2013 Season Announcement

Contact: Mona Baroudi


Nine composers in residence, two world premiere Festival commissions, two US premieres, two West Coast premieres and the 40th Anniversary of Kronos Quartet celebrated at this year’s Festival

SANTA CRUZ, Ca.—April 18, 2013—The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, America’s longest running festival dedicated to new music for orchestra, is pleased to announce programming for its 51st season, August 2-11, 2013.

Since 1992 the Cabrillo Festival has been led by esteemed Music Director and Conductor Marin Alsop – who will make history once again this September when she becomes the first woman to conduct the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms. For this year’s Cabrillo Festival Alsop welcomes international young talents for their debuts, and presents works by thirteen composers, with ten in residence. Celebrated by the New York Times as a “new-music mecca” the Festival’s season highlights include two world premiere Festival commissions, two US premieres, and two West Coast premieres.

The Festival’s world premieres include a new work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts for star flutist Adam Walker and a new work by emerging composer Sean Friar. Works by preeminent composers Brett Dean and Philip Glass will receive their US premieres, and Christopher Rouse and George Walker each have West Coast premieres featured. Also this season cellist Johannes Moser makes his Festival debut in Enrico Chapela’s Magnetar; and the Festival presents the American debut of Emil Jonason, a charismatic Swedish clarinetist who came to the world stage with his 2012 performance at the Nobel Prize ceremonies. The Festival also welcomes back the ultimate chamber music crusaders, Kronos Quartet, who celebrate their 40th Anniversary.

In addition to the featured evening concerts, the Festival continues its tradition of hosting open rehearsals, pre-rehearsal talks, and the Conductors/Composers Workshop, a professional training program focusing on the creation and performance of new music. Open rehearsals begin on Sunday evening, July 28, 2013.

The nine composers-in-residence for 2013 are Derek Bermel, Enrico Chapela, Anna Clyne, Sean Friar, Thomas Newman, Andrew Norman, Kevin Puts, Gregory Smith and George Walker. The Festival will also feature US premiere works by renowned composers Brett Dean and Philip Glass.

Dust Dances: Friday, August 2, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
The Cabrillo Festival kicks off its 51st Season on Friday, August 2 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Maestra Marin Alsop leads the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in three works, including one world premiere Festival commission and one West Coast premiere. Derek Bermel’s Dust Dances comes out of the rhythmically intricate gyil music prevalent in West Africa (Ghana, southern Burkina Faso, and northeastern Ivory Coast). Bermel translates into orchestral idioms a typical session of two gyil players and a drummer. More than either African or American music, Dust Dances is a hybrid work that joins the rhythmic complexity of West African music with the harmonic structure of American concert music. Of Bermel’s music San Francisco Chronicle music critic Joshua Kosman wrote “It’s hard to know what to be more dazzled by in the music of composer Derek Bermel — the range of stylistic voices he cultivates or the profusion of ingenuity, beauty and wit he brings to everything he touches.” The world premiere of Festival veteran Kevin Puts’ Flute Concerto follows, written for and featuring Adam Walker, principal flautist of the London Symphony Orchestra, who makes his US solo debut. A winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize, 41-year-old Puts is known for his distinctive and richly colored musical voice. Alsop has championed Puts’ work for over a decade, having first presented his Symphony No. 2: Island of Innocence in 2003, when Puts was still an emerging composer. The concert closes with the West Coast premiere of a major new work by Pulitzer-winning Christopher Rouse, another composer Alsop has championed for years. Rouse’s Symphony No. 3 takes as its stepping-off point the two-movement form of Prokofiev’s Symphony No.2, itself influenced by Beethoven’s final piano sonata op.111. “It leaves you almost reeling — in a good way,” wrote The Baltimore Sun music critic Tim Smith. “The composer has always been capable of summoning massive orchestral firepower, and he does so here in fiercely aggressive fashion. But he also achieves passages of darkly expressive beauty that get under the skin.”

