[Independent] Bartók, Carrara, Handel, Gabrieli

January 26, 2016

This outstanding concert by the Santa Barbara Symphony demonstrated the organization’s international reach and commitment to developing new music. It also displayed the realistic, aspirational side of modernism as practiced by the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, and how it has been reinterpreted by the young Italian Christian Carrara. Within the context of the composer’s redemptive vision for music, which he felt was capable of expressing the “highest emotions” in the service of a “great reality,” Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra (1943), which occupied the second half of this program, represents a kind of personal microcosm, of that concept, as the commission came at a time when Bartók work was neglected, and his completion of it resulted in a revival of interest in his music.


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The Santa Barbara Symphony to Play Rachmaninoff Program This February

January 16, 2016

The Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of guest conductor James Judd, will perform a pair of beloved masterworks by the famed Russian composer and virtuoso pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff at the historic Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara on February 13 and 14. Also featuring captivating Canadian pianist Ian Parker as a guest soloist, the program will include Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini and Symphonic Dances, considered by many to be the summary of his musical genius.

Performances will take place at 8 pm on Saturday, February 13, and at 3 pm on Sunday, February 14. Tickets are now available.


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[Montecito Journal] Two of a kind for ‘Machpelah’

January 16, 2016


[Scene Magazine] Symphonic Unveiling, with a Timely, Extra-Musical Message Attached

January 15, 2016

Handel, Bartók and a World Premiere

Old, new-ish, and ink-still-wet new meet on symphonic turf this weekend at The Granada Theatre. In perhaps the most substantial and important program of the Santa Barbara Symphony's current season, the orchestra will take on Béla Bartók's great and challenging Concerto for Orchestra — a towering but also accessible example of 20th century orchestral repertoire — alongside the crowd-pleasing sounds of "Water Music" and Renaissance/Baroque master Giovanni Gabrieli's "Sacrae symphoniae."

All well and good, but the real cause for celebration is music as-yet unheard, in the form of a world premiere of a new piece by respected young Italian composer Cristian Carrara, "Machpelah." This is no pint-sized concert opener, as sometimes happens with modern-day orchestral premieres, but a four-movement opus, featuring violinist Francesca Dego and cellist Robert deMaine as soloists in double concerto mode, and representing love of the romantic, religious, and cultural sort.


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[Independent] S.B. Symphony Premieres Double Concerto

January 14, 2016

Carrara’s ‘Machpelah’ Puts Violin and Cello in Dialogue

Here on the American Riviera, we try not to miss any chance to point out similarities between our culture and that of the great civilizations of the Mediterranean. Most of the time this means talking about climate, architecture, or food — all of them of course very worthy subjects. But an interesting thing is happening to Santa Barbara’s musical culture right under our Riviera noses, and it is happening primarily as a result of the decade that Maestro Nir Kabaretti has now put in as artistic director of the Santa Barbara Symphony. Kabaretti’s professional journey, which brought him to Santa Barbara by way of the great concert halls of Europe, began in Israel and in Italy, and he continues to participate actively in the rich musical cultures of both those places.


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[Noozhawk] Santa Barbara Symphony to Welcome New Year With Pops Concert

December 31, 2015

Once again, as Dec. 31 looms, we are faced with choosing where we are to spend the hours between dinner and midnight, and once again, the Santa Barbara Symphony offers its elegant and cozy solution: its reliably delightful New Year's Eve Pops Concert, which — after a half hour or so of greeting and mingling — will start at 8:30 p.m.in the Granada Theatre.

The Symphony's special guest artist will be soprano Lisa Vroman, of Phantom of the Opera fame.


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