California Symphony To Present Three Upcoming Concerts

Music Director Donato Cabrera leads the California Symphony in the Orchestra's first performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 and a performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 by Romanian-Austrian pianist Maria Radutu, who is making her West Coast orchestral debut as soloist, Sunday, January 22 at 4 pm at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. Christopher Theofanidis's Peace Love Light YOUMEONE, written during his tenure as the Orchestra's Young American Composer-in-Residence (1994-96), opens the concert. Theofanidis's Bassoon Concerto was nominated this month for a 2017 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition, for a recording of a performance by Northwest Sinfonia and conducted by California Symphony's founding Music Director, Barry Jekowsky.

Theofanidis, 48, who won the Rome Prize and the International Masterprize in Composition, was previously nominated for a Grammy Award for best composition for his chorus and orchestra work, The Here and Now, based on the poetry of Rumi. His orchestral concert work, Rainbow Body, is one of the most performed recent orchestral works. Theofanidis has written a ballet for the American Ballet Theatre, a work for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and was commissioned by the San Francisco Opera for his 2011 opera Heart of a Soldier. He has a long-standing relationship with the Atlanta Symphony, and in 2009 had his first symphony premiered and recorded with that orchestra. His 2015 oratorio Creation/Creator was also commissioned and premiered by the Atlanta Symphony.

Theofanidis "uses sound in a way that suggests bright colors - bold blues, bold yellows - it's quite visceral. His is a very powerful voice, creating music that is using the full palette of emotional colors," said Donato Cabrera.

Pianist Maria Radutu's noteworthy accomplishments include solo concerts, appearances with the New Piano Trio, and concerts as a soloist with orchestra in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, the Great Hall of the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Salle Gaveau in Paris, and the Auditorio National in Madrid, as well as an Asia tour with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and Cornelius Meister. In January 2017, she will make her U.S. orchestral debut with the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the California Symphony, both under the baton of Music Director Donato Cabrera.

"Maria Radutu has a way of showing her tenderness, this beautiful sense of reservedness - there's no filter between what she's feeling and what she's trying to project to the audience," Cabrera said. "She reveals these intimate emotions that people aren't so quick to bring to the stage."

Recitals and chamber music concerts have taken Radutu from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden to Beijing, where she performed in 2006 with Lang Lang and Dominik Hellsberg. In her recording career, she has developed a number of distinctive concepts for albums with Universal Music Group/Decca, including her most recent, Insomnia, released in June 2016. Her debut CD Joujoux was released in 2013. Together with Florian Willeitner and Ivan Turkalj, she forms the New Piano Trio, whose first album, NP3, also was released in 2016.

Radutu has served as the artistic director of the PhilKlang ensemble, program director of the Kontrapunkte Festival in Lafnitz, and director of the SoundGarden Festival in Vienna. She is also the founder of Building Bridges (Kunst in Bewegung), a long-term project with workshops and concerts by and for young refugees.

The California Symphony, celebrating its 30th Anniversary in the 2016-17 season, is distinguished for its concert programs that combine classics alongside American repertoire and lesser-known works, its pioneering Young American Composer-in-Residence program, its nationally recognized education programs, and for bringing music to people in new and unconventional settings. The Orchestra is in its fourth season with Music Director Donato Cabrera. The Orchestra is comprised of musicians who have performed with the orchestras of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, and others, and many of its musicians have been performing with the California Symphony for nearly all its existence. California Symphony has launched the careers of some of today's most-performed composers and soloists, including violinist Sarah Chang, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and composers such as Mason Bates, Christopher Theofanidis, and Kevin Puts. The Orchestra is expanding its regional base in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and performed concerts in four new venues during the 2015-16 season, in addition to concerts at its home at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. For more information, please

Music Director Donato Cabrera joined the California Symphony in 2013. He has been the Music Director of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014, and he also has a thriving international conducting career. He was the Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) and the Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) from 2009 through the 2015-16 season.

As Music Director of the California Symphony, Cabrera is committed to featuring music by American composers, supporting young artists in the Early Stages of their careers, and commissioning new world premieres from talented resident composers. Cabrera was a co-founder of the New York-based American Contemporary Music Ensemble. He made his Carnegie Hall debut leading the world premiere of Mark Grey's ?tash Sorushan. In 2002, Cabrera was a Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellow at the Salzburg Festival. He has served as assistant conductor at the Ravinia, Spoleto (Italy), and Aspen Music Festivals, and as resident conductor at the Music Academy of the West. Cabrera has also been an assistant conductor for productions at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. From 2005-2008, he was Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Opera and in 2009, he made his debut with the San Francisco Ballet. Cabrera was the rehearsal and cover conductor for the Metropolitan Opera production and DVD release of Doctor Atomic, which won the 2012 Grammy® Award for Best Opera Recording.

In 2010, Donato Cabrera was recognized by the Consulate-General of Mexico in San Francisco as a Luminary of the Friends of Mexico Honorary Committee for his contributions to promoting the Mexican community in the Bay Area. He holds degrees from the University of Nevada and the University of Illinois and has also pursued graduate studies in conducting at Indiana University and the Manhattan School of Music. For more information, visit

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