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Young composer premieres first symphony with Santa Rosa Symphony

by Diane Peterson, The Press Democrat, January 8, 2022

Gabriella Smith, a native of Berkeley who recently moved to Seattle, started piano lessons as a young child, then took up the violin at age 8.

“I wasn’t very good at either,” she said. “When I was 8, I started writing, and when I was 11, I started showing compositions to my piano teacher. After that ... I became better and better in writing music and worse and worse in piano.”

Now 30, Smith already is considered one of the brightest stars in the firmament of up-and-coming classical music composers. She has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to write an organ concerto, scheduled to premiere on Feb. 22 at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

And this weekend, she’ll premiere her 30-minute symphony, “One,” with the Santa Rosa Symphony at the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park.

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