Announcing the California Festival: A Celebration of New Music
A Two-Week Statewide Festival Celebrating the
Most Innovative and Compelling Music Composed
Around the World in the Last Five Years
Music Directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic,
San Diego Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Join Forces
to Conceive of Sweeping Program
November 3-19, 2023
LOS ANGELES (January 31, 2023)—The Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony and San Francisco Symphony today announced the launch of the California Festival: A Celebration of New Music. The two-week, statewide festival of music from around the world will showcase today’s most compelling and forward-looking voices in performances of works written within the past five years. The California Festival was conceived by LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, San Diego Symphony Music Director Rafael Payare and San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen as a festival that highlights the collaborative and innovative spirit that thrives in California.
The California Festival will take place November 3–19, 2023, and brings together organizations and ensembles from throughout the state of California, including symphony orchestras, chamber music groups, jazz ensembles, choirs and more, all performing new music as part of their broader season programs. Performances will take place in concert halls, educational institutions, auditoriums, clubs and alternative spaces throughout all of California. More than 50 organizations from across the state have already confirmed participation. The full roster of participants will be announced later this year.
A dedicated website established by the three organizing partner orchestras will highlight the two-week festival’s participating organizations and composers, as well as provide a broader context for new music in California.
The California Festival will spotlight works written in the last five years that resonate with the curiosity and joyful experimentation that permeate the history of music in California. While the festival will be grounded in live performance, it aims to give a voice to artists from all kinds of media and to invite aesthetic invention and multidisciplinary work, with music at the center of its creation. Each participating organization will curate its own program or project under the festival umbrella, making this massive new survey as eclectic, exciting and kaleidoscopic as it is insightful and thought-provoking. The festival invites multiple points of view to emphasize inclusivity and diversity in all its forms and to create a program that is meaningful to the communities that comprise California and the world at large.
California is both a home and a source of inspiration for music directors Gustavo Dudamel, Rafael Payare and Esa-Pekka Salonen. In a joint statement, they said:
“California holds a unique place in music and culture, not just in the United States but in the wider world as well. It brings out the unexpected and illuminates the unseen, moving even the most reserved among us.
For more than a century, California has been a home for musical experimentation. It is where countless composers came, fleeing war and intolerance, and found stability and freedom of expression that allowed them to transcend the strict artistic boundaries they had constructed for themselves. It is where a film industry founded by outcasts and refugees became a global cultural center, creating a constant demand for ever-more-creative musical compositions that have evolved into a genre in its own right. And it is where American composers are transforming the way music is composed, performed and heard. Today, California—a state with the economic power of a country, the ecological diversity of a continent, and the cultural diversity of the planet—represents a powerful vision for classical music.
Our three orchestras, in partnership with other arts organizations from throughout this state, have come together to celebrate the sheer magnitude of California’s contributions to classical music and to dream of new ways that we can work together to express our deep appreciation for the environment, communities and technological innovation that make this state so deeply unique.”
“California’s musical organizations are integral to the spirit and the fabric of the Golden State,” said Jonathan Moscone, Executive Director of the California Arts Council. “Our musicians, orchestras, festivals, presenters, spaces and performing arts venues center California as a creative cornerstone of America. We applaud the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Diego and San Francisco Symphonies, and the countless other participating organizations for their joint vision in sharing with the world the inclusivity and innovation that people from across the world continue to seek here in California.”The California Festival is supported by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, providing outreach to arts organizations in its network, informing them about the Festival, and encouraging them to participate.
Los Angeles Philharmonic: Sophie Jefferies, firstname.lastname@example.org, 213 972 3422
San Diego Symphony Orchestra: Kristen Turner, email@example.com, 713 817 3219
San Francisco Symphony: Taryn Lott, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415 503 5476