CeCe Salinas


March 7, 2024 :: Richard Strauss (1864–1949) Serenade in E-flat Major, Op. 7 (1881) Richard Strauss may have been a mere puppy when he wrote his Serenade for wind ensemble, but he was a frisky puppy indeed, already the author of a handful of compositions including a string quartet, a piano sonata, and even an unpublished symphony. He was...

Symphony Meets Hardware Store in Lou Harrison’s Quirky Concerto

March 5, 2024 :: One violin, 12 brakedrums, 6 flowerpots, windchimes (glass and metal), dustbins, plumbing pipe… You could be forgiven for mistaking the instrumentation for Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra for a shopping list for ACE Hardware. This month in MOZART SERENADES, sandwiched between two giants of the wind repertoire—Strauss’ Serenade and Mozart’s Gran Partita—comes a quirky and rhythmic concerto by American maverick composer Lou Harrison. Concertmaster Jennifer Cho becomes the sole strings player on the program, featured alongside five stellar percussionists who use a variety of traditional and non-traditional instruments to create a unique soundscape.

Donato’s Top 3 Sporting and Musical Highlights

December 21, 2023 :: Baseball, football, or basketball?  Bruckner, Mahler, or Brahms..? ‘Tis the season of reflection and list-making. We asked Artistic and Music Director Donato Cabrera to talk us through his top three most memorable sporting moments and California Symphony concerts. Did yours make Donato’s list?


December 19, 2023 :: Another musician in his rookie year, this Illinois-born Cubs fan isn’t shy about tooting his own horn. Please meet principal horn Alex Camphouse!


:: He’s been a fixture in the brass section at California Symphony concerts for nearly 30 years and he plays a loud and shiny instrument… Please meet trumpeter Bill Harvey!


December 18, 2023 :: One of the original members of the California Symphony, Forrest enjoys being the only tuba player on stage at concerts most of the time, and he’s friendlier than you might think—especially if you have a really bad dad joke to share.

MEET MVP SAM WEISER – Assistant Concertmaster

December 11, 2023 :: He’s Concertmaster Jennifer Cho’s right hand man. (Or left hand man, from her perspective on stage.) This East Coast-born violinist has made a home for himself in California.  Meet Assistant Concertmaster Sam Weiser!

MEET MVP ANNIE RANZANI – Principal Bassoon

December 7, 2023 :: A recent addition out of USC in her rookie year with the California Symphony, her instrument would be 8.5 feet long without all those kinks…  Please meet bassoonist Annie Ranzani!

Play On!—Donato on Music and Sports

:: Dedication. Practice. Training. The tireless pursuit of excellence, and a commitment to a collective goal… It turns out that professional musicians and athletes have a lot in common! Artistic and Music Director Donato Cabrera takes us through his conducting play book.

Behind the Bow: Meet Alexandra Simpson, Assistant Principal Violist

October 5, 2023 :: Trailblazing Assistant Principal Violist Alexandra Simpson has performed and taught all over the world, from Bucaramanga, Colombia to Cornwall, England.  In addition to acing her California Symphony audition last year, she’s appeared with international superstars including Kygo, Josh Groban, and Michael Bublé, and performed over 100 shows of The Queen’s Ball—A Bridgerton Experience. We sat...