Fire Music: Saturday, August 3, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

Tonight two composers in residence and the world’s most renowned string quartet join Maestra Marin Alsop and the Festival Orchestra for a program of evocative works that find their roots in each composer’s deep sense of place. Opening the concert is a world premiere Festival commission by 28-year-old Sean Friar, the youngest winner of the Rome Prize in more than 25 years. Friar was selected by composer John Adams in an ongoing collaboration with the Festival to feature emerging young talents. The world premiere of Sean Friar’s Noise Gate is inspired by Friar’s delight in being able, within just minutes, to travel from the urban hustle and cacophony of L.A. to pockets of peaceful seclusion in nature where the volume of the city gets tuned out, as the sounds of the natural environment get turned up–much like the computer hardware and software called “noise gate” used to control the volume of an audio signal. Alsop next leads the Festival Orchestra through Thomas Newman’s It Got Dark, featuring the Grammy-award winning Kronos Quartet, whom Newman originally composed this work for. Newman, who has composed music for more than 50 motion pictures and television series, (including American Beauty, Shawshank Redemption, Finding Nemo, WALL-E, Six Feet Under and Skyfall) has earned eleven Academy Award nominations and five Grammy Awards. It Got Dark is the result of Newman’s many years of collecting ephemera–photographs, postcards and recorded interviews–from the areas surrounding his home on the west side of Los Angeles. Newman writes, “I always meant to organize them in a way that shed light or cast shadow over what is now vs. what was then, and my unique position of seeing both at once… To that end, it is music of loss and memory, much distorted by my interpretation of hope and hopelessness, sorrow and joy.” The US premiere of Fire Music, a work by Grawemeyer-winning composer Brett Dean, closes out Saturday night’s program. Dean wrote Fire Music in response to the “Black Saturday” bushfires of 2009, a catastrophic series of fires that took place across the state of Victoria, and resulted in Australia’s highest ever loss of life from a bushfire. Dean wrote, “Whilst the 2009 fires obviously had utterly disastrous consequences, fire can also cleanse and replenish; these thoughts, as well as its use in ritual, informed aspects of my Fire Music.”

Free Family Concert: The Animated Orchestra – Sunday, August 4, 1pm –
Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
The Cabrillo Festival hosts its annual Free Family Concert on Sunday, August 4. Designed to introduce kids to the wonderful world of orchestral music, this annual concert is suitable for adults too! This year the Festival brings back the hit work, The Animated Orchestra, composed and narrated by Gregory (Rians) Smith, whose family/educational concert works are among the most performed in the genre. 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. The concert begins with the popular 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 the Kronos Quartet – Sunday, August 4, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

The San Francisco-based, Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet – David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola) and Sunny Jungin Yang (cello) – celebrates its 40th Anniversary with a very special anniversary program. Over the past four decades this venerable quartet has built a reputation as one of the most influential groups of our time, and has performed thousands of concerts around the world, released more than 45 recordings, collaborated with the world’s most eclectic composers and performers, and commissioned more than 750 new works and arrangements for string quartet. Their 40th Anniversary program exemplifies their commitment to expanding the range of the string quartet and includes six works. Four of the pieces were written expressly for the Kronos Quartet – Michael Gordon’s Clouded Yellow, Nicole Lizée’s Death to Kosmische, Pamela Z’s And the Movement of the Tongue, and a new work by Amon Tobin. Also on the program are Richard Wagner’s Prelude from Tristan and Isolde, arranged for Kronos by Aleksandra Vrebalov and Alter Yechiel Karniol’s Sim Sholom, arranged for Kronos by Judith Berkson.

Magnetar: Saturday, August 10, 8pm – Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium

The second weekend of the Cabrillo Festival kicks off on Saturday, August 10 with Andrew Norman’s Unstuck, a kinetic work that explores a moment in time when Norman overcame a tough period of writer’s block. It was reading a line from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five (“Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time”) that made Norman realize that “the lack of coherence in my ideas was to be embraced and explored, not overcome.” Andrew Norman is composer in residence of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and his music has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times for its “Chaplinesque” wit and in the New York Times for its “daring juxtapositions and dazzling colors.” Norman made his Festival debut last season with the wildly successful performance of his Gran Turismo for eight violinists. Enrico Chapela’s concerto for electric cello and orchestra, Magnetar, features cellist Johannes Moser, hailed by Gramophone Magazine as “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists.” This work was inspired by a magnetar, a rare type of pulsar that has the biggest magnetic field in the universe. Strings Magazine celebrated this work as a “major e-cello concerto … rich in jazz, rock, and Latin-American influences, and quotations, that are seamlessly integrated … For 25 minutes, Chapela charts a riveting narrative of sounds that create their own reality of love, excitement, and drama.” The evening closes with the US premiere of renowned composer Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 10, an astounding five-movement work. Few composers have as defined a voice and as prolific and broad reaching a musical career as the iconic Philip Glass, and the Cabrillo Festival has championed his work for four decades. Symphony No. 10 received its world premiere in France under the baton of Dennis Russell Davies and tonight it receives its US premiere with Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. The work includes five movements, the last of which is Black and White Scherzo, first heard at the Cabrillo Festival in 2011 when it was written and performed in dedication to Alsop on the occasion of her 20th anniversary.

