The theme of the 2019/20 season, Connections, has never seemed more apt or more desirable. As we explore what it means to forge and to maintain connections in a time of social distancing and temporarily silenced concert halls, we present some resources to keep the joy of music going. From Music Director Donato Cabrera’s daily blog, to live recordings, musician features, and even a bit of Neil Diamond, we invite you to let the music play on.
By California Symphony
Updated April 1, 2020
Every Tuesday at 1PM (PST) on Facebook Live, tune in for MusicWise: Conversations about Arts and Culture with Donato Cabrera. Each episode features interviews with engaging artists and civic leaders who influence and shape the cultural landscape. Read our blog post to learn more about MusicWise and upcoming guests.
Read Maestro’s Musings
Music Director Donato Cabrera is writing daily blogs featuring videos and commentary on some of his favorite works, including Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony, Allegri’s Miserere, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, and even 1980s pop group Aha’s smash hit Take On Me.
Take On Donato’s blog
Enjoy Maestro’s Playlists
Donato’s favorite recordings of music from the 2019/20 season are available on Spotify playlists.
Listen to Local Classical Music Radio Stations
San Francisco-based KDFC makes a positive impact on individuals and communities by championing the power of classical music. Their vision is to nurture the love of classical music for all. Who can argue with that? Listen live online and try your hand at their #MakeSomeJoy challenge.
Staff at the station are keeping a running list of musicians and artists from around the state who are keeping the music going in a post titled Play On, California!
You can hear past interviews with Music Director Donato Cabrera on KDFC’s The State of the Arts:
… And on KALW’s Open Air:
Meet our Musicians
Art aficionados, Silicon Valley tech execs, world travelers, organic farmers and more. Music is only a part of the story in the lives of our incredibly talented musicians.
- Concertmaster Jennifer Cho is a Juilliard-trained virtuoso, but her other passion is her organic food forest at her home in Petaluma.
- Watch Jenny’s KTVU interview
- Follow Jenny on Instagram at JennyGrowsFood
- Percussionist Allen Biggs has spent his life in music and he originated the sound of the witch melting in Broadway smash Wicked.
- Clarinetist Stephen Zielinksi has a music degree from the Juilliard School but by day, he’s a top tech executive.
- Dan Flanagan, violin, plays Bach and shows us his impressive art collection.
- Trumpeter Scott Macomber joins 25 other trumpeters to bring to life Queen’s Love of My Life.
Enjoy Live Recordings
Berlin Philharmonic is offering the opportunity to stream performances from its library of 600 video recordings and documentaries in its Digital Concert Hall. Usually reserved for subscribers only, the service is free of charge if you register by March 31, 2020.
The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam is streaming recordings from its back catalog and from top European ensembles from around Europe on Facebook.
The Met Opera presents encore presentations from the company’s Live in HD series, with free streaming of each available for 24 hours.
Follow Your Favorite Soloists
While they can’t perform in the concert hall, many performers are livestreaming intimate performances from their living rooms, including several artists familiar to California Symphony audiences.
Charlie Albright, piano
Oliver Herbert, cello
Alexi Kenney, violin
Watch Alexi’s prize-winning performance of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in the Menuhin competition in 2012, at the age of 17.
Joshua Roman, cello
Watch his popular TED talk.
Brush Up On Your Music Appreciation
Want to dive deeper into the lives and works of the composers you hear in the hall?
San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score series—currently available for free—explores nine great composers, starting with Aaron Copland. Each on-demand episode is a meaty 90 mins to 2 hours long and each provides insights into how some of the best loved pieces of music in classical music came to be.
And Just For Fun…
From the Top, a regular fixture on NPR, is presenting The Daily Joy, showcasing the talent of brilliant young artists from around the world. Catch up on their videos here.
Neil Diamond performs Hands, Washing Hands (to the tune of Sweet Caroline).
When you give to the California Symphony, you champion social justice through music education, equality and diversity on stage and off, you support top quality artistic talent, and you support an organization that’s breaking stuffy orchestra stereotypes and attracting new audiences into the hall as a result.
Donations of any size make a big difference.