Santa Barbara Symphony News

[Scene Magazine] Closing with a Grand Concerto and a Grand Cellist

May 16, 2014

Cellist Sara Sant'Ambrogio solos in the Santa Barbara Symphony's season-closing program, with a Dvorak Concerto

If the name Sara Sant'Ambrogio rings a bell with classical music fans, it is most likely in her best-known context and co-brainchild, as one-third of the all-female chamber music sensation, the Eroica Trio. Going back to the early '90s, this impressive piano trio — which has played in Santa Barbara in years past — has dazzled critics and audiences alike, and effectively helped to break down stubborn gender barriers, while not incidentally also making no attempt to sidestep the feminine beauty factor of the participants.

This weekend, as part of the Santa Barbara Symphony's season-closing program, Ms. Sant'Ambrogio shifts roles when she appears as the spotlight-centered soloist, while working with a vastly larger ensemble. She will take on the beloved Dvorak Concert for Cello, in a diverse set of music, also including the piece "Akeda (The Sacrifice of Isaac)" by Noam Sheriff (a mentor of the orchestra's maestro Nir Kabaretti), and Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony to end the show, and an all-around fine season.


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[CASA Magazine] Cellist Sara Sant’Ambrogio’s Dvořák

May 09, 2014

Grammy Award-Winning cellist Sara Sant'Ambrogio comes from a distinguished musical family. "I always say it was either destiny or density that made me become a cellist," she told me from Nashville, during a recent conversation. "My grandparents were both professional musicians. The best man at my grandparents wedding was Joesph Gingold, the great violin pedagogue.

He played in a string quartete with my grandfather. And my grandmother was a phenomenal concert pianist, a protege of Arthur Rubinstein. My father played both violin and piano, but really didn't find his footing until he switched to the cello, an instrument neither of his parents played."


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[Montecito Journal] Coup De Grace: Aglow with Culture

May 08, 2014

We have friends with season symphony tickets, and it's not humanly possible for them to make every singel performance. So every now and then, we're offered their unused tickets.

I'm always ressitant to the idea of getting dressed up and heading downtown on a Saturday night. I'm not sure when going out for the evening began sounding like a chore, but it might've coincided with the popularity of the book, Being an Introvert is the New Black. I ask myself, "Why can't I just stay home with the terriers and listen to YouTube music videos?"

However, my husband loves going to the symphony. And every time I go, I end up loving it, too. So wer'e both very grateful for this nudge toward culture.


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In Memoriam

May 07, 2014

Gloria J. Autry
1934 - 2014

Having joined the Santa Barbara Symphony only two years after its founding 61 years ago, violinist Gloria Autry passed away on Saturday, May 3, 2014, just two weeks before what would have been her last professional concert. She had announced her plans to retire at the end of this season. Her inimitable devotion to her musical family at the Symphony, as well as her innumerable other civic and musical contributions, makes her passing all the more deeply felt.

Maestro Nir Kabaretti has said on many occasions that Gloria always arrived at the rehearsals incredibly well prepared. She missed only one concert last year, following a fall that would have sidelined most professional musicians for months.

Gloria was ever smiling, never complaining and always offering other musicians and fellow Santa Barbarans her support, assistance and overwhelming generosity of spirit.

Gloria would most probably have wanted us to celebrate her life in music and remember her "glorious-ly" playing her violin. The same violin she played when she began with the Santa Barbara Symphony in 1955.

Gloria will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.


[Casa Magazine] Got Rhythm?

April 18, 2014

One of the freshest Santa Barbara Symphony programs this season filled the Granada Theatre with energy during last weekend's Saturday night performance. The house was nearly full for Darius Milhaud's "The Creation of the World," written for 1920s jazz orchestra, followed by Aaron Copland's Clarinet Concerto, which uses only strings and harp as backup, but is also infused with jazz. After intermission, Beethoven's eternally exciting Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 brought the evening to a delightfully rhythmic close.


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Howard Jay Smith Joins Santa Barbara Symphony Planned Giving Committee

April 18, 2014

Howard Jay Smith has been named to the Santa Barbara Symphony Planned Giving Committee.

“I have been a lifelong fan of classical music,” said Smith.

The Santa Barbara Symphony maintains a permanent endowment fund to secure the orchestra’s artistic, cultural and educational programs for future seasons. As a committee member, Smith will help Director of Development Pamela Perkins-Dwyer ensure the symphony’s endowment stays healthy.


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