About the Santa Barbara Symphony


Privacy Policy

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s Privacy Policy informs users of thesymphony.org Internet site about how the site collects, stores, and uses personal information submitted via the site. By accessing thesymphony.org you agree to the terms of this privacy policy.

1. Collection of Information

Certain applications on the Santa Barbara Symphony website may require users to register or to provide personal information in order to make a commercial transaction, or to subscribe to a newsletter. Such personal information is not shared or sold to third parties, except as in special mailing lists as outlined in Section #2.

To better understand the needs of our website users, we may also request demographic information. Entry of such information is optional and if you choose not to enter such information, you can successfully use these applications.

If we request demographic information, we will not share information about you as an individual with any other entity or third party. When we share demographic information with third parties, we will provide aggregate information only.

2. Mailing Lists

If you provide your e-mail address, the Santa Barbara Symphony may periodically contact you with special offers, updated information, and new services. Any group e-mails sent to you by the Santa Barbara Symphony give you the option to be removed from the e-mail mailing list.

Selected applications on our web site allow visitors to subscribe to our newsletter or concert season by providing their names and addresses to the Santa Barbara Symphony. If you provide the Santa Barbara Symphony with your mailing address or telephone number, the Santa Barbara Symphony will send you the Santa Barbara Symphony newsletter and/or subscription package and may also use your contact information to alert you to updated information and new services. If you wish to be removed from the mailing list, please contact the Santa Barbara Symphony.

3. Collective Arts Marketing

Up to two times each year, the Santa Barbara Symphony participates in a joint mailing effort to help promote arts groups in our community. The joint effort is a collaboration among several arts groups to reach new audience members who have shown an affinity for the arts. For these efforts, each of the participating arts groups send their mailing list to a third party mail house (such as Santa Barbara Mailworks) for one time use. The mail house then takes the mailing address data from the various sources and performs a merge, eliminating any duplicate or redundant data. After the mailings to this merged list are accomplished, the shared data is destroyed by the mail house.

The groups sharing mailing lists for these one-time collaborative marketing efforts include, but is not limited to:

Music Academy of the West
Community Arts Music Association
UCSB Arts and Lectures
Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra
Opera Santa Barbara
Ojai Music Festival
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Contemporary Arts Forum
The Granada
Ensemble Theatre
State Street Ballet
Santa Barbara Choral Society

If you wish to opt out of this type of collaborative marketing effort, please contact us and ask that your mailing address information be used exclusively by the Santa Barbara Symphony. Other than this specified and limited joint marketing effort, your personal information will not be shared with any other external organization or entity.

4. Special contests and sponsored events

The Santa Barbara Symphony may occasionally present a special contest or promotion on thesymphony.org that is sponsored by another company. To qualify for entry, we may ask you to provide personal information. If we have any plans to share that information with the sponsor(s), we will make this intention clear in our promotional information so you may elect not to enter.

5. Financial Information Privacy

The Santa Barbara Symphony will protect any personal financial information that you share with us. If you make a purchase on the Santa Barbara Symphony website, we will use your credit card number only to process your payment and will not use it for marketing purposes. For reasons of security, credit card information is not stored on our Web server. We will retain order information for our records, but this information is never shared with third parties.

6. Links

Our site may include links to other websites. We do not control the privacy policies of the destination sites. Once you leave our servers (you can check where you are by checking the URL in the location bar on your browser), use of any information you provide is governed by the privacy policy of the operator of the site you are visiting. That policy may differ from ours. If you can’t find the privacy policy of any of these sites via a link from the site’s homepage, you should contact the manager of that site for more information. The Santa Barbara Symphony is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of websites other than thesymphony.org.

7. Children

We do not solicit personal information from children. Pages specifically geared toward children will not request any personal or contact information.

8. Contact Us / How to update your personal information

You can help the Santa Barbara Symphony maintain the accuracy of your personal information by notifying us when you change your address, title, phone number, or e-mail address. Contact us via the information on the thesymphony.org contacts page if you wish to update your information or if you no longer wish to receive communications from the Santa Barbara Symphony, our partners, or selected third parties. Please include both your old and new contact information so that we can make the appropriate corrections.

9. Legal Disclaimer

Although we make every effort to protect and assure user privacy, we may need to disclose personal information when required by law. If we are required by court order or legal process to disclose your personal information, we will make every effort to advise you so that you may object to disclosure. To the extent possible, we will object to disclosure on your behalf and seek to limit the use of such information.

The Santa Barbara Symphony invites your comments or questions about this privacy policy. Please send them to our address listed above. The Santa Barbara Symphony may occasionally update this policy. Notice of revisions will be posted here.


Careers & Auditions





One of most beautiful cities in California, Santa Barbara has the arts and culture of a big city with the hospitality and charm of a small, coastal town. Beyond the city’s picture-perfect scenery, Santa Barbara is a haven for classical music lovers, hosting several performing arts venues, a symphony orchestra, and many non-profit classical musical groups. The art galleries, world-class museums, and historic theaters create a thriving arts scene in downtown Santa Barbara, ranked as one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live. 


To apply to this position, please submit your cover letter and resume to Kevin A. Marvin, President and CEO at jobs@thesymphony.org. Please specify you’re applying to General Manager position at the Santa Barbara Symphony.




Auditions for the 19-20 season are complete.  Please check back in the late Spring for future audition dates.

Questions? Please contact ryansbso@gmail.com

An Equal Opportunity Employer
It is the policy of the Santa Barbara Symphony Association to provide all persons with equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, disability, age or Veteran status.




Kathryn R. Martin
Interim CEO

Kimberly Kebler
Executive Assistant 

Artistic Administration

Tina Kane
Production Manager 

Ryan Sweeney
Personnel Manager 

Brent Anderson
Orchestra Librarian 


Michael Mariano
Development and Database Manager 


Elizabeth Cutright

Marketing Manager

Warren Giles
Patron and Marketing Associate 

Education and Community Engagement

Kristine Pacheco 
Education Programs Manager 

Music Education Center Personnel

Andy Radford
Youth Symphony Conductor

Marisa McLeod
Philharmonia and Camerata Conductor

Marie Hebert
Philharmonia and Camerata Personnel Manager 

Kristi Holstein
Youth Symphony Personnel Manager 

Webmail login | CIO cloud login


Board of Directors

Santa Barbara Symphony 2019-2020 Board of Directors

Janet Garufis, Chair of the Board
Dan Burnham, Governance Chair
Christopher Harris, Treasurer
Michelle Richardson, Secretary
Kate Parker, Education Chair

Mashey Bernstein
Sarah Chrisman
Stephen Erickson
Don Gilman, Ed.D *
Renee Grubb
Sam Hedgpeth
Pamela Johnston
George Konstantinow, Ph.D.
Allen Mask
Dylan Minor
Catherine Remak
Howard J. Smith
Steve Thompson
Dr. Robert W. Weinman


Ex-Officio Directors
Nir Kabaretti, Music & Artistic Director
Kathryn R. Martin, Interim CEO
Don Foster, Musician, Orchestra Representative


Board Access

Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra  Association 2019–2020

Honorary Board of Directors
Richard Aberle **
Leni Fe Bland **
James H. Franzen
Connie O'Shaughnessy Los
Terrie Mershon
Mrs. Raymond King Myerson
Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree
Norman Sosner *
Marilynn L. Sullivan
Anne Smith Towbes
Michael Towbes **

Board Member Emeritus
David Chernof
Patricia Gregory
Gillian Launie
Arthur Swalley

Past  Presidents’ Council
Norman Sosner  1992-97
Evan Collins  1997-2000
Helene Beaver  2000-2002
Linda Hedgepeth 2002-2004   
Marsha Wayne **  2004-2005
Charles Greene, Ph.D.  2005-2007 
Gillian Launie  2007-2010            
Stefan Riesenfeld  2010-2012      
Paksy Plackis-Cheng  2012-2014       
Arthur Swalley  2014-2017        
Don Gilman*  2017-2019

Endowment  Trustees

Gregg Hackethal – Lead Trustee
Sandra Chan
James H. Franzen 
Douglas McCartney
A.C.  Moore
Brett Moore
Arthur Swalley 

** In Memoriam
* Immediate Past President


The Orchestra


    Mrs. Raymond King Myerson String Section Sponsor
Jessica Guideri, Concertmaster
    Tom & Christina Frisina Musician Sponsor
Elizabeth Hedman, Associate Concertmaster
Ina Veli, Assistant Concertmaster
Ryo Usami, Principal Second Violin
     Karen Lee Schipp Chair
Yue Deng, Assistant Principal Second Violin
Ji Young An
Szu-Yun Chiu
Yaeri Choi
Kyle Gilner

Zlata Grekov
Amy Hagen
Rebecca Chung Hamilton
Sahak Karapetyan
Andrew Kwon

Claude-Lise LaFranque
     Norman Sosner Chair, endowed by Michael Towbes
Calvin Lewis
Bethany Mennemeyer
Lauren Mindoro
Stephanie Pak

Linda Stone
Jacqueline Suzuki
Jeanne Ullom
    Marilyn Gilbert Musician Sponsor
     Eli & Leatrice Luria Chair
Steven Zander
Hanna Zhdan
Adriana Zoppo


Erik Rynearson, Principal
Phillip Triggs, Assistant Principal
Alan Busteed
     Mrs. Robert B. Eichholz Chair
Diane Gilbert
     Pat & Terry Straehhley Musician Sponsor
Gherman Markosian
Laury Woods
Hyeree Yu


Trevor Handy, Principal
    Geoffrey Rutkowski Chair
Jonathan Flaksman, Assistant Principal
    Barbara H. Burger Chair
    Dr. Robert W. Weinman Musician Sponsor

Paula Fehrenbach
Patricia Garvey
Ira Glansbeek
Jacqueline Greenshields
Isaac Pastor-Chermak
    Peter Morris Musician Sponsor


Samuel Shuhan, Principal
    Charles R. & Barbara B. Greene Musician Sponsor
Neil Garber, Assistant Principal Bass
    Léni Fé Bland Chair
Ryan Baird
James Bergman
Brianna Goldberg
Thomas Harte


Vacant, Principal
    Nina Franklin Liff Chair
Jamie Pedrini
    Jan Davis-Hadley Musician Sponsor


Katherine Marsh


     Nancy & Fred Golden Oboe Section Sponsor
Lara Wickes, Principal
Jennifer Cullinan

English Horn

Sarah Beck


Donald T. Foster, Principal
    Conway Family Chair
Juan Gallegos

Bass Clarinet

James Sullivan


Andy Radford, Principal
    Dick & Ann Zylstra Musician Sponsor
Dana Jackson


Leslie Lashinsky


TJ Locker Brass Section Sponsor

Teag Reaves, Principal
Stephanie Stetson
Sarah Bach
    Rose E. Brunner Chair
Vacant, 4th Horn


Jon Lewis, Principal
     Ethel L. Shopen Chair
Dustin McKinney
Miles McAllister


Dillon MacIntyre, Principal
Brad Close

Bass Trombone

Rudi Hoehn
    Wesner/Hoehn Family Musician Sponsor


Lukas Storm, Principal
    Percy Sales & Ross Beardsley Musician Sponsor


Mark Zimoski, Principal


Eduardo Meneses, Principal


Michelle Temple, Principal


Natasha Kislenko, Principal
     Kathryn R. & Peter Martin Musician Sponsor


Music & Artistic Director

Nir Kabaretti, Music & Artistic Director

The John M. and Linda L. Hedgepeth Conductor’s Podium

Official website: nirkabaretti.com

Internationally acclaimed conductor Nir Kabaretti's artistic reach continues to expand across the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, thrilling audiences with his dynamic conducting style and vast knowledge in all facets of musical performing arts. Upcoming engagements include a return to the Opera in Rome, Italy, recording with the London Philharmonic orchestra, a production of Don Giovanni with the Bogota Philharmonic in Colombia, and a debut with the Santa Fe Symphony. In 2018, Kabaretti was appointed Music Director of the Israel Sinfonietta Be'er Sheva while continuing his tenure with the Southwest Florida Symphony.

Maestro Kabaretti has worked with some of the world’s most sought-after musicians, in leading opera houses, and has led renowned orchestras. Some of his most well-known collaborators include Lang Lang, Placido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Repin and Hélène Grimaud.

Kabaretti keeps a busy international conducting schedule. Notable appearances include the Israel, Tokyo, Rochester, Zagreb and Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestras, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestra del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Orchestra Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, Orchestre Philharmonie Royale de Liège, Philadelphia and Vienna Chamber Orchestras, National Taiwan, Haifa and Israel Rishon Le Tzion Symphony Orchestras, Orquestas Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, de Madrid, and de Gran Canaria, Orquestres National du Theatre du Capitole de Toulouse and de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestras del Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova and Petruzzelli di Bari, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “La Verdi,” Real Orchesta Sinfònica de Sevilla and the Bochumer Symphoniker.

Kabaretti’s operatic and ballet experience includes productions at Teatro alla Scala di Milano, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Real, The Israeli Opera, Opéra de Lausanne, Avenches Festival, The New National Theatre in Tokyo, The Bregenz Festival and Expo 2000 in Hannover, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, the Caracalla Roman Bath, and in 2019 Nir debuted at the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago Italy, with Madame Butterfly.

Upon graduation from the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Kabaretti was appointed Chorus Master of the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival and early in his career was assistant to the Music Director of Teatro Real in Madrid and Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Maestro Kabaretti received the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Grant for Young Conductors and won the Forum Junger Künstler Conducting Competition in 1993. In 1994 he was among the finalists in the International Competition for Conductors in Douai, France.



Santa Barbara Symphony History and Mission

Our Mission

To enrich our community by creating powerful musical experiences performed with passion and excellence, and by providing indispensable music education and community engagement.

Our History

The Santa Barbara Symphony was founded in 1953 on the belief that a special city deserves a special orchestra. Consistently lauded for its unique ability to present brilliant concerts, engage the community, and deliver dynamic music education programs, the organization prizes both innovation and artistic excellence and is widely recognized as one of the region’s premier cultural institutions. Its award-winning Music Education Center serves 9,000 students in Santa Barbara County with regular programming and as many as 10,800 students through special programming each year. Charismatic Israeli conductor Nir Kabaretti was appointed music and artistic director of the Santa Barbara Symphony in 2006.

The Symphony gave its first concert on December 12, 1953 at the Lobero Theatre under the baton of Belgian cellist Adolphe Frezin. It was a modest start for a community orchestra.

By 1961, plenty of people were enjoying the concerts under the direction of the Symphony’s first full-time Music Director, renowned pianist and conductor Erno Daniel (1960-1967). The orchestra outgrew the intimate Lobero Theatre and began to play at the Granada Theatre. Ronald Ondrejka (1967-1979) succeeded Daniel and served as music director through twelve seasons of continuous artistic improvement.

In 1976, the Symphony moved to the Arlington Theatre, which had just undergone a substantial renovation. Opening night at the Arlington Theatre featured king of swing Benny Goodman, who performed as clarinet soloist with the orchestra in a concert of classical and jazz. Goodman was just one of many internationally recognized soloists to have played with the Symphony over the years. Others who graced the stage: world renowned cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, Grammy-winners, violinist Hilary Hahn and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, brilliant violinist Augustin Hadelich, as well as two famed Santa Barbara violinists: Nina Bodnar and Gilles Apap, both of whom served as concertmaster and soloist with the orchestra. The Santa Barbara Symphony has debuted the works of acclaimed contemporary composers: Sergio Assad, Jennifer Higdon, Aaron Jay Kernis, Luis Bacalov and more. Legendary Hollywood composer Elmer Bernstein was one of several composers-in-residence throughout the years.

In 1979, Frank Collura took over as Symphony conductor (1979-1984). During his four seasons as conductor, he added a new dimension of freshness and enthusiasm to the orchestra, and elicited a new level of discipline and performance from the musicians.

Varujan Kojian (1985-1993) took the podium in 1985, bringing unmatched international experience as well as winning charm, ushering in an era of distinguished artistry. The Symphony matured into one of the country’s most respected regional ensembles.

In 1989, the Santa Barbara Symphony was chosen as one of only three orchestras in the United States to receive an Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. This grant funded the Symphony’s first Strategic Plan (1991), which addressed challenges associated with the expansion of its programs. The Plan paved the way to a seven-concert subscription series, free Patriotic Fourth of July Concerts in the Sunken Garden, and an annual New Year’s Eve Pops Concert that has become a cherished Santa Barbara tradition. Having accomplished so much during a tragically curtailed tenure, Maestro Kojian passed away in 1993 following a battle with cancer, and Santa Barbara lost a “world-class conductor of elegance and grace.”

Gisèle Ben-Dor (1994-2006) succeeded Kojian in 1994, and put the Symphony on the map with several acclaimed recordings. She also started the Symphony’s community music festivals, which continue today as the successful International Guitar and Percussion Festivals.

After a two-year international search for excellence, Nir Kabaretti became the Music Director in 2006 and Artistic Director in 2008. In October 2008, Kabaretti led the Santa Barbara Symphony into a new era at the lovingly restored Granada Theatre.

Maestro Kabaretti has established an outstanding international reputation conducting major orchestras such as The Israel Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica di Buenos Aires, and more. Born in Israel, Maestro Kabaretti graduated from the prestigious University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Kabaretti has worked as coach and chorus master at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He also has been assistant to the music director at the Teatro Real in Madrid and conductor and personal assistant to maestro Zubin Mehta at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Italy.

For over 60 years, Santa Barbarans driven by passion and dedication to sharing excellence with others have been the backbone of the Symphony’s vision. The long-term investment in artistic excellence has paid tremendous dividends. Increasing production values, attracting talented soloists and retaining high-caliber musicians is crucial to inspiring audiences, and it’s clear this community craves the highest quality concerts and that our children can be moved by the power of music. Santa Barbara Symphony is deepening its roots and expanding its appeal. As we move into a new era, it is our intention to make world-class music a part of the cultural life of Santa Barbara County; to ensure that all members of the community are aware of Symphony programs; to create opportunities for all community members to participate in Symphony activities; to diversify the Symphony audience; and to build a financial foundation that enables us to operate with greater tolerance for artistic risk and ever greater focus on artistic excellence.

We believe that we live in a special community and that Santa Barbara deserves a special Symphony – the Santa Barbara Symphony.