Santa Barbara Symphony Education Programs Hit High Note in 2015

May 12, 2015

The Santa Barbara Symphony is harnessing centuries of classical music to develop local youth into 21st-century leaders.

The symphony’s education programs, now designated as the Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education Center, uses a sequential set of programs to take students from their first effort experimenting with an instrument through performing at a high level in its Youth Symphony. The symphony’s Music Education Center reached a record 5,046 students this school year.

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The 35th Santa Barbara Half-Marathon

May 11, 2015


Click here to register for the race

The 35th Santa Barbara Half-Marathon will benefit the Santa Barbara Symphony's Music Education Center!

For more information, please visit

Junior Strings and Youth Symphony Spring 2015 Concerts

April 20, 2015

The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony and Junior Strings would like to invite you to their Spring Concerts!

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[Independent] Angels in America

April 16, 2015

The Santa Barbara Symphony with Philippe Quint, violin. At the Granada Theatre, Saturday, April 11

This excellent concert showed the Santa Barbara Symphony at its best not only musically but also as a civic institution capable of responding to and acknowledging its audience. Before the music began, Sara Miller McCune made a rare appearance onstage alongside Maestro Nir Kabaretti to dedicate the program to her close friend, the late Léni Fé Bland. “I met Léni at the Santa Barbara Symphony,” said McCune, leaving the many friends and admirers of Fé Bland and the Symphony in the audience to consider the depth of feeling conveyed by McCune’s observation. McCune went on to describe Fé Bland’s impact on Santa Barbara as a “gift from the Old World to the New World,” calling attention to one aspect of the program that was devoted to works written by composers who emigrated to the United States.

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[News-Press] Local violinist’s new world triumph

April 11, 2015

When it comes to an inaugural performance with a symphony orchestra, seldom has a debut been as serendipitous as Montecito-raised Calyssa Davidson's first appearance with the Santa Barbara Symphony this weekend.

Currently on a fleeting visit to Santa Barbara from London, where the violinist is studying for a double master's degree at the Royal College of Music, Ms. Davidson has been invited to perform with the Santa Barbara Symphony as part of this weekend's "New World" program at the Granada Theatre.

The symphony's performances today and Sunday feature a program incorporating the work of three composers, Karen Tanaka, Erich Korngold and Antonin Dvor·k, and will be dedicated to the late philanthropist, Leni Fé Bland. Ms. Davidson's participation is particularly fitting given her connection with the local arts patron.

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[Scene Magazine] Exploring symphonic shores and worlds

April 10, 2015

This weekend's Santa Barbara Symphony program features Dvorak's "New World" Symphony and guest soloist, violinist Philippe Quint

For this weekend's installment in the ongoing Santa Barbara Symphony season, an ocean-crossing, geo-musical plot provides narrative logic. For the orchestra's main event in the concert, maestro Nir Kabaretti leads the ensemble in that beloved and healthy old warhorse, Dvorák's "New World" Symphony, an expression of affection the great 19th-century Czech composer felt for the world that was the America he lived in for a spell.

Opening the concert, the Tokyo-born Japanese-American composer Karen Tanaka's "Guardian Angel," written in 2000, for clarinet, harp, percussion and string orchestra, represents the realm of the living composer, with a Japanese perspective.

But perhaps the most intriguing work on the program comes equipped with a strong German-Hollywood connection. For the concerto portion of the concert, the respected Russian-born but long U.S.-based violinist Philippe Quint returns to Santa Barbara to play a piece he has helped to champion, the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Korngold was part of a wave of gifted European composers drawn to the early stage of "sound pictures" in Hollywood, led there by the lure of high-paying and public-exposed composition work, and as an escape route from the brewing storm clouds of Nazi dread back home.

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