AN FRANCISCO (August 1, 2023)—The Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony today announced that 95 organizations will participate in the California Festival: A Celebration of New Music, presenting some of the most innovative and compelling music from around the world for two weeks, November 3-19, 2023, in venues throughout the state. Announced in January 2023 and conceived by LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, San Diego Symphony Music Director Rafael Payare, and San Francisco Symphony Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen, the California Festival highlights the collaborative and innovative spirit that thrives in California by inviting musical organizations of all kinds to incorporate works written within the past five years into their broader season programs.  

The 95 participating organizations include symphony orchestras, chamber music groups, jazz ensembles, choirs, and more, performing in more than 80 concert halls, educational institutions, auditoriums, clubs, and alternative spaces from north (Symphony of the Redwoods, Mendocino County) to south (San Diego Saints Choir) to east (Sequoia Symphony Orchestra, Tulare County).  

Each organization has independently curated the programs being announced today under the California Festival umbrella, ensuring that the performances are meaningful to their communities while expressing the inclusive, diverse creativity of California through multiple voices. 

Spanning a distance of 650 miles, California Festival performances will offer audiences throughout the state the opportunity to hear more than 170 works composed since 2018, including a remarkable 32 world premieres, within two weeks. The range of musicians participating in the event is impressive, with professional arts organizations as well as 14 youth orchestras, and composers representing some 24 nationalities and spanning generations with ages ranging from 27 to 97. Written by emerging, mid-career, and world-famous composers, the selected works encompass multiple genres of music. These pieces often address subjects of keen concern, ranging from the natural environment (the challenge of climate change; the search for sanctuary and healing in wilderness after the pandemic; the omnipresent influence and experience of water) to the dynamics of history (the multiethnic, multinational workforce that built the western railroads; the lives of figures such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera; protest movements in Latin America). There are compositions that respond to works by renowned 20th century European composers who settled in California (Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky), pieces that meld the sounds of far-flung cultures (including a program designed as a tapestry of music submitted by women around the world), and works that create utterly contemporary soundscapes.  

Information about the California Festival can be found on the newly launched California Festival website: In addition to providing a comprehensive list of participating organizations, artists, repertoire, and key venues, the website features an interactive map showing participation throughout the state. Editorial content includes “Excursions,” a multisensory journey through the innovative musical landscape of the Golden State with texts and audio contributed by artists and composers. Contributing writers include Geeta Dayal, Andy Beta, Josh Kun, Tim Page, Daniel Corral, and Sarah Cahill. Audio playlists exploring the sounds and voices of the Golden State are produced by Nadia Sirota, Matt Marble, and John Schneider.   

The website will also include learning resources such as the Composer’s Toolkit, a framework with which music makers and composers-to-be can build their own compositions. Scaffolded to fit a range of ages and skill levels, these compositional activity prompts are adaptable for use in the classroom, the studio, or at home. Participants will be encouraged to share their work, with an opportunity to be featured on in November 2023. 

In a joint statement, Music Directors Gustavo Dudamel, Rafael Payare, and Esa-Pekka Salonen said: 

“California is an inexhaustible wellspring of creativity, openness, and collaboration. We are so proud to be joined by more than 90 partner organizations located in every region of the state for the inaugural California Festival; their participation turns our celebration into a true statewide effort that reflects the full spectrum of ideas, voices, and cultures that call California their home. Every one of these institutions will be presenting music that they believe in, representing their unique communities with total artistic freedom. We could not be more excited to join our friends in showcasing the ideas and talent that this extraordinary state has to offer.” 

The California Festival is supported by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras, providing outreach to arts organizations in its network, informing them about the Festival, and encouraging them to participate. 

For a complete California Festival fact sheet, please click here.  

