Articles in Press
Best of Santa Barabara
November 07, 2018
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For Artistic Director, Ball is Well On Music
October 09, 2018
by Steven Libowitz
If the Santa Barbara Symphony were an individual, it would have just qualified to start collecting Social Security. But instead of kicking back and resting on its laurels at age 65, hunkering down reminiscing over good times from a rocking chair, the orchestral organization is instead amping up its ambitions in just about every way, from fundraising to outreach and programming.
Not that the Santa Barbara Symphony doesn’t have a lot to be proud of in its past, a history that includes its humble beginnings as a community orchestra, through the Arujan Kojian era, when the conductor’s international experience led to a measured growth of the ensemble’s artistry, to the current artistic director, Nir Kabaretti, who signed on in 2006 as the ensemble’s sixth music director and two years later led the Santa Barbara Symphony into a new era at the newly restored Granada Theatre.
Along the way, the organization has seen an explosive expansion in its professionalism, as open seats have become highly sought-after by top music school graduates and experienced players. “Our artistic product has vastly improved just since I’ve been here,” said Kabaretti, who has overseen a sizeable changeover in chairs during his tenure. “I’m very happy with our roster right now, and it just keeps getting better.”
[Noozhawk] Santa Barbara Symphony Highlights Beauty in Mahler’s ‘Tragic’ Piece
April 24, 2018
The Santa Barbara Symphony’s Sunday matinee performance of Gustav Mahler’sturn-of-the-20th-century epic Symphony No. 6 in A Minor, “Tragic” captured and expressed the reputed power of the work.
Paradox and conflict, suffering and grace permeate the entire symphony.
Apparently, it engenders the same: Ongoing critical argument about the correct order of the movements influenced the programs. The order of the second and third movements were reversed on Saturday and Sunday.
The first movement allegro was epic by itself. None of the 102 musicians on stage stayed in the background.
[Independent] S.B. Symphony Takes On Mahler’s 6th
April 18, 2018
Weekend Program Highlights Composer’s Epic Vision
It’s not something that happens often when it comes to the orchestral repertoire, but this weekend, the Santa Barbara Symphony will play a well-known, major piece that it has never played before. After 64 years of programming, the group will finally get around to performing the Symphony No. 6 in A Minor of Gustav Mahler this Saturday-Sunday, and it is no small undertaking — obviously part of the reason we haven’t heard it live here before. With a full roster of 102 musicians onstage and a length of approximately 80 minutes, the so-called tragic symphony will be presented alone and without intermission.
[Noozhawk] Santa Barbara Symphony Salutes Bernstein with All-American Tribute
March 02, 2018
The Santa Barbara Symphony has performed some dynamite concerts under the leadership of Music and Artistic Director Nir Kabaretti this season, but the "Bernstein & Americana" pair Feb. 17-18 at the Granada Theatre kicked up a particularly satisfying vibe that likely gave most in the audience a buzz for a couple of days.
The program primarily focused on a wide-ranging travelogue of the music of Leonard Bernstein in celebration of the composer’s 100th birthday. Also featured were works by American composers Aaron Copland and Santa Barbara’s Robin Frost. Pianist Natasha Kislenko, principal keyboardist with the symphony and a major musical presence in this community, performed the world premiere of Frost’s Piano Concerto, and symphony principals Jon Lewis on trumpet and Sarah Beck on English horn paired for Copland’s haunting Quiet City for Strings, Trumpet and English Horn.
[Voice Magazine] Celebrating Leonard Bernstein and the Great American Songbook
February 16, 2018
It's not often the worlds of music, dance, and theater come together as one to celebrate the life and art of a single person. All around the globe 2018 is the Leonard Bernstein year, marking the composer’s 100th birthday with performances of his music for the concert and Broadway stages in cities large and small.
The Santa Barbara Symphony’s pair of concerts at the Granada Theatre this weekend on Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm will salute Bernstein’s music, while also honoring his passion for new music with the world premiere of local composer Robin Frost’s Piano Concerto, featuring the orchestra’s house pianist, Natasha Kislenko.