News | 26 July 2018

Making Culture Accessible: Cabrillo Festival Opens this Sunday, July 29


THI Co-sponsors New Community Night on Thursday, August 9


The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music opens this Sunday, July 29, bringing two full weeks of musical performances to the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. The festival, now under the direction of Cristian Măcelaru, brings an international array of composers to town and invites our community to encounter diverse cultural expressions that reflect the human spirit. The festival also invites us to engage deeply with the creative process through open rehearsals talks, and live performances.

The music festival demonstrates the power of music to tell stories and reshape narrative. As only one example, this year’s festival will feature a night dedicated to “Aural Histories” on Friday, August 3. The program highlights storytelling in four different ways, including Huang Ruo’s Folksongs for Orchestra based on Chinese folk songs and the world premiere of Pande Shahov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, inspired by Macedonian folk music. Drawing further literary connections, Zosha Di Castri’s Dear Life is based on a semi-autobiographical story by Alice Munro and Dan Dediu’s Grana (U.S. Premiere) is inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

Murray Baumgarten, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of English & Comparative Literature, suggests that the festival similarly extends our capacity for understanding just as the study of literature informs how we read and see the world. He explains, “This music extends tradition; new instruments take the stage, and alert me to new ways of hearing – brooms sweeping, hammers clanging, the shrieks and swooping of electronics have all claimed my attention.” Baumgarten has attended the festival since he first came to Santa Cruz in 1966, recognizing the power of this annual gathering to make space for the new, noting “What we now think of as classical music was also once new. Stravinsky’s Paris premiere of The Rite of Spring in 1913 caused a riot. The new composers featured in the Cabrillo Festival too generate excitement, as all of us who heard Osvaldo Golijov’s use of the Shofar, can attest.”

This year, The Humanities Institute is thrilled to partner with the festival to bring their new Community Night Concert to fruition. The concert on August 9 will highlight the festival’s spectacular musicians in solo and small ensemble formations in a program of short and innovative works. After the concert, you are invited to stay and meet the artists and learn more about the process of contemporary music making. “The Festival’s rich tradition of showcasing new and experimental music embodies our goal of making culture accessible and meaningful to everyone,” says Irena Polic, Managing Director of THI. “Community Night is an expression of that goal as all members of the Santa Cruz community are welcomed to experience the festival for the first time.”

As co-sponsors, THI is offering a number of free tickets.
Claim 2 Free Tickets

Please Note: Ticket requests must be made by August 1