Santa Barbara Symphony News

Guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas to Serve as the Symphony’s Inaugural Artist-in-Residence

October 16, 2017

Virtuoso will perform at the Granada Theatre and participate in community programming during the coming season.

Santa Barbara, CA — Classical guitar virtuoso Pablo Sáinz Villegas, whose charismatic stage presence and formidable technique have dazzled audiences throughout much of the world, will headline a pair of concerts at the Granada Theatre and take part in multiple community outreach events as the Santa Barbara Symphony’s inaugural artist-in-residence during the 2017-18 season. Mr. Villegas, who captivated local audiences in a pair of electrifying concerts to conclude the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2015-16 season, will rejoin the orchestra for Joaquín Rodrigo’s sensuous Concierto de Aranjuez as well as Isaac Albéniz’s evocative Souvenirs of Spain at the Granada Theatre on November 18 and 19. He will also perform a solo concert at the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara on November 16, and present educational programs for area children at The Granada on January 18 and 19. Additional events are being planned.

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[Scene Magazine] Mozart in Choreographic Motion

October 13, 2017


As happened before, the Santa Barbara Symphony will be dancing its way into a new season this weekend in an all-Mozart program. Two years ago, the Symphony kicked off its new season wiht a version of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana," in one of its collaborations with State Street Ballet. In past seasons, the local art institutions have also met up on the terrain of Stravinsky's "Firebird" and Copland's "Appalachian Spring." 

The organizations will meet up again at the Granada stage this weekend, but on a less-expected music-dance theme: a newly choreographed ballet by William Soleau, based on Mozart's "Requiem." Late period Amadeus is the musical meat of the program's matter. Along with the "Requiem," Mozart's celebrated final--and unfinished--work, the Symphony's music director Nir Kabaretti will also lead the orchestra in a performance of Mozart's majestic, final symphony, the No. 41 ("Jupiter").

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[Independent] Diving into ‘Mozart in Dance’

October 13, 2017

Santa Barbara Symphony and State Street Ballet Stage Mozart’s ‘Requiem’

The grand final work of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his Requiem K. 626, shows the composer as an acute observer of human behavior and an incomparable master of musical form. His cantabile style had been honed to gleaming perfection in such works as The Magic Flute and Così Fan Tutti, yet the serious subject and the composer’s even more serious condition bring out a depth of feeling that distinguishes this celebration of the Mass from his operatic works. On Saturday, October 14, and Sunday, October 15, the Santa Barbara Symphony and State Street Ballet will present an ambitious new dance version of Mozart’s Requiem featuring original choreography by William Soleau, a professional chorus of approximately 80 singers, and a quartet of top vocal soloists: Jeanette Vecchione-Donatti, soprano; Nina Yoshida Nelsen, mezzo; Benjamin Bliss, tenor; and DeAndre Simmons, bass. Although maestro Nir Kabaretti freely admitted that “pairing dancing with a Catholic mass is highly original, to say the least,” choreographer Soleau assured us that the Requiem is actually “the most frequently choreographed work by Mozart, thanks to its sublime music.”

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SB Symphony to Open New Season with a Spectacular All-Mozart Program and a Ballet World Premiere

September 26, 2017

Concerts on October 14 and 15 will feature a collaboration with State Street Ballet and renowned choreographer William Soleau.

Santa Barbara, CA — The Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Nir Kabaretti, will assemble singers and dancers from throughout the region for an extraordinary all-Mozart concert – including a ballet world premiere – to open its 2017-18 season on Saturday, October 14. Featuring Mozart’s miraculous final symphony and his famed Requiem, the latter augmented with a new work by renowned choreographer William Soleau, the concert will take place at 8 pm, followed by an encore performance at 3 pm on Sunday, October 15. Performances will take place at the Granada Theatre, 1214 State Street in Santa Barbara. Priced from $29, tickets can be purchased at or through the Granada box office, (805) 899-2222.

“Pairing dancing with a Catholic mass is highly original to say the least,” said Maestro Kabaretti, entering his 12th season as the Santa Barbara Symphony’s music director. “There are cultures in which dance is an accepted, even integral, part of funeral rites, and inspired by that I thought it would be fascinating to have dancers join us for Mozart’s Requiem. The Requiem is Mozart’s last piece of music, and combined with his final symphony (the “Jupiter”) represents Mozart at his best. And for the first time ever, we have auditioned and selected chorus members specifically for this project.”

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Santa Barbara Symphony Single Tickets on Sale September 15

September 13, 2017

New season will open October 14 in collaboration with State Street Ballet and renowned choreographer William Soleau. Subscriptions remain available.

Santa Barbara, CA — Single tickets for the Santa Barbara Symphony’s highly anticipated 2017-18 season will go on sale at 10 am on Friday, September 15. The orchestra will present a total of nine compelling programs over the course of its coming season, which opens October 14 with an extraordinary all-Mozart concert featuring a ballet world premiere. Performances take place at the Granada Theatre, 1214 State Street in Santa Barbara. Priced from $29, tickets can be purchased at or through the Granada box office, (805) 899-2222. Complete season program information is available online at

Priced from $65, subscriptions remain available and provide the best value. Subscribers save as much as 40 percent off single-ticket prices and receive special benefits throughout the season. To order subscriptions, visit or call (805) 898-9386.

“We are very proud of this season’s program and expect demand for tickets to be quite strong. In fact, our first concerts of 2017-18 are already generating considerable excitement in the community,” said Santa Barbara Symphony Executive Director Kevin A. Marvin.

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KZSB AM 1290 Music Education Center Interview

July 28, 2017

Music Van docent Mary Jane Cooper and Santa Barbara Youth Symphony Music Director Andy Radford appeared on the Elizabeth Stewart Show on KZSB AM 1290 and talked about the Music Education Center.