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California Symphony to Present ALL THINGS STRINGS in November

California Symphony to Present ALL THINGS STRINGS in November

The program welcomes acclaimed pianist and San Francisco native Elizabeth Dorman as soloist in Gerald Finzi’s rarely-heard Eclogue for Piano and Strings.

California Symphony will celebrate the orchestra's largest section, and its melodic heart and soul, with All Things Strings, November 5 & 6, 2022. The program welcomes acclaimed pianist and San Francisco native Elizabeth Dorman as soloist in Gerald Finzi's rarely-heard Eclogue for Piano and Strings, and further showcases the lush and lyrical sound of the strings section with Grażyna Bacewicz's powerful Concerto for String Orchestra, Antonín Dvořák's exulting Serenade for Strings (in E major), and Edward Elgar's exhilarating Introduction and Allegro, Op. 47, written for the unusual configuration of string quartet plus string orchestra. All Things Strings, conducted by California Symphony's Music Director Donato Cabrera, will be presented 7:30pm, Saturday, November 5 and 4:00pm, Sunday, November 6 at the Hofmann Theatre at Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. A 30-minute pre-concert talk and Q&A led by Cabrera will begin one hour before each performance. Information and tickets ($49-$79) are available at

Achingly beautiful, Eclogue for Piano and Strings is one of the few orchestral works by 20th Century British composer Gerald Finzi. Rarely presented by modern symphonies, it showcases interplay between the symphony's string section and the piano (which features the most strings of all, although technically a percussion instrument). Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for her "elegance and verve," Elizabeth Dorman performs as a soloist and chamber musician at venues including The Kennedy Center, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, Herbst Theater, Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, and Leipzig's Hochschule für Musik and Theater. Her critically lauded live solo performances have been nationally broadcast on NPR and public radio.

Twentieth century Polish composer and acclaimed concert violinist Grażyna Bacewicz left behind a rich body of work that has only recently been rediscovered, with Bacewicz now gaining recognition as one of the foremost women composers of all time. She received the Polish National Prize in 1950 for her opus magnum, Concerto for String Orchestra. While a traditional concerto features a single soloist accompanied by an orchestra, Bacewicz's Concerto showcases each string section-violins, violas, cellos and double basses-and makes each the "soloist." Audiences will find baroque influences mixing with 20th century styles in this powerful piece.

Joy blends with wistful nostalgia in Antonín Dvořák's Serenade for Strings (in E major), one of the composer's most beloved works. Famously written in only two weeks, Serenade for Strings is one of Dvorak's happiest and sunniest works. Since its December 1876 premiere in Prague, it has been delighting players and listeners alike with its variety of styles and moods through five melodic and passionate movements.

Scored for strings, Edward Elgar's Introduction and Allegro, Op. 47 was composed in 1905 for a concert by the newly-formed London Symphony Orchestra to show off the virtuosity of the performers.
For this concert, a solo quartet featuring California Symphony's four strings Principals-Concertmaster Jennifer Cho, Philip Santos (violin), Marcel Gemperli (viola), and Leighton Fong (cello)-will trade melodies amongst themselves, as well as with the accompanying orchestra, in a reimagined form of a Baroque concerto grosso.


Founded in 1986, California Symphony is now in its tenth season under the leadership of Music Director Donato Cabrera. It is distinguished by its vibrant concert programs that combine classics alongside American repertoire and works by living composers and for making the symphony welcoming and accessible. The orchestra includes musicians who perform with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, and others. Committed to the support of new talent, 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. California Symphony is based in Walnut Creek at the Lesher Center for the Arts, serving audiences in Contra Costa County and the wider Bay Area.

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