Santa Barbara Symphony News

[Noozhawk] Santa Barbara Symphony to Swing with an African ‘Genesis’

April 13, 2014

The Santa Barbara Symphony will play its April program twice, at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, in the Granada Theatre at 1214 State St.

The concerts will be conducted by Music Director Nir Kabaretti, with the participation of guest soloist Donald Foster on clarinet and the animation of Carolyn Chrisman.

We will hear three works: Darius Milhaud's 1923 ballet, La création du monde, Opus 81a (with Chrisman's animation), Aaron Copland's Concerto for Clarinet, Strings and Harp (1949) (with Foster) and Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A-Major, Opus 92 (1813).

It's always a good idea to have an organizing principle for a concert program, and the symphony has made much of the relationship between these works and jazz — too much, possibly.

Each of the works is a stand-alone masterpiece, and can be enjoyed by itself without any talking points. Those who listen to jazz on a regular basis will not mistake either the Clarinet Concerto or The Creation of the World for examples of the genre. Still, after a breathtakingly lyrical opening, the Copland does swing, while the Milhaud, whose ambience is decidedly more African than American, works a sea change on our only native idiom and hands it back to us in a steamy exotic disguise.


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[Casa Magazine] Clarinetist Donald Foster Rifts Benny Goodman and Beethoven

April 11, 2014

It's not often Beethoven is compared with Benny Goodman, but Santa Barbara Symphony Principal Clarinetist Donald Foster made a good point during a recent interview. The rhythmic originality of Beethoven's 7th Symphony is as dynamic and exciting as the jazz rhythms found in Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto, which was written for Goodman, and Darius Milhaud's The Creation of the World. All three works are on the Santa Barbara Symphony concert pair set for Saturday, April 12th at 8pm, and Sunday, April 13th at 3pm, in the Granada Theatre. Artistic and Music Director Nir Kabaretti will be on the podium. "What makes something jazzy is of course the rhythm." Foster explained. "The Beethoven, with its incessant rhythm was not necessarily a jazz foreshowing, but definitely was a rhythmic experiment."


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[Scene Magazine] When Jazz met Beethoven, Symphonically

April 11, 2014

The Santa Barbara Symphony features the jazz-flavored work of Darius Milhaud and Aaron Copland, with Clarinetist Donald Foster in the Benny Goodman role, performing Beethoven's Seventh Symphony

At first blush, the intriguing program for this weekend's Santa Barbara Symphony concerts might seem an attraction of opposites. In one orchestral showcasing corner, we have Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, and in a separate corner, two ear-friendly early 20th century works with strong jazz connections, Darius Milhaud's "Le Creation du la Monde" and Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto.

It could be said, though, that all the music in this symphony evening somehow finds a common ground in the sense of composers drawing on "vernacular" sounds outside of their classical foundations. They all followed their passions, instincts and, in Copland's case, commissioners' tendencies (it was commissioned by the great jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman), in writing music, tilling the soil of "serious" music, as such, and what was in the more popular musical air of their respective eras.


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[Independent] Violinist Timothy Chooi Made His Debut on March 16

March 19, 2014

This Santa Barbara Symphony matinee, titled Classical Knockouts, pulled out all stops on ruckus familiars like Gioacchino Rossini’s “William Tell Overture” and Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” which bookended the program. But by and large the punch was of a subtler sort. Maestro Kabaretti, who has no objection to conducting a chestnut now and again, was not assembling a “greatest hits” concert. Instead, the force manifested through unexpectedly beautiful turns in a program of short works and a breathtaking debut by a 20-year-old violin soloist.


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[Noozhawk] Santa Barbara Symphony Delivers ‘Classical Knockouts’

March 16, 2014

It looks to me like the Santa Barbara Symphony is wheeling out the dessert cart for its next pair of concerts — at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the Granada Theatre — which will be served up to us under the title "Classical Knockouts."

Maestro Nir Kabaretti will conduct, with the exciting young violinist Timothy Chooi as guest soloist.

The program for this delectable concert will include the Overture from Gioachino Rossini's opera William Tell (1829); Max Bruch's Concerto No. 1 in G-Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 26 (1868); the Millennium Overture (1999) by Belgian composer Dirk Brossé (born in 1960); Sergei Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1 in D-Major, Opus 25 (1917) "Classical"; and the Suite No. 1 from Edvard Grieg's incidental music for Henrik Ibsen's verse drama, Peer Gynt.


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[Noozhawk] Violinist Timothy Chooi Hits Just the Right Notes in Visit to Junior High School Class

March 15, 2014

20-year-old strings star captivates, inspires Santa Barbara Junior High students through music and his own personal story

Santa Barbara Junior High School students in teacher Karen Dutton’s third-period music class got a treat Friday morning when a star Canadian violinist playing an instrument worth $5 million gave them a private mini-performance.

Violinist Timothy Chooi stopped in to talk and play for about 12 students as part of the Santa Barbara Symphony’s Musical Mentors Program, which gives local students a chance to interact with visiting musicians.


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