NHSO Rings in 2023 with Dynamic Program at SCSU Showcasing Instrument Families of the Orchestra

Tuesday • January 10, 2023

NHSO Welcomes Conductor Donato Cabrera, First of Four Music Director Candidates Auditioning This Season

From the powerful trumpet call to a cascading clarinet solo to a poignant cello melody, each instrument of an orchestra offers its own dynamic range of sounds and emotions. New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) audiences will savor the unique sounds of each instrument family at Cabrera Conducts Dvořák on Friday, January 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Lyman Center for the Performing Arts at Southern Connecticut State University. Led by guest conductor and NHSO Music Director candidate Donato Cabrera, the program will include Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8, Anna Clyne’s Stride for String Orchestra, Richard Strauss’s Serenade for Winds, and Séjourné’s Concerto for Marimba, which will feature NHSO Principal Percussionist Aya Kaminaguchi on solo marimba.

Conductor Donato Cabrera shared his thoughts behind the programming for this concert, saying, “Séjourné’s Concerto for Marimba and Strings, with NHSO’s very own principal percussionist, Aya Kaminaguchi, was the wellspring from which I created the rest of the concert. It’s such a wonderful gift that this concerto, written by a living composer, was chosen by Ms. Kaminaguchi, who is not only a member of the orchestra, but someone who is part of this community. This concerto also showcases an instrument from the percussion family, the marimba. ‘What if the rest of the concert showcased the other sections of the orchestra?’ Answering this question led me to the three other pieces on the program.”

Donato Cabrera is the Music Director of the California Symphony and the Las Vegas Philharmonic. He served as the Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and the Wattis Foundation Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2009-2016. Cabrera is one of only a handful of conductors in history who has conducted performances with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and the San Francisco Ballet. Cabrera is dedicated to adventurous programming, living composers, and digital innovation. He is keenly focused on outreach and engagement, and programming that reflects the communities he is serving. Learn more at DonatoCabrera.com.

Four music director finalists – Donato Cabrera, Tania Miller, Perry So, and James Blachly – will each spend a different week in New Haven this winter and spring, rehearsing with the orchestra for a concert that they have programmed, leading music education activities, and meeting with key community constituency groups. The NHSO’s search committee, comprising musicians, board directors, and community members, will announce the NHSO’s new music director in the Summer of 2023. Current Music Director Alasdair Neale’s tenure will continue through the Spring of 2024 and the new Music Director will begin in the role in the Summer of 2024.

NHSO Principal Percussionist Aya Kaminaguchi was the winner of the Percussive Arts Society Audition, Aspen Music Festival Soloist Competition, and a finalist of the International Marimba Competition in Belgium. She has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Palm Beach Opera, New World Symphony, and toured worldwide with “Star Wars: In Concert”. She earned her master’s degree from the Boston Conservatory with a full scholarship. In addition to being the Principal Percussionist of the New Haven Symphony, she is a member of the Sarasota Opera, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and Excelsis Percussion. She is a sponsored artist by SABIAN Cymbals.

Tickets: Tickets start at $15. Tickets for kids 17 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. To purchase tickets, visit NewHavenSymphony.org or call (203) 693-1486 Monday-Friday from 12-5pm.

The NHSO will offer an encore performance of this program at the Essex Winter Series on Sunday, January 22 at 3:00pm at Valley Regional High School in Deep River, CT. Audiences can visit EssexWinterSeries.com for tickets and more information about this performance.

Cabrera Conducts Dvořák is sponsored by Southern Connecticut State University, the National Endowment for the Arts, Frontier, and the New Haven Register.

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