Music at the Mission, Night Ferry: Sunday, August 11, 4pm and 7:30pm – Mission San Juan Bautista

Tonight marks the 40th anniversary of Cabrillo’s Grand Finale performances in the magnificent sanctuary of Mission San Juan Bautista and features works by composers George Walker, Magnus Lindberg and Anna Clyne. The Pulitzer-prize winning George Walker joins the audience for the West Coast premiere of Sinfonia No. 4 Strands, a complex, intense and compact one-movement work. The subtitle of the piece, Strands, refers to the interplay of several melodic and motivic elements that are fused into a mosaic-like texture. At 91 years old, Walker has published more than 90 compositions and been performed by virtually every major orchestra in the United States, and many others throughout the world. Alsop then leads the Festival Orchestra through Magnus Lindberg’s Clarinet Concerto, one of his most popular scores to date. Celebrated by The Times as “a perfect concerto, perfectly performed …if there’s any justice it will soon be as oft-performed as Mozart’s concerto,” it features leading Scandinavian clarinetist Emil Jonason. The Festival culminates with Anna Clyne’s Night Ferry. In writing this work the London-born composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music said she was intrigued by the severe mood swings of Schubert, who cycled between streaks of creativity and episodes of suicidal despair. Clyne explains “Night Ferry is music of voyages, from stormy darkness to enchanted worlds.”


August 2-11, 2013

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music presents its 51st season.


Festival tickets range from $30-$52 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 May 3 through the Festival’s Advance Ticket Order Form; and then via phone, walk-up, or on-line beginning June 18.


Sunday, July 28: Open Rehearsals begin at the SC Civic Auditorium

Friday, August 2, 8pm: Dust Dances

Derek Bermel: Dust Dances

Kevin Puts: Flute Concerto (Adam Walker, flute) (world premiere | Festival commission)

Christopher Rouse: Symphony No. 3 (West Coast Premiere)

Saturday, August 3, 8pm: Fire Music

Sean Friar: Noise Gate (world premiere | Festival commission)

Thomas Newman: It Got Dark (Kronos Quartet, string quartet)

Brett Dean: Fire Music (US Premiere)

Sunday, August 4, 1pm: Free Family Concert: The Animated Orchestra

Gregory Smith: The Animated Orchestra (Greg Smith, narrator)

(Festival commission)

Sunday, August 4: 8pm: In the Blue Room with Kronos Quartet: 40th Anniversary Concert

Featuring David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Jungin Yang (cello)

Saturday, August 10: 8pm: Unstuck

Andrew Norman: Unstuck

Enrico Chapela: Magnetar (Johannes Moser, electric cello)

Philip Glass: Symphony No. 10 (US Premiere)

Sunday, August 11: 4pm and 7:30pm: Music at the Mission: Night Ferry

George Walker: Sinfonia No. 4 Strands (West Coast premiere)

Magnus Lindberg: Clarinet Concerto (Emil Jonason, clarinet)

Anna Clyne: Night Ferry

All performances except for Music at the Mission take place at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz. Music at the Mission takes place at Mission San Juan Bautista, 406 2nd Street, San Juan Bautista.


Two World Premiere Festival Commissions

Sean Friar: Noise Gate

Kevin Puts: Flute Concerto

Two US Premieres

Philip Glass: Symphony No. 10

Brett Dean: Fire Music

Two West Coast Premieres

Christopher Rouse: Symphony No. 3

George Walker: Sinfonia No. 4, Strands

Nine Composers-in-Residence

Derek Bermel

Enrico Chapela

Anna Clyne

Sean Friar

Thomas Newman

Andrew Norman

Kevin Puts

Gregory Smith

George Walker

Guest Artists

Emil Jonason (clarinet)

Kronos Quartet: David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Jungin Yang (cello)

Johannes Moser (electric cello)

Adam Walker (flute)

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