Photograph by Daniel Zamora Aguilar

Photograph by Daniel Zamora Aguilar

Photograph by Kevin Li

Photograph by Kevin Li

Photograph by Shea Perry

Photograph by Shea Perry


uanl alfonsino festival

“Ofrecen concierto jóvenes virtuosos de la UANL” May 28, 2018

On May 28, 2018, Gabriela Garza conducted the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon in a performance featuring young virtuoso soloists, Madely Eileen Mata Gómez (cello) and Aarón Abinadí Martínez Hernandez (piano). The concert took place in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

To read the full article (in Spanish), click here:


The daily, university of wa

“The Passion of the Podium” March 8, 2018

Gabriela Garza is featured in this article about the orchestral conducting program at the University of Washington.

To read the full article, click here:


Article by Kathy Reed, published in Whidbey Weekly

Whidbey Island Orchestra goes Italia! October 25, 2018

As they say, the show must go on, even if that means the conductor must trade in her baton for her bow. Such is the case with Whidbey Island Orchestra (WIO), which will present two performances entitled Italia! for Whidbey audiences at 7 p.m. Friday, and 3 p.m. Sunday, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland. Admission is free, although donations are welcome. A reception will immediately follow.

The concerts will feature works by Respighi, Verdi and an “Italian Folk Festival” medley. It will also mark the West Coast premiere of Alberto Curci’s violin concerto, “Concerto Romantico.” “It’s a three-movement love letter to the beauty of the Italian musical spirit, composed in 1944 during the war years, when Italy was at its lowest ebb,” described Cynthia Morrow, conductor of WIO, who will now be the featured soloist. “The only recordings we have of this piece are by Franco Gulli, a wonderful Italian violinist. It hasn’t been performed much, if at all, in the U.S. or abroad, and this will be a West Coast premiere of the work.”

Violinist Sherry Kloss was scheduled to perform the piece with WIO, but she was forced to cancel her appearance for health reasons. Morrow, a talented violinist in her own right, has stepped in to play the piece and guest conductor, Gabriela Garza, will lead the orchestra. “Last week our soloist, Sherry Kloss, called me to say that she was facing a serious medical issue that would prevent her from performing in our upcoming concerts. She was, in fact, canceling all of her violin performances for the immediate future, and we were suddenly left with no soloist,” Morrow said. “After desperately searching for someone willing to learn a violin concerto in two weeks, that no one knew or had played before, it came down to me playing it or giving up what the orchestra had worked so hard to master. Besides, it’s gorgeous!”

Morrow said she immediately reached out to Garza, who had contacted her about conducting opportunities last month. “She is a remarkable Mexican percussionist doing her doctoral work in conducting at University of Washington under Ludovic Morlot,” said Morrow. “I reached out to her to conduct the concerto, and she agreed to quickly learn it and do this for us. Rather than spend the performance with my arms waving around in the air before performing, I decided to ask her to conduct two other works as well,” she continued. “We feel very fortunate to have her with us as we approach the first concert of our 2018-2019 season.”

Garza said she wanted to work with WIO after reading the group’s mission statement. “When I read the sentence ‘We perform for the love of music and for the opportunity to spread the joy of music,’ I thought to myself, ‘I have to contact them,’” she said. “I share these ideals and I truly enjoy working with groups and with people that love music so much that they want to share with others the joy that it brings to them.” Garza said she decided she wanted to be a conductor many years ago, when she realized how powerful and impactful music can be. “To me, it is all about giving something,” she said. “When people take two hours of their day to come play their instrument in a rehearsal, or to come listen to a live concert, I want to make sure they have the best possible experience.”

Even though Morrow was familiar with the music, there has been room for little else but practice the past two weeks. “Playing a concerto of this length and difficulty requires many hours of violin practice, so preparing this has become a priority for me,” she said. “I don’t want to disappoint my orchestra or our audience, and I would like everyone to fall in love with Alberto Curci’s beautiful writing. He was a famous violinist, teacher, and philanthropist in Italy, the founder of the International Curci Violin Competition, which is still going strong, although Curci himself, sadly, is not. I hope that, wherever he is, he’s listening and smiling.”

While conductors can spend months preparing a piece, Garza said she was happy to step in. “It is always a challenge to step in at the last minute because it usually takes some time for the orchestra and the conductor to get accustomed to each other,” she said. “But in situations like this, you just have to make things work out quickly. That’s the job.” The melodies featured in this concert are memorable and Garza encourages everyone to attend. “Within the pieces of the program, the [audience] will be able to hear romanticism, joy, melancholy, excitement, mystery and so much more,” she said. “They will witness an amazing soloist and a wonderful orchestra that has been preparing for so many weeks to present this concert to them. I am confident that it will be a great experience for everyone involved.”

To read more about Whidbey Island Orchestra, click here: