'96 CABRILLO MUSIC FESTIVAL OVERVIEW
"This is music that everyone alive today can relate to. It's as though the pulse of our civilization is expressed through our art. Experiencing where we've come from gives us some emotional hint of where we're going. It's an opportunity to sit back and look at our own lives." Music Director Marin Alsop
Now celebrating more than three decades, Cabrillo Music Festival has carved out a unique role in the American musical landscape through its commitment to nurturing the creative spirit of today's composers. Each August more than seventy professional musicians come together in downtown Santa Cruz to share and be part of a contemporary classical music Festival unlike any other in this country. The Festival and its award-winning orchestra have been host to a veritable who's who in the world of contemporary classical music from Aaron Copland and John Cage, to Phillip Glass and John Adams.
It's no holds barred when it comes to collaborations or explorations of other musical genres either, and the Festival has welcomed the likes of Laurie Anderson, Keith Jarrett, Mark O'Connor, Turtle Island String Quartet, Tandy Beal & Company, and Kronos Quartet. During the Festival's two weeks the streets are alive with the music, art and food of Santa Cruz's premier talents, composers abound, musicians are everywhere, and the audience is welcomed into the process through pre-concert talks, open rehearsals, lunch with the composers and more. The San Jose Mercury News summed it by saying, "The friendliness at Cabrillo is legendary, from the crowd around the tostada stand in the street to the folks schmoozing (and not snoozing) in the hall."
Led by Marin Alsop, one of America's leading young conductors, the Orchestra has emerged as "the western states leading orchestra devoted entirely to 20th-century repertory," making it top prize winner of the American Symphony Orchestra League's ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music since 1982.
For more information, call 408-426-6966. Cabrillo Music Festival 104 Walnut Avenue, Suite 206 Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Phn: 408-426-6966 Fax: 408-426-6966
Festival staff: Tom Fredericks, Executive Director and Ellen Primack, Associate Director Mark your calendars! 1996 Festival dates: July 29th through August 11th 1996 Cabrillo Music Art Food & Wine Festival on Church Street: August 3th and 4th
Performances take place at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium and at Mission San Juan Bautista. Concerts are annually broadcast by KUSP Radio. To be included on our mailing list, please contact us by phone, fax or mail. Cabrillo Music Festival is a community wide organization which involves many volunteers. If you would like to participate as a volunteer, please contact us at the Festival office. Additionally, each season our orchestra musicians and guest artists are housed by members of the community. If you would like to host a festival musician, please do give us a call -- we'd like to welcome you to the Festival family!
HISTORY OF THE FESTIVAL From the mountains to the sea, from the ancient peoples who thrived here, this place we call "Santa Cruz" has always inspired and sustained vibrant life! The Cabrillo Music Festival is rooted in this special place and its people.
Our story begins in 1961 when a young composer, Robert Hughes, jumped off a Greyhound Bus on Highway 1 at the Sticky Wicket Coffee House in Aptos just having returned from Italy. He'd come to study with Lou Harrison, already a well-known composer. Later that same year, Hughes and Harrison joined Sticky Wicket Cafe owners Vic and Sydney Jowers, to present music and theater at the cafe, in the open air. Audiences responded ecstatically to those first Bohemian events.
In 1962, Cabrillo College opened its Aptos campus, and Harrison and Hughes' new music events, backed by enthusiasts from cafe evenings, moved to the new Cabrillo College Theater. The Cabrillo Music Festival was born on that Wednesday, August 21, 1963, with Gerhard Samuel its first music director. "It was very exciting," Bud Kretschmer recalls. "Nobody knew how many people would come. I stood outside Cabrillo Theater and watched cars come into the parking lot. There were very few...until the last 15 minutes!"
Sidney Jowers wrote, "A glorious fanfare broke out from the library patio. It was a brilliant impresario touch from Bob Hughes. Eight-foot torches lit the pathway to the theater from an art exhibition in the library."
Music Director Gerhard Samuel provided vision, challenges and inventive programming of orchestral, choral and operatic works, often on the same concert. But in Samuel's six years, staging became increasingly complicated. In 1968, performances of the Frank Martin opera "Le Vin Herbe" had to be canceled and one Festival weekend had to be dropped. The costs of these productions resulted in deficits too large.
A search for a new music director was led by Bob Hughes and in 1970, the Board enthusiastically invited the esteemed Mexican composer and conductor Carlos Chavez to take charge. In his four-year tenure, Chavez gave the Festival a more formal tone, performing large orchestra pieces and generally unobtrusive contemporary music. This normality was inconsistent with the mood of the early seventies and the Board was once again in search of a new music director.
