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“It was a thrill to work with musicians who were willing to provide constructive feedback.”
– Conductor Workshop Fellow
“It was one of the best musical experiences of my life.”
– Workshop Composer
Professional Training Program
The Cabrillo Conductors/Composers Workshop brings together leading faculty, the award-winning Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, and early career conductors and composers for a professional training program that focuses on the creation and performance of new music.
“At Cabrillo, conductors are brought into community with each other by about 10 minutes into the first welcome coffee. Three young composers are also planted amidst the conductors and virtually adopted by the whole crew as voices of their generation. The orchestra is warm in their support and feedback for conductors and composers alike. They are active and fierce ‘first responders.’ It is a peaceable kingdom of music festivals committed not just to hearing new musical voices, but striving for a whole new paradigm in the world of concert music. That paradigm is based on an authenticity of human relations that I found to be completely unique, open, and nurturing of exactly those qualities of musical expression that made us all want to be musicians in the first place.”
– James E. Ross, Cabrillo Festival Conducting Faculty Member 2013-2016
Each summer for the last twenty two years, twenty conductors and three young composers have been selected to participate in this internationally recognized professional development program. Held in downtown Santa Cruz, California, in the context of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music’s annual rehearsal and performance season, the Conductors/Composers Workshop gives participating conductors and composers five full days of intensive training with some of the world’s most respected contemporary music professionals. 2023 in-person workshop dates are: July 29-August 2. Conducting Faculty members will include Cabrillo Festival Music Director Cristian Măcelaru and Octavio Mas-Arocas; Composition Faculty member will be Jennifer Higdon.