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California Symphony Announces Updated Fall 2020 Programming

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California Symphony Announces Updated Fall 2020 Programming

California Symphony, led by Music Director Donato Cabrera, announced today a revised program schedule for its 2020-21 season, which will expand public access to music while adhering to current state COVID-19 safety guidelines.

In lieu of the previously scheduled live concerts in September and November, California Symphony will now present four FREE virtual concerts with donor support and a newly awarded grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Out of 846 nonprofits that received an NEA CARES ACT Grant, California Symphony is the only nonprofit in Contra Costa County to receive this funding and is among only 2% of orchestras funded by this grant nationwide.

Each hour-long presentation will feature fresh performances as well as conversations with Maestro Cabrera. The concert series, called Second Saturdays @ California Symphony, will run from September-December, with performances on September 12, October 10, November 14, and December 12 at 7:00 p.m. PST. Patrons can tune in via Walnut Creek's local public access TV channel or on YouTube.

"During these last months, we've experienced so much change to classical music-making. As we look toward next season, more than anything we want to share music with as many people as possible," said Cabrera. "The first part of our 2020-21 season will focus on music written for soloists and small ensembles. This is a unique opportunity for audiences to engage with California Symphony in a different format and I can't wait to share these presentations."

"California Symphony is committed to bringing exceptional and accessible musical experiences to audiences not only in Walnut Creek but throughout the Bay Area and beyond," said Lisa Dell, California Symphony Executive Director. "Virtual programming allows us to expand public access to the arts. The team at California Symphony has been hard at work to create engaging concerts that can be performed and enjoyed safely."

Programming for the four virtual concerts will be revealed LIVE on California Symphony's Facebook Page at on Wednesday, August 19 at 1:00 p.m. PST. Details about presentations offered in the second half of the 2020-21 season will be announced at a later date. The programming originally slated for 2020-21 has been postponed to the 2021-22 season.


The California Symphony, celebrating its 34th season in 2020/21 and its eighth season under the leadership of Music Director Donato Cabrera, is distinguished by its vibrant concert programs that combine classics alongside American repertoire and works by living composers, and for bringing music to people in new and unconventional settings. The orchestra includes musicians who perform with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, and others, and is based in Walnut Creek at the Lesher Center for the Arts with additional recent performances around the region in Napa Valley, Concord, Oakland, and Berkeley.

Outside the concert hall, the Symphony actively supports music education as a driver for social change through its El Sistema-inspired Sound Minds program at Downer Elementary School in San Pablo, CA, which brings intensive music instruction and academic enrichment to schoolchildren in an area where 94% of students qualify for the federal free or reduced price lunch program, at no cost to the students who participate.

The Orchestra also hosts the highly competitive Young American Composer-in-Residence program and its current composer, Viet Cuong (2020-23). California Symphony has launched the careers of some of today's most well-known artists, including violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, cellists Alisa Weilerstein and Joshua Roman, pianist Kirill Gerstein and composers such as Mason Bates, Christopher Theofanidis, and Kevin Puts.

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