As part of his continued commitment to connect and engage with his audience, music director of the California Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic Donato Cabrera has launched two new digital projects: MusicWise – Conversations about Art and Culture with Donato Cabrera and The Music Plays On.
MusicWise, a 60-minute Facebook Live series, features renowned artists, civic leaders and influencers who weave the cultural fabric of our communities. Cabrera’s guests will share personal insights as well as their favorite performances and recordings. Taking place each Tuesday at 1 p.m. PT, the initiative also allows Facebook Live audience to interact with the guests through a Q&A format.
Upcoming guests include pianist Maria Radutu on April 14; timpanist David Herbert on April 21; composer Katherine Balch on April 28; violinist Alexi Kenney on May 5; and violist Gerhard Marschner on May 12. More information about each guest is below. Follow Cabrera on Facebook to be notified when he goes live.
The Music Plays On, Cabrera’s recently launched blog, features daily posts highlighting some of the music director’s favorite performances and music selections.
The blog, which launched mid-March, includes in-depth insights on individual pieces of music such as Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony surveys of musicians including Kurt Weill, Carlos Kleiber, Claudio Arrau; to songs of Cabrera’s youth, including the 1980s pop group Aha’s smash hit Take On Me; general commentaries on topics such as Great Conductors in Rehearsal and Documentaries on Musicians; and a tribute to the songwriter John Prine, who recently passed away.
About the Upcoming MusicWise Guests
April 14 – Maria Radutu. Decca Records and classical pianist, Maria Radutu, joins Donato from Vienna, Austria. Radutu is well-known for her concept albums, breaking style boundaries and designing her programs based on thrilling emotions. She uses storytelling on stage to create a strong bonding to her audience. Radutu has been a soloist for both the Las Vegas Philharmonic and California Symphony. Topics for the show include her background, past projects and recordings, as well as her entrepreneurial approach and success that is particularly poignant and appropriate for the new reality in which artists are now findings themselves.
April 21 – David Herbert is currently principal timpani of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a post he has held since July 2013 after being appointed by Music Director Riccardo Muti. Prior to joining the CSO, he served as principal timpanist of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), where Donato worked with him for many years, and the New World Symphony. He is widely considered a leader of cutting-edge solo timpani repertoire, accomplishing many commissions and world premiere performances every year. Herbert has been featured as a guest artist at many of North America’s premier ensembles including the Pittsburgh Symphony and St. Louis Symphony; with the latter orchestra he made his professional solo debut after winning its young artist competition in 1991. Since then, he has appeared as timpani concerto soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Shanghai Symphony, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, and the New World Symphony, with which he made his Lincoln Center debut with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting.
April 28 – Katherine Balch writes music that aims to capture the intimacy of existence through sound. Often influenced by extra-musical arts, sciences, and literature, she seeks a heterogenous yet formally cohesive aesthetic driven by attention to detail, textural lyricism, and playful sonic investigations. Balch’s work has been commissioned and performed by the Tokyo, Minnesota, Oregon, Indianapolis, and Albany Symphony Orchestras, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Ensemble Intercontemporain, the London Sinfonietta, the JACK, Argus, and Aizuri Quartets, International Contemporary Ensemble, wild Up, Contemporaneous, and Concert Artists Guild, among others, in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, Wiener Konzerthaus (Vienna), and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). Upcoming 2020-2021 season highlights include a new work for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series as part of their Carnegie Hall tour, and a song cycle commissioned by the Brooklyn Arts Song Society responding to Schumann’s Dichterliebe. She has just completed her three-year residency as the Young American Composer in Residence for the California Symphony and has worked closely with Donato on all three of her commissions for the orchestra.
May 5 – Alexi Kenney is the recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2020 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award,and has been named “a talent to watch” by The New York Times, which also noted his “architect’s eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness.” Kenney has performed as soloist with the Detroit, Indianapolis, Columbus, Jacksonville, Santa Fe, Portland, California, and Amarillo symphonies, and in recital on Carnegie Hall’s ‘Distinctive Debuts’ series, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, at the Dame Myra Hess Concerts in Chicago, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Jordan Hall in Boston. He is winner of the 2013 Concert Artists Guild Competition and laureate of the 2012 Menuhin Competition. Alexi has been profiled by Strings magazine and The New York Times, written for The Strad, and has been featured on Performance Today, WQXR-NY’s Young Artists Showcase, WFMT-Chicago, and NPR’s From the Top. Kenney has been a soloist with Cabrera for both the California Symphony and Las Vegas Philharmonic and was a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra when Cabrera was its music director.
May 12 – Gerhard Marschner won the audition for a tutti position with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra at the age of 19. Three years later in 2007 Marschner became a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and in the same year he advanced to section leader of the violas. In December 2016, he won the audition for the position of principal violist, which he took up in September 2017. In addition to his orchestral duties, Gerhard Marschner is a highly sought-after soloist and chamber musician. He has toured in Japan, China, Korea, the US and numerous European countries. Among his chamber music partners are Rudolf Buchbinder, Stefan Vladar, Magda Amara, Andrey Baranov, Harriet Krijgh, Midori, Rainer Honeck and many other internationally acclaimed musicians. Donato met Gerhard in 2002 when Cabrera was awarded a conducting fellowship from the American Austrian Foundation for the 2002 Salzburg Festival.”