Cristian Macelaru at the Cabrillo Festival (Photo credit: RR Jones)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg becomes an opera heroine at Cabrillo Festival
By Georgia Rowe
The Mercury News
April 18, 2019
A new symphonic work celebrating Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a multimedia harp concerto on a disappearing women’s language in China and a tribute to Wynton Marsalis are among the highlights of this year’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
Under music director and conductor Cristian Măcelaru, the Santa Cruz-based new music festival runs July 28 to Aug. 11, with premieres and commissioned works on the schedule.
Women composers are prominent this season — the festival’s 57th — which includes four mainstage concerts. The first program, “Notorious” (Aug. 2), brings the world premiere of “When There Are Nine,” a new symphonic work by Kristin Kuster. Based on Ginsburg’s life and accomplishments, it features mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton and the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. The program also includes the West Coast premieres of Nina C. Young’s “Agnosco Veteris” and Melody Eötvös’ “The Saqqara Bird.”
“Contrasts” (Aug. 3), features the U.S. premiere of Dan Dediu’s “Levante” and the West Coast premieres of Du Yun’s “Kraken”; Anna Clyne’s “DANCE” for cello and orchestra, with cellist Inbal Segev; and Jake Heggie’s “The Work at Hand,” featuring Barton and Segev.
Tan Dun’s “Nu Shu: The Secret Songs of Women,” makes its West Coast premiere on a program titled “Secret Songs” (Aug. 10), with harpist Sarah Fuller as soloist in the composer’s concerto about a language created by and for women in 13th-century Hunan. Also on the program: the world premiere of Preben Antonsen’s “Psalm without Words,” with the pianist-composer as soloist; the U.S. premiere of Vivian Fung’s “Earworms” and the West Coast premiere of Hannah Lash’s “God Music Bug Music.”
The final program, “Wynton” (Aug. 11), is devoted to Marsalis, featuring the trumpeter-composer’s “Blues Symphony” and Violin Concerto, with Nicola Benedetti as soloist.
Additional events include Clarice Assad in a free afternoon Family Concert (Aug. 4), Roomful of Teeth in Concert (Aug. 4) and a “pay-what-you-can” Community Night Concert (Aug. 8.)
Details: Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, July 28-Aug. 11, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, Santa Cruz; individual tickets $30-$65, full subscriptions $375, available online May 1 and May 29 by phone, walk-up or online; 831-426-6966 or cabrillomusic.org