Dr. Stephen Blumberg, Artistic Director • (916) 278-7497 • Email | Dr. David Wells, Co-Director • Email

Admission to all events is FREE! • To see all events, view the SCHEDULE PAGE >> • Evening concerts will be livestreamed here >>

Below are just a few of the highlights of this year's festival. Parking is free after 7pm for evening concerts in the parking structure next to Capistrano Hall. For daytime concerts, masterclasses, and forums, a limited number of courtesy permits will be available in the lobby one hour prior to event start times. Daily permits are also available from the machine on the 5th floor of the parking structure adjacent to Capistrano Hall, or from the information booths on campus, for $6.
** NOTICE: The Concerts scheduled for Saturday, November 14 have been cancelled:
12 pm - Young Festival Performers, cancelled due to low enrollment
8 pm - Keith Bohm, saxophone, cancelled due to severe instrument damage

The Festival of New American Music opens on Friday, November 6 at 8:00 p.m. with a Gala Concert featuring Caballito Negro and Dose Hermanos (pictured), as well as baritone (and Sac State alum) Eugene Villanueva. Caballito Negro, based in Ashland, Oregon, features flutist Tessa Brinckman and percussionist Terry Longshore (an alum of Sac State). Together they collaborate with many prominent, innovative artists, creating contemporary music that pushes the flute and percussion repertoire to new heights. Caballito Negro will perform again with their own concert on Saturday, November 7 at 8:00 p.m.

Dose Hermanos is a duo-keyboard ensemble featuring Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tom Constanten (Grateful Dead, 1968-1970) and Bob Bralove, sound designer and co-producer of the Grateful Dead from 1987-1995. A composition student of Karlheinz Stockhausen and Luciano Berio, Constanten was Artist in Residence at Harvard University in 1986. Bralove has directed the computer synthesis and sound design for Stevie Wonder for the last eight years. In addition to the Gala, Dose Hermanos will perform again with their own concert on Sunday, November 8 at 8:00 p.m.

Eugene Villanueva has been hailed by critics for “a voice as handsome as his countenance” (San Francisco Classical Voice). His “full resonant instrument, flowing legato line, gorgeous vocalism allied to passionate declamation, and exemplary diction” have brought him many successes in opera and concert halls throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. the San Francisco Opera (USA), Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (France), Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Italy), Theater Basel (Switzerland), Festival Puccini (Italy), Opera Theater of St. Louis (USA), Michigan Opera Theater (USA) and the Shanghai National Grand Theater (China) in repertoire that includes the title roles of Don Giovanni and Eugene Onegin

Pianist Geoffrey Burleson will perform on Tuesday, November 10 at 8:00 p.m. Burleson has performed to wide acclaim throughout Europe and North America, and is equally active as a recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician and jazz performer. The New York Times has hailed his solo performances as "vibrant" and "compelling", and has praised his "command, projection of rhapsodic qualities without loss of rhythmic vigor, and appropriate sense of spontaneity and fetching colors".

Mr. Burleson made his New York City solo recital debut at Merkin Concert Hall in 2000, and currently performs as principal pianist with the Boston Musica Viva and the Tribeca New Music Festival, as well as IMPetus, a dynamic trio featuring vocalist Maria Tegzes, and guitarist Dave "Knife" Fabris. He is also a member of the NOVUS NY, the contemporary ensemble-in-residence at Trinity Wall Street, and Princeton University's Richardson Chamber Players.

The Keynote Speaker at this Year's Festival will be composer Kurt Rohde, who will be speaking on Friday, November 13 at Noon. Mr. Rohde is a recipient of the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lydian String Quartet Commission Prize, and a 2015 Arts and Letters Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received commission awards from New Music USA – Commissioning Music/USA, the NEA, and the Barlow, Fromm, Hanson, and Koussevitzky Foundations.

A Professor of Music Composition and Theory at the University of California at Davis Department of Music, where he is co-director of the Empyrean Ensemble, Mr. Rohde is a violist with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and was a member of The New Century Chamber Orchestra between 1994-2014. He was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2012–13. Mr. Rohde is a graduate of the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, the Curtis Institute of Music and SUNY Stony Brook, and has attended the Montalvo, Yaddo, MacDowell, and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program.

On Friday, November 13 at 8:00 p.m., the Lydian String Quartet will be performing. From its beginning in 1980, the Lydian Quartet has embraced the full
range of string quartet repertory with curiosity, virtuosity, and dedication to the highest artistic ideals of music making. Winners of the Naumburg Award for chamber music, the Lydian String Quartet has demonstrated "a precision and involvement marking them as among the world's best quartets" (Chicago Sun-Times). The group continues to offer compelling, superbly integrated, and thoughtful yet dramatic performances of the quartet literature, from the masterpieces of the classical, romantic, and modern eras to neglected works from the twentieth century to the remarkable work being done by today's most innovative composers.

The members of the Lydian String Quartet are on the faculty of Brandeis University, in Waltham, Massachusetts, and include violinists Daniel Stepner and Judith Eissenberg, violist Mark Berger, and cellist Joshua Gordon. The quartet has performed extensively throughout the United States at venues such as Jordan Hall, in Boston; the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C.; Lincoln Center, Miller Theater, and Weill Recital Hall in New York City; the Pacific Rim Festival at the University of California at Santa Cruz; and the Slee Beethoven Series at the University at Buffalo.

THE CONCERT SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14 at 8pm with Keith Bohm, saxophone, has been been CANCELLED due to instrument damage.




The Festival will close on Sunday, November 15 with the Eco Ensemble at 8:00 p.m. Based at UC Berkeley, the Eco Ensemble is a group of experienced, highly-skilled Bay Area musicians dedicated to performing new music from established and emerging composers. The group has been called "a dream team" composed of "some of the most talented and experienced players in the new-music world," (New York Times).

Conducted by David Milnes (music director of the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra), the group includes violinists Hrabba Atladottir, Jennifer Curtis, and Dan Flanagan (concertmaster of the Sacramento Philharmonic), violist Ellen Ruth Rose, cellist Leighton Fong, bassist Richard Worn, flutists Tod Brody and Stacey Pelinka, clarinetists Bill Kalinkos and Peter Josheff, oboist Kyle Bruckmann, saxophonist David Wegehaupt, hornist Alicia Telford, trumpeter Adam Luftman, pianist Ann Yi, and percussionists Loren Mach and Sacramento State professor Daniel Kennedy.