Symphony News

[Voice Magazine] Nikkudim: Points of Light Clarinet Concerto

February 10, 2017

A musical narrative never before heard on the west coast will be soulfully breathed into a solo clarinet and full orchestra when the Santa Barbara Symphony performs the West Coast Premiere of American composer Jonathan Leshnoff's new Clarinet Concerto, Nikkudim, with their own Principal Clarinet Donald Foster as soloist. The concert pair will take place on Saturday, February 11th at 8pm and Sunday, February 12th at 3pm in the Granada Theatre.

Don Foster has been the Principal Clarinet  with the Santa Barbara Symphony for 19 years, and has performed his share of the standard concerto for the instrument with our orchestra and the Pasadena Symphony, where he also serves as Principal. But it's rare to have the opportunity to perform the West Coast premiere of a major new work for clarinet. It is a co-commission with the Philadelphia Orchestra, which gave the world premiere on April 14, 2016 with that orchestra's Principal Clarinet Ricardo Morales as soloist.


Read more »



[Scene Magazine] Giving the Clarinet Some Orchestral Love

February 10, 2017

SB Symphony Premieres Clarinet Concerto By Young Composer Jonathan Leshnoff

When last it convened, two weeks back, the Santa Barbara Symphony was busy entertaining an all-ages crowd to the tune and classic visuals of Disney’s “Fantasia,” with its idealistic blend of animation and classical music jukebox hit parade. This weekend’s model of a program is of another ilk entirely, a program in which the Austrian-American symphonic imprint of Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony and Aaron Copland’s Symphony No. 3 play second fiddle, in a sense, to the main event of the package—the West Coast Premiere of noted and notably lyrical composer Jonathan Leshnoff’s new Clarinet Concerto.

From an organizational perspective, which casts positive light on our orchestra, the new piece was made possible by a co-commission from the Santa Barbara Symphony and one of America’s, and the world’s, great ensembles, the Philadelphia Orchestra. The symphony’s own considerable principal clarinetist, Donald Foster—no stranger to the soloist spotlight at the Granada Theatre—will do the soloist honors for the new Leshnoff work.


Read more »



Santa Barbara Symphony to Premiere Leshnoff Clarinet Concerto for West Coast

January 31, 2017

Work was co-commissioned by the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra. Concerts also will feature Schubert’s cherished ‘Unfinished’ Symphonyand Copland’s monumental Symphony No. 3.

Santa Barbara, CA — The Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Nir Kabaretti, will present the West Coast premiere of acclaimed composer Jonathan Leshnoff’s Clarinet Concerto – a work co-commissioned by the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra – at the Granada Theatre on Saturday, February 11. Featuring Santa Barbara Symphony Principal Clarinetist Donald Foster, the performance will take place at 8 pm, followed by an encore concert at 3 pm on Sunday, February 12. Tickets are now available.

The program also will include Schubert’s beloved “Unfinished” Symphony No. 8 and Aaron Copland’s powerful Symphony No. 3, with its famed Fanfare for the Common Man theme.


Read more »



Area Children to Perform Community Concerts

January 30, 2017

Featured musicians receive training through the Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education Center. 

Santa Barbara, CA — Local children will be the featured performers in two free community concerts presented in February by the Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education Center in partnership with the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD). String musicians in grades three through six will perform at 5:30 pm on Thursday, February 2, in the Marjorie Luke Theatre, and instrumentalists of all ages will perform at 7 pm on Thursday, February 23, in the San Marcos High School Auditorium. All performers are SBUSD students.

The February 2 concert will feature participants in BRAVO!, an afterschool program that provides hands-on instrument instruction to elementary students ages 9 to 12. The Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education Center is partnering with the SBUSD to administer the district program following its expansion last fall. The SBUSD Honor Band Concert on February 23 will feature BRAVO! musicians as well as students in junior high and high school.  


Read more »



[Scene Magazine] Orchestral Hits in Living Color

January 27, 2017

For first concert of new year, the Santa Barbara Symphony performs scores from the classic Disney Film 'Fantasia,' with live orchestral backing to the on-screen film excerpts

To report that there will be Mickey Mouse conditions at this weekend’s convening of the Santa Barbara Symphony is both a matter of truth, and potential cultural excitement of the sound and sight kind. For the first concert program of the New Year, the Symphony is showcasing the musical component of the classical musicfueled Disney animated classic “Fantasia,” with live, orchestral accompaniment to excerpts from the film. That this all takes place in vintage movie palace The Granada Theatre, dating back to the end of the silent era of the late ’20s, adds to the charm and historical fiber of the occasion.

Made in 1940, and featuring music of Elgar, selected moments from the ballet work of Stravinsky’s “Firebird” and Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker,” and — the Mickey Mouse moment — Dukas’ “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Fantasia” is a unique landmark in popular cinema, a rare meeting of high and mass culture. Public awareness of the riches and the deep heritage of classical music was, and continues to be, greatly enhanced by Disney’s grand gesture.


Read more »



[Independent] Santa Barbara Symphony Accompanies ‘Fantasia’

January 27, 2017

Orchestra Gives Live Performance to Screened Film Excerpts

Maybe more than any other animated film of my younger years, Fantasia hit that sweet spot of lasting memory. It was the silly beauty of hippos frolicking in pink tutus and the brooding specter of a demon looming over dark mountains. But mostly it was the music, the flutter of piccolos and the crash of symbols in those scenes that drilled the emotions of Fantasia into my mind and has kept it alive with flashes of nostalgia into my adulthood.

That’s why I’ll see it again this weekend when the Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of guest conductor David Lockington, will perform live to screened excerpts of the original 1940 Disney film and its Fantasia 2000 reboot. The show will also feature Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber and Lockington’s own Ceremonial Fantasy Fanfare.


Read more »