Santa Barbara Symphony News

[Scene Magazine] On the Musical Launching Pad for International Flights

March 14, 2014

Young Canadian Timothy Chooi Takes On the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Santa Barbara Symphony in His U.S. Orchestra Debut

From an overview perspective, the current Santa Barbara Symphony season has paid attention to the importance of diverse programming. Just this year, for instance, there was the 200th birthday tribute to Verdi in January's operatic program — and then a visit by a well-established and globally famous soloist, celebrated pianist Hél'ne Grimaud in February.

This weekend's symphony program, by contrast, goes the way of championing fresh, young talent in the form of the precociously talented violinist Timothy Chooi. Nineteen years old and still attending Curtis Institute, he is making his U.S. debut in Santa Barbara. That's not to say the not-yet-twenty-something violinist hasn't already made strong inroads and garnered much acclaim, but much of it has been in his native Canada, where he has soloed with the Toronto Symphony, L'Orchestre de Montreal, the Newfoundland Symphony, and others. He also made his Carnegie Hall debut last spring, as part of winning Vadim Repin's Masterclass Scholarship award. He will be performing the ever-popular Bruch Violin Concerto, as part of a program that also includes Rossini's "William Tell Overture," Dirk Brossé's "Millennium Overture," Prokofiev's "Classical Symphony" and Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite."


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[KEYT] Santa Barbara Students Get Special Violin Performance

March 14, 2014

Canadian violin star Timothy Chooi plays at Santa Barbara Junior High

Click here to watch the video

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Young musicians in Santa Barbara get a special performance Friday from a Canadian violin star.

The Santa Barbara Symphony's Musical Mentors program brought Timothy Chooi to Santa Barbara Junior High to inspire students with his music.


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[Casa Magazine] A Rising Star

March 07, 2014

I caught up with Canadaian violinist Timothy Chooi in the stairwell of his hotel in Austin last week via Skype. He had just finished performing in the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, the world's leading audition for violinists under 22. Chooi will be playing Max Bruch's Violin Concerto #1 in G Minor with the Santa Barbara Symphony on Saturday, March 15th at 8pm and Sunday, March 16 at 3pm at the Granada Theatre.


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[Casa Magazine] A French Valentine Plays Brahms

February 21, 2014

The mood was contagious, the goodwill between audience, orchestra, and soloist, palpable. The Granada Theatre was full and bubbling with energy last Saturday, as the Santa BArbara Symphony presented the first of its Valentine weekend pair of concerts, on of the most satisfying programs of 2013-2014 on several levels. Flush with Valetine weekend romance and conviviality, the crowd was more than ready for the heavily Romantic program of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Elgar and Ravel, whihc was nicely planned to generate peaks of excitement and at least one collective sigh.


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[News-Press] A star in the symphonic house

February 19, 2014

Santa Barbara Symphony, featuring star pianist Helene Grimaud, soars higher than usual

Along with other revelations and realizations delivered over the weekend via the latest Santa Barbara Symphony program featuring piano great Hélène Grimaud, at the Granada Theatre, one bold impression had to do with the old adage: not all soloists are created equal. In the present, highly competitive and virtuoso-populated period in classical music, many highly talented and often young and spotlight-friendly concert soloists are available and able to seize the challenging spotlight of concerto work, and rise to the occasion with poise and professionalism.


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[Independent] Pianist Hélène Grimaud Performed a ‘Salute to Love’ on February 15

February 19, 2014

Nir Kabaretti and the Santa Barbara Symphony presented a Valentine’s weekend concert that was, thankfully, not all light and kisses, but one that evoked heroic and tragic dimensions of the human heart. French piano superstar Hélène Grimaud was the main draw for the occasion, and gave an incandescent performance of Brahm’s Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor. But the orchestra-only second half was no pale stepsister, and featured love-inspired and truly substantial fare by Tchaikovsky, Elgar, and Ravel.


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