Articles in Press

[Scene Magazine] Exploring symphonic shores and worlds

April 10, 2015

This weekend's Santa Barbara Symphony program features Dvorak's "New World" Symphony and guest soloist, violinist Philippe Quint

For this weekend's installment in the ongoing Santa Barbara Symphony season, an ocean-crossing, geo-musical plot provides narrative logic. For the orchestra's main event in the concert, maestro Nir Kabaretti leads the ensemble in that beloved and healthy old warhorse, Dvorák's "New World" Symphony, an expression of affection the great 19th-century Czech composer felt for the world that was the America he lived in for a spell.

Opening the concert, the Tokyo-born Japanese-American composer Karen Tanaka's "Guardian Angel," written in 2000, for clarinet, harp, percussion and string orchestra, represents the realm of the living composer, with a Japanese perspective.

But perhaps the most intriguing work on the program comes equipped with a strong German-Hollywood connection. For the concerto portion of the concert, the respected Russian-born but long U.S.-based violinist Philippe Quint returns to Santa Barbara to play a piece he has helped to champion, the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Korngold was part of a wave of gifted European composers drawn to the early stage of "sound pictures" in Hollywood, led there by the lure of high-paying and public-exposed composition work, and as an escape route from the brewing storm clouds of Nazi dread back home.

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[Montecito Journal] Quint and Korngold

April 09, 2015

When then Santa Barbara Symphony decided to pay tribute to America's influence on composers around the world with Korngold's Violin Concerto No. 1 as the centerpiece, Philippe Quint was the obvious choice for soloist. The oft-Grammy nominated Russian-American violinist has made the piece one of his repertoire staples and is on record as championing the concerto's brilliance. Quint talked via email about the Korngold, which sits between modern Japanese-American composer Karen Tanaka's "Guardian Angel" and Czech composer Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World") on this weekend's concert at the Granada.

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[Independent] Violinist Chad Hoopes Gave Audiences an Impression of Spain

March 19, 2015

Cultures can be experienced and assessed directly, yet sometimes a more revealing approach is to listen for echoes from the outside. Sure, you will find caricatures and distortions, but you might also find a wisely naïve discernment of spirit. Santa Barbara Symphony’s program Impressions of Spain accordingly was weighted toward the aroma of Spain from nonnative sources: the Romantic imaginations of Frenchmen Édouard Lalo (1823-1892) and Jules Massenet (1842-1912) and Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908).

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[Scene Magazine] Triangulated German passions

February 13, 2015

The Santa Barbara Symphony joins forces with Ensemble Theatre Company to present the theatrical retelling of the famous love triangle involving Robert Schumann, his wife Clara, and Johannes Brahms

For the symphony-going public, it might be possible to soak in the eloquent mid-19th-century sounds of music by Robert Schumann, his wife Clara and Mr. Schumann's protégé Johannes Brahms, appreciating the concert purely for music's sake. But, of course, historically and contextually, there is more than meets the ear with this special Valentine's Day program, having to do with the dramatic tale of the Schumanns and young Mr. Brahms, and, after Robert's descent into madness and early death, a would-be love interest of Clara.

It's a love triangle thing, which can't help but put an extra-musical spin on the agenda.

This weekend's program features Santa Barbara-based and world-traveled pianist Natasha Kislenko, Ojai-based actor Peter Strauss and the debut guest conducting appearance of Steven Sloane, who comes well-equipped for the task, and with Southern California roots. Though now based in Berlin and having led the respected German Bochum Symphony for 20 years, in addition to a busy life as guest conductor and opera conductor, Mr. Sloane grew up in Los Angeles and went to UCLA. He spent a decade in Israel, where, in fact, he met the then up-and-coming Santa Barbara Symphony music director Nir Kabaretti.

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[Noozhawk] Santa Barbara Symphony Program Explores the Romantic Soul

February 13, 2015

The Santa Barbara Symphony, under guest conductor Steven Sloane, will send us a deluxe Valentine's Day greeting for this month's concerts, at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the Granada Theatre.

Manfred Lord Byron’s Manfred inspired many artists, including German painter Caspar David Friedrich. The concerts, called "Valentine’s Love Letters," will also feature the talents of pianist Natasha Kislenko, actor Peter Strauss and director Jonathan Fox (of the Ensemble Theatre Co.).

The concerts are organized around the possibility that there was a "famous love triangle" involving the composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856), his wife, the pianist and composer, Clara Josephine Wieck Schumann (1819-1896), and Schumann's young protégé, the composer Johannes Brahms (1833-1897). Between performances of their works, Peter Strauss will read selections from their letters to each other.

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[News-Press] Symphonic screen shots

January 26, 2015

The latest Santa Barbara Symphony program steers into cinematic and Chaplin-esque terrain

Taking a detour from its conventional programming path, the Santa Barbara Symphony made a filmic turn with its latest program, last weekend at The Granada. It could have been an unofficial pre-opening event for the big Santa Barbara International Film Festival that sweeps into town this week. In the main attraction position of the Symphony's concert was a screening, that being Charlie Chaplin's complete "City Lights," with a live— and very fine— orchestra in the onstage "pit," with a few film-related shorter pieces before intermission, accentuating the symphony-film connection.

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