned by Chamber Music America. Bates is perhaps best known for his expansion of the orchestra to include electronics. He currently serves as a composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony and spends many nights as DJ Masonic, a popular figure in the underground dance club scene. His orchestral works have been featured at the Cabrillo Festival on three occasions. The Del Sol String Quartet also performs works by Lou Harrison, Chinary Ung, Elena Kats-Chernin, and Jose Evangelista. The Quartet features violinists Kate Stenberg and Rick Shinozaki, Charlton Lee on viola, and Kathryn Bates Williams on cello.

Rose of the Winds – Saturday, August 11, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

One world premiere Festival commission, one West Coast premiere and an anniversary tribute are among the offerings this evening. The world premiere of Dylan Mattingly’s I Was a Stranger, is conducted by Carolyn Kuan (Cabrillo Festival Associate Conductor and Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra), and was commissioned by the Festival and sponsored by renowned composer John Adams and his wife Deborah O’Grady. The John Adams and Deborah O’Grady Festival commissions were born last year with Zosha Di Castri’s work ALBA. Mattingly’s music draws from a diverse range of styles and musicians –– including John Coolidge Adams, Olivier Messiaen, Magnus Lindberg, Joni Mitchell and old American blues and folk recordings. Alsop leads the Orchestra in Andrew Norman’s Gran Turismo, a work for eight violins celebrated by The Boston Globe as an “exhilarating exercise in perpetual motion constantly threatened by modern collisions en route.” Norman conceived this work while researching the art of Italian futurist Giacomo Balla, watching his roommates play a video game called Gran Turismo, and considering the legacy of Baroque string virtuosity. He writes, “It didn’t take long before I felt the resonances between these different activities, and it was out of their unexpected convergence that this piece was born.” Four of the Cabrillo Festival’s guest artists are featured in the West Coast premiere of Grammy-award winner and MacArthur fellow Osvaldo Golijov’s Rose of the Winds. The work’s title refers to the symbol of the compass that points not just to the four corners of the earth, but in all directions, and, in Golijov’s words, “provides contrast without explanation.” The Chicago Tribune celebrated Rose of the Winds for its “bold yet seamless melding of musical resonances from Christian, Arabic and Jewish traditions and ear-catching instrumental sounds and colors.” This work features Cristina Pato on Galician bagpipes, Kayhan Kalhor on kemancheh, David Krakauer on klezmer clarinet and Michael Ward-Bergeman on hyper-accordion. The final work for the evening is an anniversary tribute to Lou Harrison, a founding member of the Cabrillo Festival. In 1961 Harrison participated in the original Sticky Wicket concerts (named for the Aptos, CA coffeehouse where they took place) that were the genesis of the Cabrillo Festival. His Third Symphony was commissioned in 1982 for the twentieth anniversary of the Cabrillo Festival, and revised and performed again at the Festival in 1983 and again in 1990, when it was recorded.

Music at the Mission: Harvest – Sunday August 12, 4pm and 7pm – Mission San Juan Bautista

The 50th anniversary season of the Cabrillo Festival culminates with two Grand Finale performances at Mission San Juan Bautista. The Festival Orchestra performs Michael Ippolito’s Nocturne, a work in three large sections. Michael Ippolito has collaborated with classical, folk and jazz musicians in performances ranging from experimental improvisation to traditional Klezmer music. Nocturne was originally inspired by Joan Miró’s 1940 painting of the same name. Ippolito was struck by its “fantastical figures and swirling lines,” and by the tension between such “energy and whimsy” and the commonplace idea of night as a time of rest. Composer John Mackey’s Harvest: Concerto for Trombone is a work dedicated to and featuring Joseph Alessi on trombone. Harvest is based on the myths and mystery rituals of the Greek god Dionysus. Classical Review has described the piece as “a cycloramic feast of shifting moods and instrumental hues.” Alessi is known to Festival audiences for his remarkable West Coast premiere performance of Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer-Prize winning Trombone Concerto at Mission San Juan Bautista in 1994. Iranian composer Behzad Ranjbaran wowed audiences and critics at the Festival with his Concerto for Piano last year. 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. This year Ranjbaran returns with Seven Passages, the final work of his Persian Trilogy, which draws its inspiration from “The Seven Trials of Rostam,” an episode in the national epic of Iran, the Shahnameh. The concert closes with British composer Thomas Adès’ Polaris. The piece is named for Polaris, the North Star or Pole Star, around which the other stars appear to rotate as if it were itself a magnetic pole. Of this work, Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “there’s a rapturous sheen to the score that makes it impossible to resist.”