Participating Organizations 

  • Angel City Chorale (with Inner City Youth Orchestra of LA) 
  • Art of Elan 
  • Bay Area Rainbow Symphony 
  • Berkeley Symphony  
  • Brightwork newmusic 
  • BroadStage 
  • Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra 
  • Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music 
  • CalArts 
  • California Symphony 
  • California Youth Symphony 
  • Camarada 
  • Camerata Pacifica 
  • Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens 
  • Chanticleer 
  • Colburn School  
  • Community Music Center 
  • Culver City Symphony Orchestra 
  • dublab 
  • ECHO Chamber Orchestra 
  • Festival Napa Valley 
  • Fresno Philharmonic 
  • Glendale Youth Orchestra 
  • Golden State Youth Orchestra 
  • Grand Feature Film Orchestra (i.e. Independent Arts and Media / Grand Arts Consortium) 
  • Hausmann Quartet 
  • Hear Now Music Festival 
  • Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (w/Angel City Chorale) 
  • iSing SV 
  • Jacaranda Music 
  • Julliard with ARRAY Spaces 
  • Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra 
  • La Jolla Music Society 
  • La Jolla Presbyterian Church Concert Series 
  • LA Opera 
  • Left Coast Chamber Ensemble 
  • Light Opera Theatre of Sacramento  
  • Long Beach Symphony 
  • Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra 
  • Los Angeles Master Chorale 
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic 
  • Lyric Opera of Orange County  
  • Mainly Mozart 
  • Monterey Symphony 
  • Music @ Menlo 
  • Music Association of California Community Colleges 
  • Music in the Vineyards 
  • New Century Chamber Orchestra 
  • Ojai Music Festival  
  • Orchestra Nova LA  
  • Orchestra Santa Monica 
  • Overtone Industries 
  • Pacific Symphony 
  • Pasadena Symphony & POPS 
  • Philharmonic Society of Orange County 
  • Piano Spheres 
  • Project [BLANK] 
  • Resonance Collective 
  • Riverside County Philharmonic Association, Inc. 
  • Sacramento Youth Symphony 
  • Salastina 
  • San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir (with San Diego Saints Choir)  
  • San Diego Master Chorale 
  • San Diego New Music 
  • San Diego Saints Choir (with San Diego Jewish Men’s Choir)  
  • San Diego Symphony 
  • San Diego Youth Symphony & Conservatory 
  • San Francisco Choral Society 
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music  
  • San Francisco Contemporary Music Players 
  • San Francisco Opera 
  • San Francisco Performances 
  • San Francisco Symphony 
  • San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra 
  • San Luis Obispo Symphony 
  • San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony  
  • Santa Barbara Symphony 
  • Santa Rosa Symphony 
  • Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra 
  • Santa Rosa Young People’s Chamber Orchestra 
  • Sequoia Symphony Orchestra 
  • Stanford University, Stanford Philharmonia 
  • Symphony of the Redwoods 
  • Synchromy 
  • The Albany Consort 
  • The Fortissima Collective 
  • UC San Diego  
  • UCSB Arts & Lectures 
  • USC Percussion Group 
  • USC, Thornton School of Music 
  • Volti 
  • Wild Up 
  • Young People’s Symphony Orchestra 
  • Youth Music Monterey 
  • Youth Orchestra Los Angeles 

About the Los Angeles Philharmonic 

Under the leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil offers live performances, media initiatives, and learning programs that inspire and strengthen communities in Los Angeles and beyond. The Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra is the foundation of the LA Phil’s offerings, which also include a multi-genre, multidisciplinary presenting program and such youth development programs as YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Performances are offered on three historic stages—Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and The Ford—as well as through a variety of media platforms. In all its endeavors, the LA Phil seeks to enrich the lives of individuals and communities through musical, artistic, and learning experiences that resonate in our world today. 

About the San Diego Symphony 

Founded in 1910, the San Diego Symphony is the oldest orchestra in California and one of the largest and most significant cultural organizations in San Diego. The Orchestra performs for more than 250,000 people each season, offering a wide variety of programming at its two much-loved venues, Copley Symphony Hall at Jacobs Music Center in downtown San Diego (now under renovation) and The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park on San Diego Bay. In early 2018, the San Diego Symphony announced the appointment of Rafael Payare as music director. Payare leads the orchestra’s 82 full-time musicians, graduates of the finest and most celebrated music schools in the United States and abroad. The San Diego Symphony also serves as the orchestra for the San Diego Opera each season, as well as performing at several regional performing arts and community centers. For more than 30 years, the San Diego Symphony has provided comprehensive learning and community engagement programs reaching more than 65,000 students annually and bringing innovative programming to San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods and schools. For more information, visit

About the San Francisco Symphony 

The San Francisco Symphony is among the most adventurous and innovative arts institutions in the United States, celebrated for its artistic excellence, creative performance concepts, active touring, award-winning recordings, and standard-setting education programs. In the 2020–21 season, the San Francisco Symphony welcomed conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen as its twelfth Music Director, embarking on a new vision for the present and future of the orchestral landscape. In their inaugural season together, Mr. Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony introduced a groundbreaking artistic leadership model anchored by eight Collaborative Partners from a variety of cultural disciplines: Nicholas Britell, Julia Bullock, Claire Chase, Bryce Dessner, Pekka Kuusisto, Nico Muhly, Carol Reiley, and esperanza spalding. This group of visionary artists, thinkers, and doers, along with Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony, have set out to explore and develop new ideas inspired by the Partners’ unique areas of expertise, including innovative digital projects, expansive and imaginative performance concepts in a variety of concert formats, commissions of new music, and projects that foster collaboration across artistic and administrative areas. Shaped by the dynamic partnership and shared vision of Mr. Salonen, the Collaborative Partners, and the Orchestra and Chorus, the San Francisco Symphony’s 2023–24 season reflects a spirit of collaboration, experimentation, and renewed dialogue through live music.