Symphony News

[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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Santa Barbara Youth Symphony Musicians to Perform in Production of ‘Brundibár’

May 10, 2017

Compelling children’s opera will be presented at the Libbey Bowl on May 13, and at the Lobero Theatre on May 20.      

Santa Barbara, CA — Members of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony will take part in a fully staged production of Brundibár, Jewish Czech composer Hans Krása’s uniquely affecting children’s opera, at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai on Saturday, May 13, and at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara on Saturday, May 20. Performances will take place at 7:30 pm on May 13, and at 2:30 and 5 pm on May 20.

A collaborative effort involving the Youth Symphony, Ojai Youth Opera, and the Santa Barbara Youth Opera, the production will be conducted by Opera Santa Barbara Artistic Director Kostis Protopapas. The Santa Barbara Youth Opera is an educational program offered by Opera Santa Barbara.  

“This is a wonderful opportunity for those members of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony selected to participate,” said Amy Williams, director of education and community engagement for the Santa Barbara Symphony. “The production will serve as an introduction to opera for some, and all the musicians are certain to learn a great deal from Maestro Protopapas. From an institutional perspective, we are grateful to be collaborating with Opera Santa Barbara and Ojai Youth Opera.”


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Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, Junior Orchestra to Present Season’s Final Concerts

May 05, 2017

Santa Barbara, CA — Two Santa Barbara Symphony youth ensembles will present free season-ending concerts the weekend of May 20-21. The Symphony’s Junior Orchestra will perform works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, and others beginning at 3 pm in First United Methodist Church on Saturday, May 20. The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony will present a program of Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Mozart beginning at 4 pm in the Lobero Theatre on Sunday, May 21.

“These concerts will showcase the remarkable progress our young musicians have made over the course of the school year,” said Amy Williams, director of education and community engagement for the Santa Barbara Symphony. “Both performances will be musical celebrations of sorts, and we encourage the wider community to come see and hear for themselves what can be achieved through quality, sustained instrument instruction for children.”


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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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Area Children to Perform Free Concert on May 1

April 29, 2017

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

Santa Barbara, CA — Local elementary students in grades four through six will present a free band and string concert at 6 pm on Monday, May 1, in the Marjorie Luke Theatre. The musicians are participants in BRAVO!, an afterschool program that provides hands-on instrument instruction to children ages 9 to 12. The Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education Center is partnering with the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) to administer the program following its expansion last fall. The May 1 performance will be the final BRAVO! concert of the current school year.


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