2014 Press Quotes

“…at the Cabrillo Festival, recent works flourish like baseball caps at a World Series game. Not only that, they are crowd-pleasing without pandering and written by some of the best composers in the planet. 2014’s 52nd season last summer was one of the better I’ve attended in the last 22 years. The four major concerts sported 13 different recent orchestral works by as many different composers. Eight of these were outstanding compositions, as were all of the soloists in five concert works. Even more satisfying was the quality of the orchestra, which is now playing on a par with most major orchestras in the country. Music Director Marin Alsop commented during a ‘Meet the Composer’ Q&A how impressed she is with her musicians, how every year they arrive all the more prepared to play even the most challenging new works, spending “thousands of work hours” ahead of the festival itself. Needless to say, her direction and dedication to new music is the catalyst for success.”  –Jeff Dunn, American Record Guide, November 2014

“Adams and Fleck will be among 13 composers on hand to hear their works performed by the Festival Orchestra: Cabrillo is a window beyond the long-dead composers who dominate classical repertory.”  –Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News, June 2014

“…making classical music relevant and real to contemporary audiences…” | “Alsop has a way of imbuing the music with cool, and her passion is infectious.”  –Steve Palopoli, Good Times Editor-in-Chief, July 2014

“Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’ ” | “Alsop has her priorities. ‘We should reconsider everything—that’s what we try to do with the festival. There are very few rules that can’t be broken.’ Indeed, rule-breaking rules this season’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, bringing more than we bargained for, and all the musical adventure we expect.”   –Christina Waters, Good Times, July 2014

“Young composers stand alongside renowned veteran composers at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music” | “At 52, most people start slowing down, re-assessing what they put their energy into. Luckily, music festivals aren’t people, and in its 52nd year, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.”   –Wallace Baine, Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 2014

“Unlike some contemporary music festivals, this one has a laid-back, Santa Cruz vibe, and a whole day devoted to children.”    –Mark MacNamara, San Francisco Classical Voice, June 2014

“The Cabrillo Festival is so much more than four orchestral concerts that liven up the dog days of summer when most orchestras take a break. It’s world class chamber music too, plus a concert specifically designed to introduce music to a younger generation, not to mention the wonderful opportunity of popping in to an open rehearsal and becoming a fly on the wall as composers listen to what may be the first live performance of their new work and make last minute tweaks to the score. For the performers it’s two weeks of non-stop practicing, stimulating but exacting rehearsals alongside some of the most talented performers of new music in the country, a time for making new friends and a chance for protégés to reconnect with their mentors.”  |  “From the opening sound, a sense of expectation in the audience was unmistakable. The orchestra sensed this and produced its most thrilling performance of the festival.” (re: Dean’s Fire Music)  |  “This was the work that epitomizes the fresh spirit that this festival is all about.” (re: Smith’s Tumblebird Contrails)  –Heather Morris, Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 2014

“Opening Night at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music was all that it should be: Three new works by three composers of vastly different temperaments and interests were performed.”  |  “ ‘Sky Madrigal’ shows the influence of minimalism and gamelan, but not in an overly strict way and not for too long. Using those opening harmonies as his DNA, Mattingly builds a sort of wandering spirit song with delicate and surprising sonorities: the jangle of what sounded like a toy piano; the rapturous bellowing of cellos; soaring motion in the high strings; an overall sense of orchestral colors rising and taking flight — skillful and imaginative music of optimism and youth, looking for that next beautiful thing.”   –Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News, August 2014

“…music director Marin Alsop presented the audience with truly new music that offered hitherto unimagined soundscapes.”  –Jeff Dunn, Classical Voice America, August 2014

“To this listener, the most successful aspects of an often taxing pair of concerts came from the youngest contributors. ‘Megalopolis,’ a vigorous, touching depiction of the excitement and terror of urban life by 21-year-old TJ Cole, served as a winning curtain-raiser Saturday. Friday’s concert featured the world premiere of ‘Sky Madrigal,’ a beautifully crafted 15-minute work by the energetic and fecund 23-year-old Berkeley composer Dylan Mattingly. Two works, really – there’s a gorgeous, slow meditation beginning in the strings and expanding outward into a full-orchestra tapestry, as well as a big chordal romp that drives to a rhythmically propulsive finish. If the two parts sound sutured together, without much innate connection, each one stands splendidly on its own.”  –Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, August 2014

“The opener on the program was TJ Cole’s Megalopolis (2013)… The opening sounds are ingenious. A bass drum thuds, then is answered by a low tuba snort on the opposite side of the stage. The instruments start a rhythm of thudsnorts and are joined in by low piano chongs. The rest of the orchestra eventually joins in developing a kind of chaos, with a very brief respite of chimes (a churchyard, we were told). More of a sketch rather than a piece, but one showing considerable inventiveness and promise: Cole is another great find in Music Director Marin Alsop’s stable of composers.”  |  “I am happy to report that Marin Alsop’s direction and preparation of her orchestra has been so exemplary this season that little needs to be said of it, other than that her charges’ dedication and skill now bring the festival focus where it should be: on living composers and their works, not on incidentals. Bravo!”  –Jeff Dunn, San Francisco Classical Voice, August 2014

“As usual, bountiful surprises emanated from Music Director Marin Alsop and her remarkable players from all over, with a median age of thirtysomething. And once again all the night’s composers were there to take bows and provide introductions, live. And as usual, the festival was the year’s serious-musical highlight in a community better known for surfboards, boardwalk, beach and bikes.”  |  “Throughout, Ms. Alsop led the troops with sure hand, while making easy-going introductions for each of the three composers in attendance. Cabrillo is never dull, never traditionalist, and the ever-curious audience is swept along with the Alsop ground-swell quite willingly.”  |  “Overall, the 10-day orchestral festival featured five women composers among the 13 featured (all of them living!). All of them were accomplished, drawing us listeners smoothly or inexorably into their creations. For male maestros who never feature women composers at all, there are lessons yet to be learned.”  –Paul Hertelendy, ArtsSF.com, August 2014

“Under conductor Marin Alsop, Cabrillo’s music director since 1992, the annual festival continues to showcase the best and brightest new-music works designed to expand the contemporary repertoire.”  –Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News, August 2014

“All hail the saxophone. Saturday night at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, John Adams’ Saxophone Concerto demonstrated that the instrument most often associated with jazz, blues and soul is perfectly capable of taking center stage on an orchestral program.”  |  “The concerto gets off to a fast, driving start, with the soloist riffing energetically as the orchestra shimmers and pulses. The solo writing is mercurial: McAllister’s playing was edgy and insistent one moment, velvety-smooth the next. And Adams deftly weaves contributions from strings, horns and woodwinds into his sonic palette. The lyrical second movement, which arrives on a slow, sultry wave of sound, hearkens back to the heyday of noir; Alsop made it sound beautifully atmospheric. The finale features a fierce, angular bebop that seems to roll unimpeded throughout the orchestra. Start to finish, this is a kaleidoscopic score, and Alsop and the orchestra gave it a svelte, shapely performance.”  –Georgia Rowe, San Jose Mercury News, August 2014

On the Church Street Fair:

“Curious onlookers pinballed back and forth down Church Street on Sunday, buffeted by colorful art, aromatic food and energetic music. The annual Church Street Fair, a weekend-long ‘festival within a festival’ feature of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, drew thousands of attendees.”  —Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 2014

How can we help you?

More results...

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors