[Music! Sounds of Santa Barbara] Nir Kabaretti – A Grand Finale for Season 60
May 01, 2013
By Brett Leigh Dicks, Music! Sounds of Santa Barbara
When the Santa Barbara Symphony closes out its 60th season this month, with two performances at the Granada Theater on May 18th and 19th, it will do so in grand style. In performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” as its final presentation, the program will afford its esteemed conductor, Nir Kabaretti, the opportunity to highlight his command of both symphonic and operatic repertoires. Mr. Kabaretti joined the Santa Barbara Symphony in 2006 as the orchestra’s Musical Director and two years later also assumed the role of Artistic Director since which he has infused the orchestra with a vibrancy second to none. Born in Israel, Kabaretti began piano lessons at the age of six and later studied piano and conducting at The Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. He continued his education at the prestigious University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Upon his graduation in 1995, Kabaretti began working as coach and chorus master at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He served as personal assistant to Zubin Mehta for a period, who subsequently lauded him as “a conductor with immense musicality and warm personality.” Over the years Kabaretti has collaborated with the likes of Lang Lang, Placido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman and Salvatore Licitra. Never one to rest of his laurels, when the current season of the Santa Barbara Symphony wraps up, he heads to Switzerland for the Festival d’Opéra Avenches, before turning his attention to the next season in Santa Barbara which gets underway in September. At some point, he may even be afforded the opportunity to catch his breath.
[News-Press] Pictures at a symphonic exhibition
April 22, 2013
By Josef Woodard, News-Press Correspondent
In the continuing saga of the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 60th anniversary season, last weekend at The Granada, the April symphonic showers brought on at least a couple of deviations from norms and expectations. For one, music director Nir Kabaretti was taking the month off, passing the baton to the very fine Hungarian-born guest conductor Gregory Vajda. He presided sturdily over a program all about “seasons” — Vivaldi’s evergreen crowd-pleaser “The Four Seasons” and Alexander Glazunov’s palatably pictorial lark, “The Seasons,” also a four-part calendar soundtrack.
On the subject of pictorialism in the concert hall, the larger quirk of this stop on the concert program calendar was the literal “action painting” sideshow. During the Glazunov piece, veteran Hollywood scenic and matte painter Jett Green took on the brave, stunt-like task of rapidly creating four separate loose, broad-stroked landscape paintings, live and onstage, under duress and a strict deadline (or deadlines — four of them within an hour’s time).
[Scene Magazine] Seasonal Work
April 12, 2013
This weekend’s Santa Barbara Symphony concert is all about ‘Seasons’
By Josef Woodard, News-Press Correspondent
As the Santa Barbara Symphony continues on the path of its celebratory 60th anniversary season this weekend at The Granada, the “seasonal” theme runs hot. Vivaldi’s ever-popular set of “The Four Seasons” concertos is in the center ring, with young violinist Nigel Armstrong taking the dramatic soloist role.
Off to the side of expected fare, we’ll experience Russian composer Alexander Glazunov’s 1899 piece “The Seasons,” with the extra-musical touch of a live, onstage painting interpretation by Jett Green. Ms. Green’s resume leans heavy on Hollywood connections, and on matte paintings and effects wizardry through her work with Industrial Light and Magic and Dreamworks. This weekend, to the tune of Glazunov, she will create paintings anew onstage, projected behind the orchestra.
[Noozhawk] Santa Barbara Symphony Offers the Pick of the ‘Seasons’
April 12, 2013
By Gerald Carpenter, Noozhawk Contributing Writer
The Santa Barbara Symphony’s next concerts — at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, both in the Granada Theatre — promise to be as exciting to the eye as they always are to the ear.
Along with a sure-fire hit of a program, guest conductor Gregory Vajda has enlisted the services of Jett Green, a painter and/or visual artist, to provide projected images that illustrate or visually echo the second work on the program.
There are two works on the program, two works with virtually the same name. First, the set of four violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi that the composer himself gave the title, The Four Seasons (with the dynamic young violin virtuoso Nigel Armstrong as soloist); and, after the intermission, the sumptuous ballet by Alexander Glazunov called The Seasons, Opus 67 (with Green’s colorful ad hoc images).
What art historian Sir Kenneth Clark called “The Worship of Nature” established itself in the hearts of civilized Europeans during the 18th century. The depiction of natural scenes, and natural cycles, became a major theme of European art. Before 1789, nature was presented as a benign mistress, an enlightened despot.
Welcoming Spring with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Dynamic Guest Artists and Multimedia Experience
April 03, 2013
Concerts feature acclaimed international guest conductor Gregory Vajda virtuoso violinist Nigel Armstrong, and a live, onstage painting by Hollywood scenic artist Jett Green
"...conductor Vajda soars." –The Oregonian
On Saturday and Sunday, April 13th and April 14th, the Santa Barbara Symphony 60th Anniversary Season continues with acclaimed Guest Conductor Gregory Vajda leading the orchestra in Vivaldi’s best known work. The Four Seasons, a set of four concertos, ingeniously molds together depictions of delightfully characteristic weather reports. In tune with the season’s theme is Glazunov’s colorful ballet The Seasons, performed as acclaimed Hollywood scenic artist Jett Green paints live onstage, with her creations projected on a screen. The “Four Seasons” concerts will be held in The Granada Theatre on Saturday, April 13th at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 14th at 3 p.m.
“We welcome the changing seasons and this powerful showing of the ‘next generation’ of classical talent with dynamic Gregory Vajda, who has fast become a sought-after conductor on the international scene, and prodigy Nigel Armstrong,” said David Grossman, Santa Barbara Symphony Executive Director. “This is the perfect opportunity for first-timers and our most sophisticated patrons to appreciate one of the most beloved symphonic works of all time, and to experience the excitement of special effects master and painter Jett Green interpreting Glazunov’s The Seasons live, onstage.”
[News-Press] American pride, with asides
March 24, 2013
By Josef Woodward, News-Press Correspondent
It comes as no surprise or deviation from the central theme of last weekend’s all-American Santa Barbara Symphony program at The Granada that the conductor, our beloved Nir Kabaretti, is an Israeli who lives much of the time in Italy, or that the piano soloist, the commanding Xiayin Wang, is a New Yorker by way of a rigorous musical upbringing in her native China. America is nothing if not the proverbial melting pot landscape, and multi-cultural energies and input impact its classical musical life as much as any other facet of society, if not moreso.
Cultural symbiosis and historical cross-stitching, in fact, were also embedded in the musical element itself. The work affording Ms. Wang her tour de force spotlight on the concert, George Gershwin’s fabulous and clearly jazz-flavored Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra, was a follow-up to his cherished “Rhapsody in Blue,” and like the earlier model, tilts toward European vocabulary while proudly showcasing American musical airs. Likewise, the energetic bravado and lyrical gusts of Leonard Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from ‘West Side Story’ ” taps into jazz, Broadway, and Euro-centricities of scoring.