Articles in Press

[News-Press} Ending on a light note

January 05, 2014

Santa Barbara Symphony's New Year's Eve concert buzzes Granada

As has been the tradition for 20 years now, the otherwise serious music-minded Santa Barbara Symphony let its collective hair down and treated its audience to a night of merry-making on New Year's Eve at The Granada. With the usual party mix of music from Hollywood, Broadway and classical morsels, the concert made for a briskly-paced and sharply-played yearly exit strategy, of the orchestral lite, pops-colored sort.

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[Noozhawk] Pop Goes Santa Barbara Symphony for New Year’s Eve

December 30, 2013

The Santa Barbara Symphony will hold its New Year's Eve Pops Concert/Party at 8:30 p.m. on the evening in question — Tuesday — in the Granada Theatre.

The engaging Robert Bernhardt, head of the Pops division of the indispensable Louisville Orchestra (and baseball fan), returns to guest-conduct the symphony in a program of Broadway hits and Hollywood blockbuster scores. There will also be ballroom dancing by couples from the State Street Ballet. And of course, party hats and noisemakers will be available for all.

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[Casa Magazine] Guest Conductor Bob Bernhardt - The Hollywood Connection

December 30, 2013

With party hats and noisemakers provided at the door, the upcoming Santa Barbara Symphony New Year's Eve Pops Concert at the Granada Theatre Tuesday night promises to be a blast--pun intended. It's the one concert of the year when the audience gets to make rowdy noises back at the orchsetra with their kazoos, and generally enjoy some mischief. Guest Conductor Bob Bernhardt returns to the podium for his third pops concert roustabout with locals, and he can't wait.

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[Scene Magazine] Symphonic Out and In with the Old and New

December 27, 2013


As the year and the holidays draw to a close, one of Santa Barbara's long-running traditions has been a ripe chance to hear the Santa Barbara Symphony letting its hair and its "serious music" agenda down. For more than 20 years, the Symphony has put on the ritzy and accessible New Year's Eve Pops concert gala, which takes place early enough to allow revelers to proceed to midnight-geared parties, and a giddy, glitzy affair with pinches of serious musical intent in the mix.

This is also a rare occasion when fine and upstanding Santa Barbara citizens can be seen in public, donning silly hats and wielding noisemakers, sometimes naughtily and at unsanctioned moments in the performance. This year's show, well stocked with show tunes, movie music, classical repertoire morsels and more, also includes segments of ballroom dancing, courtesy of members of the Santa Barbara Ballet.

When it comes to the specialty of conducting pops concerts, Robert Bernhardt has his credentials well in order, and knows how to make them work. The conductor emeritus of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Mr. Bernhardt has long been the Principal Pops Conductor of the respected Louisville Orchestra, and has frequently commandeered the Pops baton for that luxury liner of the Pops world, the Boston Pops.

We checked in with Mr. Bernhardt as he was on the job in Edmonton, Alberta, last week, to talk Santa Barbara, the Pops universe, and the definitive finale of the 2013 concert year in town.

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[News-Press] Three shades of Mozart

December 02, 2013

More than being one of the indisputable pillars of western classical music, and an impish movie character coursey of "Amadeus," Mozart--theman, the musical riches of the catalogue, the very word--amounts to a comforting and challenging place in culture, always worth a return visit. Santa Barbara Symphony audiences got a chance to pay a visit to that place over the weekend, as Mozart's complex musical message was ushered into the Granada theatre. A full and diverse, all-Mozartean menu was brought to the fore, and in a fine, well-tended form, by celebrated guest conductor Matthias Bamert.

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Symphony’s Music Van Strikes a Chord with Students at Adams Elementary

November 27, 2013

On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Music Van visited Adams School in Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara Symphony Education Programs, which serve more than 4,500 local students each year, have begun “Music Van” visits to local primary schools. The Music Van, staffed by volunteers and filled with dozens of orchestral instruments, is a mobile workshop giving kids their first exposure to the classical music art form.

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