Nov 1, 2023
LOS ANGELES, SAN DIEGO, AND SAN FRANCISCO (November 1, 2023)—On November 3, the unprecedented California Festival: A Celebration of New Music will begin its two-week run on stages throughout the State of California, highlighting the collaborative and innovative spirit that thrives in California. More than 100 participating organizations and ensembles, including symphony orchestras, chamber music groups, jazz ensembles, opera companies, and choirs will be presenting music written within the past five years. The California Festival includes 180+ works with 36 world premieres from 34 composers, at 90+ venues—concert halls, education institutions, auditoriums, clubs, and alternative spaces of all sizes—across California. The Festival was conceived by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, San Diego Symphony Music Director Rafael Payare, and San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen to reflect the full spectrum of ideas, voices, and cultures that call California their home.
From Symphony of the Redwoods in the north to the San Diego Saints Choir furthest south, the Festival’s 650-mile reach takes the California Festival to nearly every corner of the state with some of the most compelling new music composed since 2018. More than 140 composers are featured in the Festival, hailing from 24 countries and ranging in age from 27 to 97. Twenty-four composers will have multiple works featured, including Gabriela Lena Frank and Reena Esmail, who are featured in six presentations; Carlos Simon and Gabriella Smith with five each; and Anna Clyne, Rhiannon Giddens, and Jessie Montgomery with four each. The creative output from this diverse array of composers and artists represents the depth and range of music as a collective expression of the state’s commitment to artistic freedom, diversity, and the advancement of the art form.
In conjunction with the California Festival, the LA Phil’s Insight program has commissioned a series of editorial offerings highlighting the visionary figures and lesser-known pathways that have helped shape the state’s storied continuum of contemporary music. Newly commissioned features include in-depth articles, audio programs, visual essays, and original graphic scores from contributors, including acclaimed music journalists Geeta Dayal and Andy Beta, MacArthur Fellow Josh Kun, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tim Page, pianist and producer Sarah Cahill, GRAMMY Award winner John Schneider, composer M.A. Tiesenga, and Peabody Award-winning broadcaster Nadia Sirota among others.
The California Festival’s editorial offerings can be found at cafestival.org/excursions. New features will continually be added in the lead-up to and throughout the festival.
While the California Festival is grounded in live performance, it also aims to give voice to artists from a variety of backgrounds and to invite aesthetic invention and multidisciplinary work, with music at the center of this creation. The participating organizations have curated their own programs or projects under the California Festival umbrella, making this massive new survey as eclectic, exciting and kaleidoscopic as it is insightful and thought-provoking.
An interactive map and full programming details are available at cafestival.org. Visit cafestival.org/press for press information, photos, b-roll, and a fact sheet about the California Festival.
The California Festival is supported by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, providing outreach to arts organizations in its network, informing them about the California Festival and encouraging them to participate.
LA Phil Insight is generously supported by Linda and David Shaheen.
About the LA Phil
Under the leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives, and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond. The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multi-genre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic, and learning experiences that resonate in our world today.
About the San Diego Symphony
The San Diego Symphony, led by Music Director Rafael Payare, is comprised of 82 full-time musicians who represent and celebrate the San Diego region through dynamic and passionate music-making. One of the largest and most significant cultural organizations in California, the San Diego Symphony creates shared experiences centered on the stories of our place and time, for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The San Diego Symphony performs for more than 250,000 people annually at its concerts throughout Southern California, reaches more than 65,000 participants through its community engagement and education programs, serves as the orchestra for the San Diego Opera, and participates collaboratively with arts and cultural activities in Baja California, Mexico, as part of its ongoing binational work.
The San Diego Symphony programs and operates its two primary venues: the indoor Jacobs Music Center, which will reopen in 2024 following a $125 million renovation, and The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, the Symphony’s outdoor venue on San Diego Bay, nestled between downtown San Diego and historic Coronado. The San Diego Symphony operates Jacobs Park as a public park 365 days each year, where it provides a range of free and paid programming. Both venues were developed with the goals of showcasing the talent of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra musicians, providing transformative music experiences for the community, and driving growth and vitality in San Diego. For more information, visit https://www.sandiegosymphony.org/
About the San Francisco Symphony
The San Francisco Symphony is among the most adventurous and innovative arts institutions in the United States, celebrated for its artistic excellence, creative performance concepts, active touring, award-winning recordings, and standard-setting education programs. In the 2020–21 season, the San Francisco Symphony welcomed conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen as its twelfth Music Director, embarking on a new vision for the present and future of the orchestral landscape. In their inaugural season together, Mr. Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony introduced a groundbreaking artistic leadership model anchored by eight Collaborative Partners from a variety of cultural disciplines: Nicholas Britell, Julia Bullock, Claire Chase, Bryce Dessner, Pekka Kuusisto, Nico Muhly, Carol Reiley, and esperanza spalding. This group of visionary artists, thinkers, and doers, along with Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony, have set out to explore and develop new ideas inspired by the Partners’ unique areas of expertise, including innovative digital projects, expansive and imaginative performance concepts in a variety of concert formats, commissions of new music, and projects that foster collaboration across artistic and administrative areas. Shaped by the dynamic partnership and shared vision of Mr. Salonen, the Collaborative Partners, and the Orchestra and Chorus, the San Francisco Symphony’s 2023–24 season reflects a spirit of collaboration, experimentation, and renewed dialogue through live music.
California Festival website: cafestival.org
California Festival online press room: cafestival.org/press/
Los Angeles Philharmonic: Anna Ress, [email protected], 213 972 7300
San Diego Symphony Orchestra: Kristen Turner, [email protected], 713 817 3219
San Francisco Symphony: Taryn Lott, [email protected], 415 503 5476
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