WFMT Orchestra Series

Saturdays at 7pm
Donato-California-Symphony-New-Photo-Two-9.10.22-Kristen-Loken

Donato Cabrera photo by Kristen Loken

The WFMT Orchestra Series continues this winter with broadcasts from the European Broadcasting Union, comprised of performances from Germany, England, and Norway. From Europe we travel to China to celebrate the Chinese New Year (February 10, 2024) with programs from China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra! Each concert features Chinese composers alongside Western masterworks to showcase the beauty and power of music to cross continents and provide a shared musical language. From China we cross the Pacific Ocean back stateside to hear the California Symphony, Centered on California Symphony’s mission of presenting works by living American composers, these four programs each mesh contemporary work with audience-focused and familiar pieces.

See the listings below.

Schedule
  • March 2
    Debussy, Berlioz, Chen, and Saint-Saëns

    Based on an old melody by ancient composer Huan Yi, Chen Qigang’s Reflet d’un temps disparu is stunningly performed by cellist Gautier Capuçon. The program features lush and evocative works by Debussy and Berlioz before ending with Saint-Saëns’s beautiful Second Piano Concerto.

    ORCHESTRA

    National Centre for the Performing Arts, China

    CONDUCTOR

    Lü Jia

    SOLOISTS

    Gautier Capuçon, cello*; Chen Sa, piano**

    Debussy

    Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune

    Berlioz

    Roméo et Juliette: Scène d’amour

    Chen Qigang

    Reflet d’un temps disparu*

    Debussy

    La mer

    Saint-Saëns

    Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22**

    Please Note: The names above follow the Chinese convention listing family name first and given name second.

  • March 9
    Fresh Inspirations: Cuong, Berlioz, Walton, and Ravel

    In this performance, Viet Cuong, California Symphony’s Composer-in-Residence from 2020-2023, premieres his work Stargazer featuring Sarah Cahill at the piano. Walton’s Symphony No. 1 continues Music Director Donato Cabrera’s exploration of works written around the time of the Second World War, with its time-honored trajectory from darkness to light. Ravel’s audience favorite Mother Goose Suite ends the program.

    ORCHESTRA

    California Symphony

    CONDUCTOR

    Donato Cabrera

    SOLOIST

    Sarah Cahill, piano*

    Berlioz

    Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9

    Viet Cuong

    Stargazer* (World Premiere, CA Symphony commission)

    Walton

    Symphony No. 1 in B-flat minor

    Ravel

    Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose)

  • March 16
    Intersections: Kodály, Clyne, Skoryk, and Tchaikovsky

    Donato Cabrera leads the California Symphony in a program of dances and melodies. Kodály’s Dances of Galánta begins the concert, contrasted with Anna Clyne’s DANCE for Cello and Orchestra, featuring cellist Inbal Segev as soloist. Clyne wrote DANCE with Inbal in mind, so expect an exceptionally poignant performance! Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk’s emotional and tragic Melody begins the second half, developing into Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2, which uses Ukrainian folk songs to great effect.

    ORCHESTRA

    California Symphony

    CONDUCTOR

    Donato Cabrera

    SOLOIST

    Inbal Segev, cello*

    Kodály

    Dances of Galánta

    Anna Clyne

    DANCE for Cello and Orchestra*

    Skoryk

    Melody for Symphony Orchestra

    Tchaikovsky

    Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17

  • March 23
    Dancing Around the Piano: Beethoven, Bernstein, Debussy, and Frank

    This concert brings a rousing set of works from Bernstein, Debussy, and Gabriella Lena Frank all focused on the theme of dance. And nestled in between, hear pianist Charlie Albright perform Beethoven’s virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 3.

    ORCHESTRA

    California Symphony

    CONDUCTOR

    Donato Cabrera

    SOLOIST

    Charlie Albright, piano*

    Bernstein

    Overture to Candide

    Debussy

    Danse (orch. Maurice Ravel)

    Gabriella Lena Frank

    Three Latin-American Dances for Orchestra

    Beethoven

    Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37*

    Bernstein

    Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

  • March 30
    Shades of E Minor: Cuong, Elgar, and Tchaikovsky

    Rounding out California Symphony’s suite of concerts, we return to Viet Cuong’s compositions with his emotional and intricate work Next Week’s Trees, commissioned by the California Symphony early in his tenure as Composer-in-Residence. Captivating cellist Nathan Chan performs Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony concludes the concert.

    ORCHESTRA

    California Symphony

    CONDUCTOR

    Donato Cabrera

    SOLOIST

    Nathan Chan, cello*

    Viet Cuong

    Next Week’s Trees

    Elgar

    Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85*

    Tchaikovsky

    Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64