Articles in Press

[Yardi corporate blog] Behind the Music Santa Barbara Youth Symphony

May 22, 2016

Three years ago, Yardi caught up with Amy Williams, Director of Education and Community Engagement at Santa Barbara Youth Symphony. The program has grown a lot since then, reaching even more of the city’s youth with interdisciplinary art and the fun of a kid-centered community.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in participation,” says Williams. “Three years ago, we reached 4,500 students and this year we’re anticipating 5,300. Concerts for Young People has 2,800 students now. That filled up in record time. We’re offering the same things but we’re seeing a huge shift of kids wanting to play great music and make new friends.”

The friendships and sense of community draw most students through the doors, and keep them coming back year after year.

Williams recalls one particularly heartwarming encounter: “This year, one of my high school students was excited, noisily coming into rehearsal. I said, ‘You’re very excited to be here.’ And he says, ‘Well, Amy, I belong here.’ I feel that’s the heart of it. We are where students feel they belong. The demographic in Santa Barbara has all sorts of languages, all sorts of backgrounds, but when they walk into classes and workshops they feel like they belong, by teachers and their peers. I feel very strongly about that and I’m very proud of the program.”


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[Noozhawk] Symphony Season to Close With Two German Powerhouses and a Local Hero

May 14, 2016

The Santa Barbara Symphony will bring their 2015-16 season to a tuneful and ultimately majestic conclusion with concerts at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 15, at The Granada Theater. Maestro Nir Kabaretti will conduct, with celebrated guitar virtuoso, Pablo Sáinz-Villegas, as guest soloist.

The program will consist of Carl Maria von Weber’s “Overture” to his opera Der Freischütz, Op. 77 (1821); the late, great Elmer Bernstein’s Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, “For Two Christophers” (1999); and Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Major, “Romantic” (1878-1880).


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[Scene Magazine] Globally-traveled Guitar Concerto with a Local Legacy

May 13, 2016

Acclaimed Spanish-born guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas is guest soloist with the Santa Barbara Symphony

To close out its 63rd season this weekend at the Granada Theatre, the Santa Barbara Symphony looks backward, and inward, while also making a forward-thinking gesture. On a program which features the old worldly graces of Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischutz Overture and Anton Bruckner's "Romantic" Symphony No. 4 as grand symphonic finale, the real centerpiece of the concert is Elmer Bernstein's much-respected marvel, the Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra.

Penned in 1999 and dedicated to American classical guitar virtuoso Christopher Parkening, the widely-acclaimed Spanish-born guitarist Pablo Sainz Villegas will do honors on this respected entry in the slender ranks of popular guitar concertos.


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[Noozhawk] Symphony to Sail the Ocean Blue With Selections From Torke, Debussy

April 07, 2016

Santa Barbara’s contiguity with an arm of the Pacific Ocean will be celebrated during the Santa Barbara Symphony’s next program, “Sounds of the Ocean,” conducted by Maestro Nir Kabaretti.

The concerts, which feature three sea-oriented works with a lush and creamy Russian concerto in the center, will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 9, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 10, both at The Granada Theatre.


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[Independent] Maestro’s Favorites Concert Review

March 17, 2016

An ebullient Maestro Nir Kabaretti took the stage last weekend to lead the orchestra in a celebration of his first decade as music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony. Reminiscing about his debut/audition, which happened across State Street at the Arlington, Kabaretti avoided the subject of Brahms’s Symphony No. 2, to which the group was returning, in favor of making a heartfelt statement of gratitude toward what he termed his “musical family,” meaning not only the musicians in the orchestra but also the leaders of the organization and the audience in the community. The concert opened with the Prelude to Die Meistersinger of Richard Wagner, a piece clearly intended to show the fluidity with which the full orchestra negotiates a challenging score. A busy piece full of multiple themes and dramatic devices, it whetted the crowd’s appetite for the Brahms, which also makes full use of every section and instrument.


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[Montecito Journal] After a decade, Symphony still Nir to Kabaretti’s heart

March 10, 2016