Articles in Press
[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.
[Noozhawk] Symphony Salutes City of Light
May 10, 2017
The Santa Barbara Symphony closes out its 2016-17 season with a program it calls From Paris to Broadway, to be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 13, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 14, both in the Granada Theatre, 1214 State St.
Maestro Nir Kabaretti will conduct, and the dazzling cellist, Zuill Bailey, will be the soloist in the concerted work.
The Santa Barbara Symphony will play Wolfgang Mozart's Symphony No. 31 in D-Major, K. 297/300a, "Paris" (1779), Camille Saint-Saëns's Cello Concerto No. 1 in A-minor, Opus 33 (1872); Franz Liszt's Symphonic Poem No. 3, "Les Préludes" (1854); and George Gershwin's tone poem An American in Paris (1928).
[Independent] Inside the Sound: How the Symphony and the Schools Came Together to Save the Strings
May 04, 2017
Saturday, April 29, at the Page Youth Center was like any other Saturday at the city’s most popular destination for parents and school-age children. The parking lot overflowed with family cars, SUVs, and vans, and the bases of the ball fields were loaded by Little Leaguers. Yet something was different; there was an unusual new sound coming from inside the big main room of the recreation center. Instead of the squeaking of athletic shoes on polished wood, the steady rhythm of basketballs being dribbled, or the sporadic applause of a crowd following a close volleyball game, there was music. Classical music.
[Scene Magazine] Scandinavian Orchestral Cuisine, with a Twist
April 14, 2017
This weekend's Santa Barbara Sympohny program features the Scandinavian fare of Norwegian composer Grieg's Piano Concerto, played by Russian-born pianist Lilya Zilberstein
Estonia, once a northwesterly corner of the Soviet Union, is just a short boat trip across the Baltic Sea from Finland, which is two geographical Scandinavian "fingers" of land from Norway. This northern corridor, and its classical music riches, defines the agenda for the mostly Nordic program for this weekend's Santa Barbara Symphony concert, a mostly Scandinavian musical menu equipped with some intriguing points of reference and commonality--musically, geographically and otherwise.
[Noozhawk] Symphony Forecasts Two Sunny ‘Seasons’
March 16, 2017
The Santa Barbara Symphony, conducted by Maestro Nir Kabaretti, plays this month's concerts at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 18, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 18, in the Granada Theater. Internationally celebrated violinist Philippe Quint will solo in a pair of concerted works.
For reasons which will be immediately made clear, the concerts will bear the motto, "The ‘Seasons’ of Vivaldi and Piazzolla."
The program contains three works:
» The first four concertos from Antonio Vivaldi's Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (1723), known as "The Four Seasons."
» Astor Piazolla's four-movement quasi violin concerto, The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (1964-1970), arranged for orchestra by Leonid Desyatnikov.
» Franz Josef Haydn's Symphony No. 101 in D-Major, "The Clock" (1793-1794).
Having provided this list, I have just about come to the end of my usefulness. Vivaldi and Haydn do not stand in need of promotion, and possess a luminous transparency that makes a mockery of any scholarly exigesis.
[Independent] Schubert, Copland, and a New Clarinet Concerto on Sunday, February 12
February 17, 2017
This thoroughly satisfying program revealed the Santa Barbara Symphony at its strongest, offering both refined, powerful renditions of two important works from the standard repertoire and a West Coast premiere of a sparkling new concerto for clarinet by composer Jonathan Leshnoff, a favorite of maestro Nir Kabaretti’s. The opener, the Symphony No. 8 in B Minor, D. 759 (“Unfinished”) by Franz Schubert, contains some of the most masterful writing in the history of orchestral composition. Even without a full complement of four movements, Schubert’s “Unfinished” makes a bold and paradoxically complete statement. Kabaretti coaxed a relaxed yet deliberate performance from his musicians, and the second movement, in particular, flowed with an inexorable momentum that showed what Schubert was capable of adding to the legacy of Beethoven.