Articles in Press

[Voice Magazine] Piano Night at the Symphony

November 29, 2016

WHAT A TREAT! Two world-class pianists, one of whom is a Santa Barbara resident, an orchestra that has reached a level of professionalism and ensemble cohesion under conductor Nir Kabaretti that confirms with each concert, its standing as one of the best in the region, and a program of works for pianos and orchestra so interesting, the evening flew by. The piano soloists, our own Natasha Kislenko, and German born Markus Groh, whose career spans the globe, worked together as a superbly blended team for Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos in E-flat Major, K. 365, and each had opportunity to display their unique pianistic personalities during Manuel de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain (Kislenko) and Tchaikovsky’s monumental Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23 (Groh).

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[Independent] S.B. Symphony Performs with Two Pianists

November 23, 2016

Natasha Kislenko and Markus Groh Join Orchestra for Remarkable Performance

The Santa Barbara Symphony gave a remarkable performance at the Granada last Saturday, playing compositions that featured talented pianists Natasha Kislenko and Markus Groh. The first piece, Manuel de Falla’s dreamy Nights in the Gardens of Spain, showcased Kislenko’s elegant touch, evocative of a summer romance in Andalusia.

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[Noozhawk] Symphony Puts Pianos Out Front

November 18, 2016

Under the title, "Favorite Piano Masterpieces," the Santa Barbara Symphony, conducted by Maestro Nir Karbaretti, plays its November concerts at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20, both in the Granada Theatre, 1214 State St.

On a slate that features two piano concertos and one quasi, the keyboard soloists will be Markus Groh and local heroine, Natasha Kislenko.

Separately and together, Groh and Kislenko will take the the lead roles (the theatrical term is apt, for once) in Manuel de Falla's "Nights in the Gardens of Spain (1915)"; Wolfgang Mozart's "Concerto No. 10 in Eb-Major for Two Pianos, K.365 (1779)"; and Peter Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No. 1 in bb-minor, Opus 23 (1875)".

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[Montecito Journal] The Power of the Piano

November 17, 2016

Nir Kabaretti is a big fan of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1, calling the famed work "probably the most perfect piano piece imaginable, because it has everything virtuosic, including heroic piano writing, but at the same time is extremely accessible" -- so much so that some of the passages "you can hear on cell phones as ring tones."

"Tchaikovsky captured pretty much everything audiences love: incredibly difficult and fast passages for the pianist, beautiful lines and melodies for the orchestra," said the music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony, which will perform the piece on this weekend's program. "There are extremely romantic and warm phrases combined with breathtaking portions for pianist, where he has to play octaves and even more difficult passages."

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[Independent] Santa Barbara Symphony’s Season Opener

October 19, 2016

'Rapture,’ Then ‘Joy’ with Beethoven’s 9th

“Rapture”, a short symphonic composition by contemporary composer Christopher Rouse, followed the orchestra’s rendition of the national anthem signaling that the 2016-17 season had begun. No one took a knee during either work. While Rouse identifies “Rapture” as his most unabashedly tonal composition, there’s nothing polite about it. Like Beethoven’s “Joy”, Rouse’s “Rapture” imagines a universal ecstasy that’s based in humanistic rather than religious sentiment. At a mere 13 minutes in length, “Rapture” is necessarily a ride on the ecstasy express, arriving at its destination flushed with the thrill of its own continuous acceleration.

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[Scene Magazine] Ode to a Musical Monument, and a New Season

October 15, 2016

To open its 64th season the Santa Barbara Symphony calls on the heroic sweep of Beethoven's iconic Ninth Symphony, abetted and fleshed out by several local choral groups

The Symphony is back in town. Lest there be anyquestion about that, note the big, bold, Beethoven-ian opening splash at the Granada Theatre this weekend, as the Santa Barbara Symphony kicks off its 64th season. Joining the orchestral forces, with maestro Nir Kabaretti now entering his 11th season at the helm, is a wealth of voices to amp up the "Ode to Joy" component of the masterwork--a massive choral conglomerate made up of the Santa Barbara Choral Society, Quire of Voyces, and choirs from Westmont, UCSB and San Marcos High School.

As testament to the historical continuity of the Symphony, this weekend's mezzo-soprano soloist Nina Yoshida Nelsen traces her musical training to roots in the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony. She met and married her husband (horn player Jeff Nelsen who is performing this weekend) in Santa Barbara.

On a concert bill opening with Christopher Rouse's Rapture, this weekend's program makes for a suitable grand entrance to the 2016-17 season. 

Highlights of that season include a double piano concerto program in November, "Disney Fantasia Live in Concert" (January 28 and 29), and later next year, pairings of Vivaldi and Piazzolla and Grieg and Sibelius and a nod to Paris to close, in May.

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