Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music goes Global

The nation’s longest running new music festival dedicated to orchestral works presents its 47th Anniversary season featuring new works by composers from all over the world, including Argentina, Australia, Israel, Mexico, Scotland, the UK and US

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music is pleased to announce its 47th season, led by Music Director and Conductor Marin Alsop, August 2-16, 2009.

Most recently named Musical America’s 2009 Conductor of the Year, Marin Alsop’s vision for her 18th season at the Cabrillo Festival spans across the globe—and features works by the hottest composers from Argentina, Australia, Finland, Israel, Mexico, Scotland, the UK and the US. This season includes one World premiere, five US premieres and three West Coast premieres in what the Wall Street Journal has hailed as “two of the most thoughtful and original summer musical weekends anywhere in America."

“The Cabrillo Festival remains an artistic oasis in the world. It’s all about the creative process and individuals expressing themselves in the here and now. I believe it is at the core of who we are as human beings, and everyone who experiences the Festival—musicians, composers, and audiences—comes away with their own personal revelation. It’s an incredibly inspiring and life-affirming experience. And my programming this year reflects that sense of celebration and expansiveness.” - Marin Alsop

The ten composers-in-residence for 2009 include: Enrico Chapela (Mexico), 2009 Grawemeyer Award-winner Brett Dean (Australia), Avner Dorman (Israel), Grammy-award winner Osvaldo Golijov (Argentina), David Heath (United Kingdom), Matthew Hindson (Australia), Lee Johnson (US), Ingram Marshall (US), Kevin Puts (US), and Joby Talbot (UK). The season will also feature works by composers Magnus Lindberg (Finland), James MacMillan (Scotland), Pulitzer-Prize winner Aaron Jay Kernis (US), and Grawemeyer Award-winner George Tsontakis (US).

The roster of guest artists this season is equally impressive and includes cellist Alisa Weilerstein, hyper-accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman, percussionists Jamey Haddad, Cyro Baptista, Galen Lemmon and Steve Hearn, trumpet player Craig Morris, and assistant conductor Carolyn Kuan.

“Each year the Cabrillo Festival produces four, first-rate, symphonic programs of new works. Nowhere else in the world are so many new pieces performed at one time, to such a warm and devoted audience. Composers, professional orchestra players, and audiences travel from across the globe to participate in two weeks of exhilarating, intense, and wonderful music-making. Open rehearsals, composers' forums, pre-rehearsal talks, and a chance to meet and hear from the greatest contemporary composers of our time make the Festival a profoundly meaningful educational and social experience.” - Festival Executive Director Ellen Primack

And in true Santa Cruz spirit, Maestra Alsop and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra mark the 14th Anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s death on August 9 with Lee Johnson’s orchestral tribute to the Grateful Dead, Dead Symphony, no. 6. Encompassing some of the Grateful Dead’s most popular melodies while staying true to the band’s magical jams, Dead Symphony no. 6 is a work in 12 movements.


Maestra Marin Alsop conducts the award-winning Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in one World Premiere, five US Premieres, and three West Coast Premieres.

Festival tickets range from $30-$50 with many events free and open to the public. As of April 15, the public may access information on the 2009 Festival website at or call (831) 426-6966. 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 15.

Opening Night: Azul
Friday, August 7, 2009, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Brett Dean: Amphitheatre (US Premiere)
David Heath: Rise from the Dark (World Premiere)
Osvaldo Golijov: Azul, featuring Alisa Weilerstein, cello; Michael Ward-Bergeman, hyper-accordion; Jamey Haddad, percussion; Cyro Baptista, percussion

(Preceded by a Pre-Concert Dinner & Talk on Church Street outside the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, beginning at 6:30pm.)

Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!
Saturday, August 8, 2009, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Enrico Chapela: ínguesu (West Coast Premiere)
Avner Dorman: Spices, Perfumes, Toxins!, featuring Galen Lemmon and Steve Hearn, percussion
Brett Dean: Moments of Bliss (US Premiere)

(Followed by a Talkback Session with Marin Alsop, featured composers, and soloists.)

Free Family Concert
Sunday, August 9, 2009, 1pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Open to all ages, this free event features a “petting-zoo” style tour of the orchestra, and a performance by the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, led by Maestra Alsop and assistant conductor Carolyn Kuan.

Sugar Magnolia: A Special Benefit Concert/A Tribute to the Grateful Dead
Sunday, August 9, 2009, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Matthew Hindson: Rave-Elation (Schindowski Mix) (US Premiere)
Lee Johnson: Dead Symphony no. 6

(Followed by a Q&A with Composer Lee Johnson; Dennis McNally, longtime publicist and biographer of the Grateful Dead; and David Gans, host of Dead Radio)

Behold the Sun
Saturday, August 15, 8pm, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
James MacMillan: The Sacrifice: Three Interludes (US Premiere)
Joby Talbot: Desolation Wilderness (US Premiere), featuring Craig Morris, trumpet
Magnus Lindberg: Seht di Sonne (Behold the Sun)

Music at the Mission: Kingdom Come
Sunday, August 16, 2009, 4:30pm & 8pm, Mission San Juan Bautista
George Tsontakis: Clair de Lune
Ingram Marshall: Kingdom Come
Kevin Puts: Two Mountain Scenes (West Coast Premiere)
Aaron Jay Kernis: Invisible Mosaic III (West Coast Premiere)


World Premiere
David Heath: Rise from the Dark

U.S. Premiere
Brett Dean: Amphitheatre
Brett Dean: Moments of Bliss
Matthew Hindson: Rave-Elation (Schindowski Mix)
James MacMillan: The Sacrifice: Three Interludes
Joby Talbot: Desolation Wilderness (concerto for trumpet)

West Coast Premieres
Enrico Chapela: ínguesu
Kevin Puts: Two Mountain Scenes
Aaron Jay Kernis: Invisible Mosaic III

Ten Composers-in-Residence
Enrico Chapela
Brett Dean
Avner Dorman
Osvaldo Golijov
David Heath
Matthew Hindson
Lee Johnson
Ingram Marshall
Kevin Puts
Joby Talbot

Guest Artists
Carolyn Kuan, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello
Michael Ward-Bergeman, hyper-accordion
Jamey Haddad, percussion
Cyro Baptista, percussion
Galen Lemmon, percussion
Steven Hearn, percussion
Craig Morris, trumpet

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC is America’s longest running new music festival dedicated to orchestra, and winner of the national A.S.C.A.P Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music for 25 consecutive years.


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