Cristian Macelaru, music director of the Cabrillo Festival, will conduct new works this summer focusing on social, political, and environmental issues. Photo: Crystal Birns

“Like every other arts organization in America, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music had to rethink its operations drastically during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown,” writes Joshua Kosman in Tuesday’s (7/19) San Francisco Chronicle. “Now the 60-year-old festival, long a centerpiece of the Bay Area’s new music world, is finally gearing up for a return to live performances—and it’s doing it with a characteristically vibrant blend of works that touch on social, political and environmental issues. Over the course of two weeks’ worth of orchestral concerts at Santa Cruz’s Civic Auditorium, Music Director Cristian Macelaru promises to engage audiences on the subject of wildfires and climate crisis. There will be music touching on women’s suffrage, the history of the Declaration of Independence and the legacy of the Holocaust. There will be even be some music in a purely abstract vein…. ‘It’s been Cristi’s artistic vision from the start of his tenure in 2017 to reflect the world we live in,’ said Ellen Primack, the festival’s longtime and visionary executive director.” Among the contemporary composers this year are Stacy Garrop, Gabriela Lena Frank, Scott Ordway, and Paola Prestini.