California Symphony: Gershwin In New York

Presented by California Symphony

The California Symphony conducted by Artistic and Music Director Donato Cabrera presents Gershwin in New York, a program that spotlights the promise of the American Dream. Famed jazz combo the Marcus Roberts Trio—jazz pianist Marcus Roberts, NEA Jazz Master drummer Jason Marsalis, and bassist Marty Jaffe—brings a modern interpretation to George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which celebrates its 100th birthday in 2024. The concert opens with Symphony No. 1 by Samuel Barber, most famously known for his Adagio for Strings. Barber’s symphony takes the major elements of a traditional four-movement symphony and condenses them into one. William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony takes its themes from traditional spirituals. The piece enjoyed a rapturous reception at its Carnegie Hall debut in 1934, and a New York Times critic called it “the most distinctive and promising American symphonic proclamation which has so far been achieved." Despite its early success, it soon disappeared into obscurity and is only now being rediscovered and celebrated almost a century later.


California Symphony takes the stuffiness out of the concert experience: Take selfies at the photo booth, order a signature cocktail, and sip at your seat. Tickets include a free 30-minute pre-concert talk by award-winning instructor Scott Foglesong, starting one hour before the show.

City: Walnut Creek
Price Range:
$20 to $90

Program Items

Samuel Barber Symphony No. 1, in One Movement
George Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
William Dawson Negro Folk Symphony


Donato Cabrera Artistic and Music Director
Marcus Roberts Pianist
Jason Marsalis Percussionist
Marty Jaffe Bassist

Lesher Center for the Arts, Hofmann Theater

Lesher Center for the Arts, Hofmann Theater

1601 Civic Drive
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
United States