Music, Arts

Tributes: Part 2: Cabrillo Festival Orchestra Concert

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jonathan lemalu

About Tributes: Part 2: Cabrillo Festival Orchestra Concert

Four world premiere commissions bring the 2017 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music to a spectacular close. An orchestral suite of American composer Jake Heggie’s critically acclaimed opera, Moby-Dick, opens the program. Moby-Dick is a “masterpiece of clarity and intensity” wrote critic Joshua Kosman in the San Francisco Chronicle. The program also includes the world premiere of a Festival commission by Christopher Rountree, a composer and conductor working at the intersection of classical music, new music, performance art and pop. Rountree is the founder, conductor and creative director of the path-breaking L.A. chamber orchestra wild Up. John Adams’ 70th birthday is a milestone being celebrated by the music community across the globe, and commemorated tonight with the world premiere commission of a new piece by San Francisco-based composer, Gabriella Smith. Cristi Macelaru has dreamed of inviting composers to write works on subjects genuinely close to their hearts, and he has found that opportunity here at the Cabrillo Festival. We close his inaugural season with the world premiere of a stirring new work for orchestra and voice by Canadian composer Karim Al-Zand. Featuring Grammy Award-winning, New Zealand-born bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu, Al-Zand offers The Prisoner—inspired by the story of Adnan Latif, a Yemeni man wrongfully imprisoned for more than a decade at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, until his death. Al-Zand, whose music has been celebrated as “strong and startlingly lovely”(Boston Globe), includes in the libretto segments of a letter Latif wrote to his lawyers, interspersed with poems by Rilke and Rumi.
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