January 31, 2023

Announcing the inaugural California Festival this November, with the LA Phil, San Diego Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony

The California Festival is a new two-week, statewide festival of new music from around the world, showcasing today’s most compelling and forward-looking voices in performances of works written within the past five years. The CA 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.

Of the new initiative, the three music directors said in a joint statement:

“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 musical frontier for experimentation. It is where countless composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schönberg, György Ligeti, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Ernst Křenek, and Hanns Eisler came, fleeing war and intolerance, and found a 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 cultural center of not just America, but the world, 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.”

Learn more HERE.