Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel conducts a concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra on October 9. Allen J. Schaben (Getty Images)
California's three largest orchestras have joined forces to fuel new musical expressions from around the globe.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony have announced this Tuesday the creation of the California Festival, which will take place from November 3 to 19.
It will include dozens of events led by fifty jazz bands, choirs, orchestras and chamber ensembles, who will offer recitals in the main cities of the State.
The final schedule will be revealed in the coming weeks.
The festival has been devised by the musical directors of the three formations involved: the Venezuelans Gustavo Dudamel, from the LA Phil, and Rafael Payare, from the San Diego Symphony, in addition to the Finnish Esa-Pekka Salonen, who took the reins in 2021 of the San Francisco Orchestra.
Each one has opened the doors of their institutions to young composers and exponents of advanced music.
In its first season, Salonen scheduled the premiere of a symphonic poem by Chinese-American composer Fang Ma.
The work had a sheng, a mouth organ, as its main instrument.
The European is the twelfth musical director of an organization that seeks to make innovation its main hallmark.
The first gesture of changing his vision was to share his tasks with eight regular collaborators,
Payare arrived in 2018 to lead the San Diego Orchestra, the oldest symphony in California (founded in 1910).
The Venezuelan, like Dudamel, is another outstanding student of the musical education system created by José Antonio Abreu.
Last November, in command of 82 musicians, he presented to his audience the US premiere of the latest work by Austrian Thomas Larcher.
In May, the Iranian Gity Razaz, a Juilliard graduate, will premiere together with Payare a work commissioned by the League of American Orchestras in a project that linked six international composers with ensembles from the United States.
Rafael Payare conducts the San Diego Symphony during a concert in August 2021. Daniel Knighton (Getty Images)
"For more than a century, California has been the home of musical experimentation," says a joint statement signed by the directors.
“It is where countless composers arrived, fleeing from war and intolerance, and where they found stability and freedom of expression that allowed them to transcend the strict artistic boundaries that had been imposed”, they continue.
“Our three orchestras, in alliance with other State organizations, have come together to celebrate the contributions to classical music and to dream of new ways to work together”, they indicate.
Although the joint message appeals to the historical greatness of California, the new festival focuses on the more immediate past of contemporary music.
The organizers assure that the programming will focus on a hundred works that are no more than five years old and that "resonate with the curiosity and experimentation that permeates music" in the State.
In addition to the three great orchestras that have been summoned, there are also youth groups from various counties and university bands.
Among those summoned are also the award-winning men's choir Chanticleer, winner of two Grammy awards;
the experimental orchestra Wild Up, which has received great reviews in its 10 years of existence (and which has accompanied Björk at festivals);
or Project [BLANK], a chamber music group that specializes in immersive productions and interdisciplinary experiences.
Spacepants puts probably the most
to the festival.
It is a female duo whose central instrument is a seven-meter plastic tube, from which surprisingly they extract music for aliens.
The rest of the participants can be found on the festival's official page, which was launched this morning.
Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra greet the audience after a concert at Davies Symphony Hall.Santiago Mejia (Getty Images)
Each organization will be in charge of selecting and preparing their pieces, which will be presented under the umbrella of the festival.
The result, the organizers believe, will generate an "eclectic and kaleidoscopic" program that will reflect the Californian essence.
The final program of the California Festival will be announced later.
Each organization will give the details of their work at the same time that they reveal the contents of their new seasons.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic, the flagship among the actors involved, will present its 2023-2024 season in February.
There will come some keys of what will be the strongest bets of the nascent festival.