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California Symphony Presents World Premiere In “French Impressions' Program


California Symphony will celebrate spring with the World Premiere of Katherine Balch's Illuminate, the centerpiece of a program titled French Impressions. 

California Symphony Presents World Premiere In “French Impressions' Program

California Symphony will celebrate spring with the World Premiere of Katherine Balch's Illuminate, the centerpiece of a program titled French Impressions.

Mezzo-soprano Kelly Guerra and sopranos Molly Netter and Alexandra Smither will perform this new work by Balch, who was California Symphony's Young American Composer-in-Residence from 2017-2020 and was scheduled to present this World Premiere in March 2020, postponed due to COVID. Incorporating text from Les Illuminations by French poet Rimbaud, blended with works by Balch's other favorite poets, Illuminate offers a celebration of friendship and joy from the female perspective over the course of five movements via a framework of the cycle of the seasons, beginning and ending with the spring.

The program will also present British composer Thomas Adès' homage to Couperin, the French baroque composer who served as Louis XIV's organist in Versailles, in Three Studies After Couperin, an arrangement of three harpsichord pieces that recall the master's ability to sketch nimble personal portraits with his keyboard. French Impressions will also include works by the two leading French impressionist composers, Debussy's Danse and Ravel's Ma mère l'Oye (Mother Goose), displaying their lighter sides with these lively selections.

Patrons must be fully vaccinated, and masks are required. For more information, please visit

Photo Credit: Lanz Photography

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