LYRICAL DREAMS — Nostalgia, Elation, and Epic Mahler

Here’s our press release with everything you need to know about our 2017–18 season opener LYRICAL DREAMS, which features a modern day classic by American composer Samuel Barber, and a whimsical new instrument played by Bay Area composer Nathaniel Stookey (it bears some resemblence to a vacuum cleaner!) The program concludes with an epic masterpiece by Mahler — a composer rarely performed in the Bay Area outside of the San Francisco Symphony due to the grand scale and complexity of his works. At the California Symphony, we haven’t tackled Mahler in nearly 20 years!

The concert takes place at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, Sunday, September 24th at 4:00PM. Click on the link for full details.


The California Symphony, now in its fifth season under the leadership of Music Director Donato Cabrera, is a world-class, professional orchestra based in Walnut Creek, in the heart of the San Francisco East Bay since 1990. Our vibrant concert series is renowned for featuring classics alongside American repertoire and works by living composers. The Orchestra is comprised of musicians who have performed with the orchestras of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, and others, and many of its musicians have been performing with the California Symphony for nearly all its existence.

Outside of the concert hall, the symphony actively supports music education for social change through its El Sistema-inspired, “Sound Minds” program at Downer Elementary School in San Pablo, CA, which brings intensive music instruction and academic enrichment to Contra Costa County schoolchildren for free, in an area where 94% of students qualify for the federal free or reduced price lunch program.

We also host the highly competitive Young American Composer-in-Residence program, which this year welcomes its first female composer, Katherine Balch.

California Symphony has launched the careers of some of today’s most-performed soloists and composers, including violinists Sarah Chang and Anne Akiko Meyers, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and composers such as Mason Bates, Christopher Theofanidis, and Kevin Puts. The Orchestra performs at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.

For more information, please visit


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