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Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Presents Virtual, Reimagined Season

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Presents Virtual, Reimagined Season

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary is pleased to announce a reimagined, virtual 58th season, July 25 - August 9, 2020.

Led by 2020 Grammy Award-winning Music Director and Conductor Cristian Măcelaru, the Cabrillo Festival is all about "music of our time, for our time." This year's virtual Festival explores bold ideas in music, culture, and society and features a mix of archival commissions; intimate, behind-the-scenes conversations; and brand-new musical adventures. The Festival concludes with the world premiere of The Battle for the Ballot, a new symphonic work by Stacy Garrop commemorating the centenary of women's suffrage in America. The premiere features members of the award-winning Cabrillo Festival Orchestra recorded from their homes around the world.

"Despite the distance, the Festival Orchestra and I feel so profoundly connected to our Cabrillo family and so committed to the Festival," said Măcelaru. "We all wanted and needed to make music together, to connect in meaningful ways, and to offer gifts of music and conversation that will be a source of healing and hope."

All events are free and accessible on the Festival's website. The schedule kicks off with a Donors Concert on July 25 and continues as follows:

July 27-30 - Composers 20/20 Series

Quick-fire queries with contemporary composers

Friday, July 31, 5pm, Reflecting

The Festival kicks off with an opening night event reflecting on the Festival's roots with conductor, pianist, and former Cabrillo Festival Music Director Dennis Russell Davies. The event includes composer David T. Little introducing a recording of The Conjured Life, his 2017 Festival-commissioned work commemorating Lou Harrison's centenary; followed by Harrison's own celebrated Symphony No 3.

Saturday, August 1, 11am, Evolving I

Cabrillo Festival Music Director and Conductor Cristian Măcelaru joins Music Director Laureate Marin Alsop in conversation. Then Anna Clyne introduces her work, RIFT symphonic ballet, commissioned in 2016 by the Festival and featuring Hysterica Dance Co. with choreography by Kitty McNamee.

Saturday, August 1, 5pm, Evolving II

The Festival presents a recording of Kristin Kuster's celebrated 2019 work, When There Are Nine,which reflects on and celebrates the life of United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Commissioned by the Festival, this work features the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, acclaimed mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, and Grammy Award-winning eight-member vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. The libretto by poet Megan Levad includes nine poems touching upon pivotal civil rights issues that Justice Ginsburg faced over the course of her career. The concert is followed by a live Q&A session with Cristian Măcelaru, Kristin Kuster, Jamie Barton, and Roomful of Teeth's Artistic Director Brad Wells.

Sunday, August 2, 11am - Family Concert

Tunisian-born, Canadian-American composer Karim Al-Zand's Parizade and the Singing Tree is a magical work based upon a Middle Eastern folk tale. This Family concert features an illustrated presentation of Al-Zand's work, narrated by Nora el-Samahy. The program also includes a self-guided Tour of the Orchestra, in which Festival musicians introduce their instruments to kids and their families.

Sunday, August 2, 5pm - Performance by Quartet San Francisco
Quartet San Francisco, three-time Grammy Award nominee, performs a special program featuring a wide variety of musical styles including tango, samba, Mongolian Folk, French Fusion, and more. Founded by violinist Jeremy Cohen, QSF is a non-traditional and eclectic ensemble that challenges the traditional classical music foundation of the string quartet.

Saturday, August 8, 11am Connecting I

Panel Discussion featuring members of the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra with live Q&A, moderated by principal flute Tim Munro.

Saturday, August 8, 5pm - Connecting II

Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and composer/pianist Jake Heggie perform four of Heggie's songs in a virtual concert recorded from their homes. Then Cabrillo Festival Music Director Cristian Măcelaru joins Heggie in conversation, followed by the orchestral suite of Heggie's acclaimed opera, Moby-Dick. Arranged by Cristian Măcelaru, the work was commissioned by the Festival and premiered in 2017 with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra.

Sunday, August 9, 11am, Rising I

"Celebrating Woman Suffrage + the Struggle for Voting Rights" is a panel discussion featuring Santa Cruz County Registrar Gail Pellerin as moderator; with presentations by Monterey County Judge Marla Anderson, feminist scholar/activist and author Bettina Apthekar, and leading Chicana feminist scholar Professor Aida Hurtado. Followed by a live Q&A.

Sunday, August 9, 5pm, Rising II

Cabrillo Festival Music Director and Conductor Cristian Măcelaru joins composer Stacy Garrop to introduce her latest work, The Battle of the Ballot, and discuss the making of a virtual orchestra premiere. Commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival, and closing out the Festival season, will be the world premiere of Garrop's The Battle of the Ballot, a new symphonic work commemorating the centenary of women's suffrage in America. The libretto includes texts from seven American suffragettes--Carrie Chapman Catt, Carrie W. Clifford, Jane Addams, Mary Church Terrell, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Susan B. Anthony, and Adella Hunt Logan. The work features 60 members of the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, all recorded from their homes around the world, and is narrated by Julie James of Jewel Theatre.

Sunday, August 9, post-concert FINALE

Community Sing a participatory celebration!

More information and a full schedule available at

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