Symphony News

[Independent] Santa Barbara Symphony’s Season Opener

October 19, 2016

'Rapture,’ Then ‘Joy’ with Beethoven’s 9th

“Rapture”, a short symphonic composition by contemporary composer Christopher Rouse, followed the orchestra’s rendition of the national anthem signaling that the 2016-17 season had begun. No one took a knee during either work. While Rouse identifies “Rapture” as his most unabashedly tonal composition, there’s nothing polite about it. Like Beethoven’s “Joy”, Rouse’s “Rapture” imagines a universal ecstasy that’s based in humanistic rather than religious sentiment. At a mere 13 minutes in length, “Rapture” is necessarily a ride on the ecstasy express, arriving at its destination flushed with the thrill of its own continuous acceleration.


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Santa Barbara Symphony Begins Season with New Musician Agreement

October 18, 2016

Union members ratify three-year labor contract, paving the way for long-term artistic and fiscal growth, say Symphony officials.

Santa Barbara, CA — The Santa Barbara Symphony and its unionized musicians have agreed on a new labor contract. The American Federation of Musicians Local 308, which represents the Symphony’s 76 performers, voted to approve the deal following negotiations over the summer. The union ratification was announced Friday.

“With difficult labor negotiations plaguing the industry in recent years, it is both remarkable and telling that we came to an understanding so quickly and collegially,” said Santa Barbara Symphony Board President Arthur Swalley. “We regard our musicians as family and hold them in high esteem. We are very proud of the manner in which the process unfolded.”


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[Scene Magazine] Ode to a Musical Monument, and a New Season

October 15, 2016

To open its 64th season the Santa Barbara Symphony calls on the heroic sweep of Beethoven's iconic Ninth Symphony, abetted and fleshed out by several local choral groups

The Symphony is back in town. Lest there be anyquestion about that, note the big, bold, Beethoven-ian opening splash at the Granada Theatre this weekend, as the Santa Barbara Symphony kicks off its 64th season. Joining the orchestral forces, with maestro Nir Kabaretti now entering his 11th season at the helm, is a wealth of voices to amp up the "Ode to Joy" component of the masterwork--a massive choral conglomerate made up of the Santa Barbara Choral Society, Quire of Voyces, and choirs from Westmont, UCSB and San Marcos High School.

As testament to the historical continuity of the Symphony, this weekend's mezzo-soprano soloist Nina Yoshida Nelsen traces her musical training to roots in the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony. She met and married her husband (horn player Jeff Nelsen who is performing this weekend) in Santa Barbara.

On a concert bill opening with Christopher Rouse's Rapture, this weekend's program makes for a suitable grand entrance to the 2016-17 season. 

Highlights of that season include a double piano concerto program in November, "Disney Fantasia Live in Concert" (January 28 and 29), and later next year, pairings of Vivaldi and Piazzolla and Grieg and Sibelius and a nod to Paris to close, in May.


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[Voice Magazine] Ode to Joy - Following the Ninth with the Maestro

October 07, 2016

Conductor Nir Kabaretti has been following Beethoven's Ninth Symphony all his life, but particularly since conducting the world famous masterpiece in Buenos Aires eight years ago for the first time. The unforgettable message of hope in the last movement, Friedrich Schiller's Ode to Joy, has inspired peoples around the globe with its dynamic incantation, Alle Menschen werden Bruder (All men become brothers) and will again next weekend when a massive chorus serves up the Symphony's first concert pair of the 2016-17 season.

The chorus, made up of the Santa Barbara Choral Society, Quire of Voyces, choirs from Westmonth College, UCSB and San Marcos High School will join the Santa Barbara Symphony and Kabaretti (who will be conducting the work for the fourth time since Buenos Aires) at the Granada Theatre for two performances on Saturday, October 15th at 8pm and Sunday, October 16th at 3pm. Vocal soloists, all well known to the community, will include soprano Jeanine De Bique, mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen, tenor Benjamin Brecher, and bass DeAndre Simmons. The program, whihc will have no intermission, will open with Christopher Rouse's short but ecstatic work for large orchestra, Rapture, composed in 2000.


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Santa Barbara Symphony Launches Communitywide Music Education Programs

October 03, 2016

Orchestra is partnering with three area school districts to provide hundreds of community children with unique instructional opportunities.

Santa Barbara, CA — Further cementing its status as a music education leader in the region, the Santa Barbara Symphony has launched a pair of instructional programs that will collectively serve some 285 area public elementary school students during the current school year. The effort includes an expansion of BRAVO!, the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s (SBUSD) afterschool music education program, as well as a new violin program in the Hope Elementary School District.

“As part of the Symphony’s overall efforts to address a growing need in the community, these new programs are in effect making the case for quality music instruction in our schools, and the message is clearly resonating with parents and educators alike,” said Dr. Amy Williams, director of education and community engagement for the Santa Barbara Symphony. “The resulting learning experiences will add immeasurably to students’ development, and are perfectly aligned with the Symphony’s mission to provide the community’s youth with dynamic educational opportunities. We are proud to help families invest in their children’s future through music.”


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Local Choruses to Unite with S.B. Symphony for Monumental Performances of Beethoven’s Ninth

September 15, 2016

Symphony’s season-opening concerts at the Granada Theatre October 15 and 16 will include singers from the Santa Barbara Choral Society, Westmont College, UCSB, Quire of Voyces, and San Marcos High School.

Santa Barbara, CA — The Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Nir Kabaretti, will assemble singers from throughout the region for grandly thrilling performances of Beethoven’s jubilant and inspiring Symphony No. 9 at the Granada Theatre on October 15 and 16. Also featuring Rapture, a shimmering orchestral work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse, the season-opening concerts will take place at 8 pm on Saturday, October 15, and at 3 pm on Sunday, October 16. Tickets are now available.

The performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with its rapturous choral setting of Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy,” will feature singers from the Santa Barbara Choral Society, Westmont College, UCSB, Quire of Voyces, and San Marcos High School, as well as soloists Jeanine De Bique (soprano), Nina Yoshida Nelson (mezzo), Benjamin Brecher (tenor), and DeAndre Simmons (bass).


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