July 28-August 12, 2012

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music celebrates its 50th anniversary, Fearless@50. Led by Music Director Marin Alsop, the Festival presents six world premieres and three West Coast premieres with fourteen composers 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 early-May through the Festival’s Advance Ticket Order Form; and then via phone, walk-up, or on-line beginning June 12.


Hidden World of Girls: Stories for Orchestra (World Premiere | Festival Commission)
Saturday, July 28, 8pm & Sunday, July 29, 1pm & 8pm
Kitchen Sisters & Obscura Digital
Lead Composer Laura Karpman; Clarice Assad, Alexandra du Bois, Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum
A special forum will be hosted on July 29 at 3:30pm

Lou Harrison: A World of Music, a film by Eva Soltes
Monday, July 30, 7pm
At the Del Mar Theatre in downtown Santa Cruz

Saturday, August 4, 8pm: Discovery
Huang Ruo: Shattered Steps (West Coast Premiere) (Huang Ruo, vocal)
John Wineglass: Someone Else’s Child (World Premiere | Festival Commission) (Charles Holt, narrator)
Carlos Chávez: Discovery (Anniversary Tribute | Festival Commission)
James MacMillan: Woman of the Apocalypse (World Premiere | Festival Commission)

Sunday, August 5, 1pm: Free Family Concert: The Animated Orchestra
Gregory Rians Smith: The Animated Orchestra (World Premiere | Festival Commission) (Greg Smith, narrator)

Sunday, August 5: 8pm: In the Blue Room with Del Sol String Quartet
Del Sol String Quartet performing a chamber music concert including the World Premiere of Mason Bates’ Bagatelles for String Quartet

Saturday, August 11, 8pm: Rose of the Winds
Dylan Mattingly: I Was A Stranger (World Premiere | Festival Commission) (conducted by Carolyn Kuan)
Andrew Norman: Gran Turismo
Osvaldo Golijov: Rose of the Winds (West Coast Premiere) (Cristina Pato, Galician bagpipes; Kayhan Kalhor, kemancheh; David Krakauer, klezmer clarinet; Michael Ward-Bergeman, hyper-accordion)
Lou Harrison: Third Symphony (Anniversary Tribute | Festival Commission)

Sunday, August 12, 4pm and 7pm, Music at the Mission: Harvest
Michael Ippolito: Nocturne (West Coast Premiere)
John Mackey: Harvest: Concerto for Trombone (Joseph Alessi, trombone)
Behzad Ranjbaran: Seven Passages
Thomas Adès: Polaris


Six World Premieres | Five Festival Commissions

Hidden World of Girls: Stories for Orchestra

The Kitchen Sisters & Obscura Digital

Laura Karpman, Clarice Assad, Alexandra Du Bois, Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum

Special 50th Anniversary Commission: James MacMillan: Woman of the Apocalypse

Dylan Mattingly: I Was a Stranger

Gregory Rians Smith: The Animated Orchestra

John Wineglass: Someone Else’s Child

Mason Bates: Bagatelles for String Quartet (commissioned by Chamber Music America)

Three West Coast Premieres

Osvaldo Golijov: Rose of the Winds

Michael Ippolito: Nocturne

Huang Ruo: Shattered Steps

Two Anniversary Tributes | Festival Commissions

Carlos Chávez: Discovery

Lou Harrison: Third Symphony

14 Composers-in-Residence

Clarice Assad

Mason Bates

Alexandra du Bois

Michael Ippolito

Laura Karpman

Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum

John Mackey

James MacMillan

Dylan Mattingly

Andrew Norman

Behzad Ranjbaran

Huang Ruo

Greg Smith

John Wineglass

Guest Artists

Hidden World of Girls

The Kitchen Sisters, Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson

Obscura Digital, media design

Clarice Assad, vocals

Jacklyn Partida, electric guitar

Emily Liu, percussion

Joseph Alessi, trombone

Del Sol String Quartet

Charles Holt, narrator for Someone Else’s Child by John Wineglass

Kayhan Kalhor, kemancheh

Carolyn Kuan, guest conductor

David Krakauer, klezmer clarinet

Cristina Pato, Galician bagpipes

Huang Ruo, vocals in his work, Shattered Steps

Michael Ward-Bergeman, hyper-accordion

Gregory Rians Smith, narrator in The Animated Orchestra

Eva Soltes, filmmaker


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