Symphony News

In Memory of Maestro Ronald Ondrejka (1932-2016)

April 21, 2016

Former conductor of the Santa Barbara Symphony, died suddenly early in the morning of April 7, 2016 at his home in Carpinteria where he lived with his wife, Elise Unruh.

Ondrejka was born into a musical family in 1932 in Manhattan. His Italian-American mother was a pianist and piano teacher; his Czechoslovakian father was a concert violinist. After completing his undergraduate and graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music in 1954, Ondrejka went on to pursue a conducting career that put him on the podium of major symphony orchestras and brought him into close contact with the finest musicians in the world.

After military service touring Europe with the Seventh Army Symphony as violist and conductor, winning much praise for the ensemble wherever it traveled, he was on the conducting staff of Radio City Music Hall for three years. In 1961, he was a prize winner in the Royal Liverpool International Conducting Competition. With the recommendation and sponsorship of the American Symphony Orchestra League, the Rockefeller Foundation awarded Ondrejka a grant for advanced conducting study.


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Santa Barbara Symphony to Close out Season with Spanish Guitar Great Pablo Sáinz Villegas

April 20, 2016

May 14 and 15 performances will feature concerto by prolific film composer – and one-time local resident – Elmer Bernstein, as well as works by Weber, Bruckner

Santa Barbara, CA — The Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Nir Kabaretti, will conclude its 2015-16 season with a pair of exhilarating concerts featuring classical guitar virtuoso Pablo Sáinz Villegas at the historic Granada Theatre on May 14 and 15. Mr. Villegas will showcase his charismatic stage presence and formidable technique on Elmer Bernstein’s “superbly crafted and often inspired” (Gramophone) Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra. Also including Weber’s rousing Der Freischütz Overture and Bruckner’s popular “Romantic” Symphony No. 4, the concerts will take place at 8 pm on Saturday, May 14, and at 3 pm on Sunday, May 15. Tickets are now available.


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Araïza Headlines Santa Barbara Symphony Fundraiser at the Lobero Theatre on May 9

April 15, 2016

Santa Barbara, CA — Pianist and longtime Santa Barbara Symphony lecturer Saïd Ramón Araïza will perform and discuss works by Chopin, Schubert, Liszt, and others at the historic Lobero Theatre on Monday, May 9. Whimsically titled “The Muses, the Mud, the Music, and Your Mother,” the lively, hour-long presentation will begin at 5:30 pm, followed by a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception outside the Lobero’s main entrance. Tickets cost $75, with proceeds benefiting the Santa Barbara Symphony and its award-winning Music Education Center.


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[Noozhawk] Symphony to Sail the Ocean Blue With Selections From Torke, Debussy

April 07, 2016

Santa Barbara’s contiguity with an arm of the Pacific Ocean will be celebrated during the Santa Barbara Symphony’s next program, “Sounds of the Ocean,” conducted by Maestro Nir Kabaretti.

The concerts, which feature three sea-oriented works with a lush and creamy Russian concerto in the center, will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 9, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 10, both at The Granada Theatre.


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Just Released: Ginastera - The Vocal Album with the Santa Barbara Symphony

April 05, 2016

"...a triumph... the most effective and affecting music is the final scene..." --John Rockwell, The San Francisco Examiner (Plácido Domingo in Don Rodrigo)

Ginastera - The Vocal Album marks the centenary of Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983). In 1966, at the New York City Opera, the US premiere of his opera Don Rodrigo gave the young Plácido Domingo his major breakthrough. Domingo performs excerpts from Don Rodrigo, while two sopranos – Ana-Maria Martínez and Virginia Tola – sing Ginastera’s Cinco canciones populares argentinas and cantata Milena respectively. Recorded in 2002 with the Santa Barbara Symphony and conducted by Gisèle Ben-Dor, a notable champion of Latin American music.

Available for download on iTunes and Amazon


Four Elected to Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors

April 05, 2016

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2016

Contact: Tim Dougherty
805-284-4218
tadough@cox.net  

Santa Barbara, CA — Four accomplished individuals have been elected to the Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors. Each will serve a three-year term.

Don Gilman is an internationally recognized author, speaker, trainer, and executive coach. He currently serves as executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of Critical Thinking and as a senior faculty member at the American Management Association. He also heads Gilman Consulting Group, which specializes in executive coaching for leaders of high-tech companies. Previously, he served as director of strategic marketing at a division of Bosch, including more than two years at the firm’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, and held various management positions at Vetronix, Litton Guidance and Control Systems, and Delco Systems Operations. Dr. Gilman holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Westmont College, a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from UC Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in engineering management from West Coast University in Los Angeles, and a doctorate in organization change from Pepperdine University. His latest book, Outsmarting V.U.C.A., is scheduled to be published in June. He is currently a board member for the Foundation for Girsh Park, the Coastal Housing Coalition, and the Institute of Management Consultants. Dr. Gilman serves on the Governance Committee for the Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors.

George Konstantinow is a consultant and analyst in healthcare information technology. Dr. Konstantinow earned a degree in biomedical engineering at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and conducted research as an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center, where he pioneered medical imaging technology used in the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease. Having relocated to Santa Barbara in 1985, he worked in systems engineering at Hughes Aircraft and Delco Electronics, and later served as manager of information technology at Unisys, director of networking and telecommunications at Santa Barbara City College, and director of research and development with the ISERA Group. A member of various professional societies, Dr. Konstantinow sits on the Board of the Science and Engineering Council of Santa Barbara and of the IEEE Central Coast Section, with membership and fundraising activities focusing on scholarships and grants to pre-university and university-level science and engineering students. He is a Board director for Ensemble Theatre Company and also supports the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Dr. Konstantinow serves on the Education and Finance committees for the Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors.

Michelle Richardson is a senior vice president at Montecito Bank & Trust, where she oversees the Business Intelligence department and the Office of Project Management. She is also a member of the bank’s senior management committee. Ms. Richardson began working for Montecito Bank & Trust as a management consultant in December 2007 and went on to hold a succession of vice president titles there before being appointed to her current position in July 2015. Previously, she served as a vice president and senior business systems analyst at Pacific Capital Bancorp in Santa Barbara, and held controller and finance positions at General Dynamics’ California Technical Center and its antecedent, Delco Systems, both in Goleta. She began her career as a program controls analyst at the Santa Barbara Research Center, also in Goleta. Her volunteer efforts include the United Way, Angels Foster Care of Santa Barbara, and several local schools. Ms. Richardson holds a master’s degree in confluent education and organizational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in psychology, both from UC Santa Barbara. She serves on the Governance Committee for the Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors.

Robert W. Weinman is a retired physicist. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at Cornell University and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics at Caltech before pursuing postdoctoral studies in elementary particle theory at Tel Aviv University. Dr. Weinman spent his entire career at Northrop, joining the company as a research scientist and later serving as a section manager for the MX missile program. He was awarded consecutive National Science Foundation and Westinghouse fellowships in the early to mid-1960s. Dr. Weinman generously supports many performing arts organizations and cultural institutions regionally and beyond, including the Music Academy of the West, Camerata Pacifica, UCSB Arts & Lectures, Long Beach Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, the Los Angeles Opera, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Metropolitan Opera, and the Whitney Museum. He serves on the Artistic Planning Committee for the Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors.