Articles in Press

[Independent] ‘Mozart in Dance’ at the Granada

October 19, 2017

Symphony and Ballet Teamed Up for a Triumphant Mozart ‘Requiem’ on October 14

This extraordinary program represented the most impressive collaboration yet between State Street Ballet and the Santa Barbara Symphony. Following an outstanding performance of Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 “Jupiter” by the symphony alone during the first portion of the program, the stage was split into two tiers at intermission. On the upper rear level, maestro Nir Kabaretti and the orchestra took their places, with a large chorus positioned on steep bleachers at stage right. The lower tier, closer to the audience, provided a platform for 19 dancers and four vocal soloists to bring Mozart’s grand Requiem in D Minor, K. 626 to life.

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[Noozhawk] Santa Barbara Symphony Satisfies in Season Opener With State Street Ballet

October 18, 2017

Program includes Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony and his final, “unfinished” work, the 'Requiem Mass'

The Santa Barbara Symphony is making a habit of joining forces with local arts organizations, and we’re all better off for it. The orchestra opened its new season last weekend at the Granada Theatre with Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony and his final, “unfinished” work, the Requiem Mass.

And the State Street Ballet gave its first 2016-17 performance with world premiere choreography by William Soleau.

The blended program brought together a multigenerational audience ranging — from seasoned symphony patrons to bunheads in patent leather Mary Janes at the Sunday matinee. Complimentary champagne and gentle AC on a hot afternoon cultivated a receptive mood.

Conductor Nir Kabaretti entered to applause from an audience that obviously loves him, and gracefully and with levity recovered from a stumble over the foot of his concertmaster.

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[Scene Magazine] Mozart in Choreographic Motion

October 13, 2017


As happened before, the Santa Barbara Symphony will be dancing its way into a new season this weekend in an all-Mozart program. Two years ago, the Symphony kicked off its new season wiht a version of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana," in one of its collaborations with State Street Ballet. In past seasons, the local art institutions have also met up on the terrain of Stravinsky's "Firebird" and Copland's "Appalachian Spring." 

The organizations will meet up again at the Granada stage this weekend, but on a less-expected music-dance theme: a newly choreographed ballet by William Soleau, based on Mozart's "Requiem." Late period Amadeus is the musical meat of the program's matter. Along with the "Requiem," Mozart's celebrated final--and unfinished--work, the Symphony's music director Nir Kabaretti will also lead the orchestra in a performance of Mozart's majestic, final symphony, the No. 41 ("Jupiter").

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[Independent] Diving into ‘Mozart in Dance’

October 13, 2017

Santa Barbara Symphony and State Street Ballet Stage Mozart’s ‘Requiem’

The grand final work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his Requiem K. 626, shows the composer as an acute observer of human behavior and an incomparable master of musical form. His cantabile style had been honed to gleaming perfection in such works as The Magic Flute and Così Fan Tutti, yet the serious subject and the composer’s even more serious condition bring out a depth of feeling that distinguishes this celebration of the Mass from his operatic works. On Saturday, October 14, and Sunday, October 15, the Santa Barbara Symphony and State Street Ballet will present an ambitious new dance version of Mozart’s Requiem featuring original choreography by William Soleau, a professional chorus of approximately 80 singers, and a quartet of top vocal soloists: Jeanette Vecchione-Donatti, soprano; Nina Yoshida Nelsen, mezzo; Benjamin Bliss, tenor; and DeAndre Simmons, bass. Although maestro Nir Kabaretti freely admitted that “pairing dancing with a Catholic mass is highly original, to say the least,” choreographer Soleau assured us that the Requiem is actually “the most frequently choreographed work by Mozart, thanks to its sublime music.”

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[Independent] S.B. Symphony Honors Paris

May 18, 2017

City of Lights Celebrated with Delightful Program

In the final concert of the season, the Santa Barbara Symphony honored Paris with a variety of compositions and symphonic poems inspired by the City of Lights. The orchestra first performed Mozart’s famous Symphony No. 31 in D Major (or simply “Paris”), a romantic piece with movements of vibrancy and swiftness and a slow second movement that perfectly encapsulates the visuals of the city. The second piece, Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 featured cellist Zuill Bailey and his theatrical playing style, bringing to life the rapid-fire orchestration as he commanded great attention from the audience, even during the composition’s softer aspects.

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[Scene Magazine] Parisian Symphonic Maneuvers

May 12, 2017

Santa Barbara Symphony closes its current season with music linked to Paris, with acclaimed cellist Zuill Bailey as soloist

With this weekend's season-closer concert by the Santa Barbara Symphony, the orchestra goes to Paris figuratively and programmatically speaking, and Zuill Bailey comes back to a town which had been a periodic landmark in his stellar career.

The Parisian angle? A conceptual thread runs through Mozart's Symphony No. 31 "Paris," Gershwin's An American in Paris, Liszt's Les préludes, and for purely French sake, Saint-Saëns' popular Cello Concerto No. 1.

The Bailey factor? The prized mid-career cellist, whose latest notable news was a 2016 Grammy Award for his work as soloist on Michael Daugherty's "Tales of Hemming way," counts among his many beloved locales our fair city. It holds more than just the usual allure for the musician.

In a recent phone interview from Greensborough, N.C., Mr. Bailey was waxing nostalgic about his connection to Santa Barbara, peppered through the decades of his life, times and musical endeavors. It began in adolescence, when he studied in the summer program at the Music Academy of the West, and then returned to the campus in later decades to perform and give mastercalsses. With the Santa Barbara Symphony, his guest soloist visits date back twenty years, to the era when Gisele Ben-Dor boldly, and imaginatively, led the orchestra, and he returned around the auspicious moment when the orchestra moved up the street from the Arlington Theatre to the more orchestra-friendly Granada Theatre, newly and lavishly renovated. This weekend marks another Symphony encounter, with the cellist now in his 40s and well-established on the world stage, his discography (on Telarc, with his Bailey/Perlman/Schmidt trio, and a professorship at the University of Texas as El Paso.

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