Articles in Press

[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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[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).


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[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.


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[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.


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