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The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music returns for 60th anniversary

After two years of virtual orchestra and distanced multidisciplinary explorations, the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music returns with a live, in-person concert series in Santa Cruz from July 24 to August 7. The festival celebrates its 60th anniversary season with a program featuring thought-provoking new works and a line-up that includes 12 American composers, three world premiere commissions, and a stunning roster of soloists.

This one-of-a-kind fest, which has been heralded in the New York Times as a “mecca for new-music lovers,” is led by Grammy award-winning music director and conductor Cristian Măcelaru and serves as a haven for anyone who wants to revel in contemporary music. The long-running affair brings together a diverse array of artists and audiences for two weeks of evening performances, open rehearsals, and multiple concerts that spotlight emerging composers and instrumentalists. Plus, panel discussions, creative workshops, and free concerts featuring young, up-and-coming creators. This year, audiences can expect orchestral premieres with themes of loss, hope, and resilience from composers Stacy Garrop, Jake Heggie, Scott Ordway, and others, as well as appearances by mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth.

KALW is a proud broadcast partner of the Cabrillo Festival in 2022, and the station will air four performances from the event onRevolutions Per Minute beginning Sunday, August 21.

“It’s always exciting to collaborate with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music,” says Sarah Cahill, host of Revolutions Per Minute and a renowned pianist. “For 60 years, the festival has been welcoming listeners to hear brand new work, step inside the creative process, and gather with the next generation of acclaimed composers and musicians. There’s nothing like it in the country.”

The 2022 season promises to be a lively reunion between artists and audiences, and for anyone who is unable to attend in person, there are virtual offerings as well. The festival will follow COVID-19 public health and safety guidelines, including requiring full proof of vaccination for all audiences, staff, and artists.

Cabrillo Festival 2022 Season Announcement

Catch the following Cabrillo Festival evening concerts at the Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz and visit Cabrillomusic.org for full program details.


July 29, 2022, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


July 30, 2022 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


July 31, 2022, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


August 6, 2022 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


August 7, 2022 7:00 - 9:00 pm

If you’re unable to make it in person (or want to re-experience the magic), these four performances will be aired on Revolutions Per Minute on Sundays:

- THE END OF RAIN (performed live July 29): airs Sunday, August 21, 6-8 pm

-LET ME SEE THE SUN (performed live July 30): airs Sunday, August 28, 6-8 pm

-MOONLIGHT (performed live August 6): airs Sunday, September 4, 6-8 pm

-VIOLINS OF HOPE (performed live August 7): airs Sunday, September 11, 6-8 pm