The big leap came when a certain long-haired biker type roared into town on a chopped Harley-Davidson. It was Dennis Russell Davies. Search committee member Marion Taylor remembers that after the first concert, principal cellist Sally Kell came up to her and said, "Thank you for this wonderful conductor!"
The mood of the Festival changed. Board president Manuel Santana, administrator Earleen Overend, and Music Director Davies started building a more informal, more adventuresome festival. Together they revolutionized the program with brilliant direction, fresh music, and distinguished guest composers.
Beth Anderson premiered "Joan of Arc," written for orchestra, four singers, a dancer, and a taped electronic score. Unique pianist, Keith Jarrett followed the next year, followed by experimentalist giant John Cage, followed by all-American Aaron Copland. In 1982 the Festival itself won national attention when it received the coveted ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming.
By 1986, these two magical festival weeks reveled in fresh music under a magnificent tent with a magnificent vista of mountains and ocean on the campus of University of California Santa Cruz. At that ecstatic time, nothing seemed impossible for Cabrillo Music Festival. But sometimes earthly events bring sorrow and don't wait on human joy. At 5:04 p.m., Tuesday, October 17th, 1989, Santa Cruz and the Bay Areas were rocked off their foundations by a 7.1 earthquake. Some lost their lives. Longtime businesses were wiped out. Much of well-loved Santa Cruz was devastated.
But Cabrillo Music Festival flew in disaster's face, dug deeper into Santa Cruz roots, and spread new growth. World-famous Phillip Glass inspired the shaken community in 1990, and in 1991, composer John Adams took the Festival directly to the downtown streets and Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.
Santa Cruz responded with joy and the Festival's uniqueness and quality drew nationwide response. Time Magazine calls the Festival one of the "best, most unusual...most moving and most fun...the country has to offer." The Wall Street Journal says the Festival offers "two of the most thoughtful and original summer musical weekends anywhere in America."
In 1996, celebrating its 34th season, Cabrillo Music Festival is rushing headlong into the 21st Century under the dynamic leadership of Marin Alsop, an uncommon leader for uncommon times. A protegee of the late Leonard Bernstein, Alsop was the first woman to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Pops Orchestras. History will show her to be a ground-breaker, the founder of her own orchestra at Lincoln Center, and an indomitable champion of contemporary music.
Winner of the ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music for thirteen consecutive years, Cabrillo Music welcomes you to join the excitement this coming summer, July 29 through August 11, 1996!
Music Directors of the Cabrillo Music:
Gerhard Samuel (1963-1968) Carlos Chavez (1970-1973) Dennis Russell Davies (1974-1991) Marin Alsop (1992-present)
Past Presidents of the Festival: T. Jerome Barnes (1963) Paul Sandas (1964) Suzanne Paizis (1964-65) Bud Kretschmer (1966-67) J.A. Wyckoff (1968) Ruth Frary, M.D. (1969-72) Manuel Santana (1973-77) Earleen Overend (1978-80) Carol Brancich (1981-82) Robert Korns, M.D. (1983-84) Gayle Ortiz (1985-86) Mary K. Hubbard (1987-88) Manuel Santana (1989) Richard Klein (1990-91) Celia Hartman (1992) Robert Scrivener (1993) Howard Sherer (1994-96)
Lifetime Members of the Board of Directors: Lou Harrison Bud Kretschmer Manuel Santana Marion Taylor
Marin Alsop Music Director/Conductor Since winning the Koussevitzky conducting prize in 1989, Marin Alsop has quickly gained a reputation as one of America's finest young conductors
In February 1995 she was appointed to the Creative Conductor Chair with the Saint Louis Symphony, a newly-created position in which she will continue to build on the orchestra's established artistic profile and experiment with non-traditional formats.
Coinciding with the Saint Louis appointment, the Colorado Symphony, of which Alsop had been Principal Conductor since September 1993, changed her title to Music Director in recognition of her artistic achievements and successes with that orchestra.
Marin Alsop continues as Founder and Artistic Director of the New York-based Concordia Orchestra which she founded in 1984 with the specific aim of combining the classical repertory with 20th-century American works and jazz. With Concordia, Alsop has recorded Blue Monday, a CD of music by George Gershwin on the Angel Label and Victory Stride, featuring the symphonic music of James P. Johnson for Music Masters Classics. Alsop and Concordia are featured on an upcoming Warner Brothers release with violinist Mark O'Connor.
This is Marin Alsop's fourth season as music director of the Cabrillo Music Festival. She succeeded long-time music director Dennis Russell Davies in 1992 during the Festival's 30th Anniversary season. She also leads Oregon's Festival of American Music.