Symphony News

Santa Barbara Symphony Announces Election of New President, Board

July 16, 2014

The Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra Association is pleased to announce the election of Arthur Swalley as president of the Board of Directors for the 2014-15 season.

The symphony’s elected officers include David Chernof, vice president; Brett Moore, treasurer; Fred Wudl, secretary; Karen Kerns, counsel; and Susan Spector, development.

Endeavoring to make classical music both accessible and exceptional, Music Director Nir Kabaretti and the Santa Barbara Symphony have enjoyed a prolonged period of successful growth, raising the bar both in terms of the quality of performances and its mission to continue being an indispensable part of the community.

“I am honored to assume the board presidency, and the timing couldn’t be better,” Swalley said. “A quick glance at our website shows that our 2014-15 season is one of the most innovative and exciting in many years. I look forward to working with Maestro Nir Kabaretti and our many collaborative partners to continue raising the level of the classical music experience in Santa Barbara.”


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Santa Barbara Symphony’s Maestro Nir Kabaretti to also Lead Southwest Florida Symphony

May 21, 2014

Kabaretti to continue as Music and Artistic Director of the Santa Barbara Symphony

Santa Barbara, CA, May 21, 2014 – The Santa Barbara Symphony is proud to announce that Maestro Nir Kabaretti has been chosen by the Southwest Florida Symphony to lead its orchestra. Kabaretti will continue to serve as the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Music and Artistic Director.

After an extensive international search, the Southwest Florida Symphony chose five finalists, including Kabaretti, for the position of Music Director and Conductor. Maestro Kabaretti was ultimately chosen through polling the Southwest Florida Symphony’s musicians, through audience polls and recommendations made by the selection committee and Symphony administrative staff. The Southwest Florida Symphony feels strongly that the organization will benefit from Maestro Kabaretti’s international and regional orchestra experience, forward thinking and strong artistic leadership.

“As Maestro Kabaretti’s star continues to rise, we’re proud that he continues to call the Santa Barbara Symphony home” said David Grossman, Santa Barbara Symphony Executive Director. “Now with his second Music Directorship, we can look forward to Maestro Kabaretti’s more frequent presence with us here in the United States.”


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In Memoriam

May 07, 2014

Gloria J. Autry
1934 - 2014

Having joined the Santa Barbara Symphony only two years after its founding 61 years ago, violinist Gloria Autry passed away on Saturday, May 3, 2014, just two weeks before what would have been her last professional concert. She had announced her plans to retire at the end of this season. Her inimitable devotion to her musical family at the Symphony, as well as her innumerable other civic and musical contributions, makes her passing all the more deeply felt.

Maestro Nir Kabaretti has said on many occasions that Gloria always arrived at the rehearsals incredibly well prepared. She missed only one concert last year, following a fall that would have sidelined most professional musicians for months.

Gloria was ever smiling, never complaining and always offering other musicians and fellow Santa Barbarans her support, assistance and overwhelming generosity of spirit.

Gloria would most probably have wanted us to celebrate her life in music and remember her "glorious-ly" playing her violin. The same violin she played when she began with the Santa Barbara Symphony in 1955.

Gloria will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.


Howard Jay Smith Joins Santa Barbara Symphony Planned Giving Committee

April 18, 2014

Howard Jay Smith has been named to the Santa Barbara Symphony Planned Giving Committee.

“I have been a lifelong fan of classical music,” said Smith.

The Santa Barbara Symphony maintains a permanent endowment fund to secure the orchestra’s artistic, cultural and educational programs for future seasons. As a committee member, Smith will help Director of Development Pamela Perkins-Dwyer ensure the symphony’s endowment stays healthy.


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Santa Barbara Symphony, Musicians Union Ratify Three-Year Labor Contract

December 13, 2013

By Kelly Kapuan, Publicist

The Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra Association and the American Federation of Musicians-Local 308 are very pleased to announce that a new three-year collective bargaining agreement has been ratified, taking them through the 2015-16 season.

Several key concerns were addressed within the new agreement, including the negotiation of modest wage and travel increases commensurate with financial planning, while being reflective of the musicians' priorities. Important clarifications were also achieved regarding auditioning and hiring procedures, as well as calculations pertaining to overscale and doubling fees.

While electronic media remains a significant topic of discussion both locally and nationally, an agreement was reached to allow more flexibility, while staying within the union’s national policies.

“With many orchestras experiencing disruptions to their seasons and futures, we are proud to have come to a successful agreement such as this with good will and good spirit,” said David Grossman, executive director of the Santa Barbara Symphony. “During negotiations, both sides supported a measured approach, recognizing the need to balance financial realities with the symphony’s goal of continued growth in artistic excellence. This new contract affirms our ongoing desire to work collaboratively toward the shared goal of elevating the Santa Barbara Symphony’s impact to our patrons, sponsors and the community at large.”

Donald Foster, chairman of the Musicians Committee of the SBSO, added: “From the start, a spirit of togetherness ensued, with both sides putting artistic quality, professional integrity and basic fiscal responsibility at the forefront. The musicians are confident that this three year agreement speaks volumes about how the Santa Barbara Symphony continues to stand out as one of the great California symphony orchestras."


Make a Difference: Video

September 02, 2013