Santa Barbara Symphony News

[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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[Montecito Journal] Quint and Korngold

April 09, 2015

When then Santa Barbara Symphony decided to pay tribute to America's influence on composers around the world with Korngold's Violin Concerto No. 1 as the centerpiece, Philippe Quint was the obvious choice for soloist. The oft-Grammy nominated Russian-American violinist has made the piece one of his repertoire staples and is on record as championing the concerto's brilliance. Quint talked via email about the Korngold, which sits between modern Japanese-American composer Karen Tanaka's "Guardian Angel" and Czech composer Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World") on this weekend's concert at the Granada.

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[Independent] Violinist Chad Hoopes Gave Audiences an Impression of Spain

March 19, 2015

Cultures can be experienced and assessed directly, yet sometimes a more revealing approach is to listen for echoes from the outside. Sure, you will find caricatures and distortions, but you might also find a wisely naïve discernment of spirit. Santa Barbara Symphony’s program Impressions of Spain accordingly was weighted toward the aroma of Spain from nonnative sources: the Romantic imaginations of Frenchmen Édouard Lalo (1823-1892) and Jules Massenet (1842-1912) and Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908).

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Antioch in Conversation with Nir Kabaretti

March 18, 2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Community Hall at Antioch University (602 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara)
Free event

Maestro Nir Kabaretti, Music and Artistic Director for the Santa Barbara Symphony, will speak at Antioch University Santa Barbara as the next featured guest in the “Antioch In Conversation” series on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, from 4:30 to 6pm.

Kabaretti will discuss a variety of subjects – including topics related to conductors, musicians, symphonies, and opera companies. Newly appointed Symphony Executive Director David Pratt will introduce Kabaretti and also explain issues facing regional symphonies such as Santa Barbara’s. The audience will be able to mingle with Kabaretti and Pratt at a pre-program reception, with light refreshments beginning at 4:30 p.m. in the AUSB Community Hall. Both will participate in an audience Q&A session at the end of the evening.

Born in Israel, Kabaretti has built an impressive résumé in both symphonic and operatic styles across the globe. He showed musical talent at an early age, studying first at the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University and then at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

After graduating, Kabaretti was appointed chorus master at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. In 2002, he was named Principal Conductor of Israel’s Raanana Symphonette Orchestra before joining the Santa Barbara Symphony. Kabaretti also has served as the Music Director for the Southwest Florida Symphony since 2012.

The maestro has worked with some of the biggest names in music, including Lang Lang, Placido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman, and Hélène Grimaud. Kabaretti also has been selected to serve as guest conductor for orchestras around the world: Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, just to name a few.

[David Pratt] Kabaretti also has an operatic background that has featured his work on productions with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Real in Madrid, Opéra de Lausanne, The New National Theatre in Tokyo, Opera Santa Barbara, and more.

Australian native David Pratt recently joined the Santa Barbara Symphony as Executive Director after serving in the same position for the Savannah Philharmonic. Pratt also has held senior positions for the G’Day USA Festival connecting the U.S. and Australia, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Festival of Chamber of Music, and the Melbourne Film Office for the State of Victoria.

The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and available on a first-come basis.