Santa Barbara Symphony News

[Scene Magazine] New Year’s Eve in rhapsodic blue

December 26, 2014

The Santa Barbara Symphony's annual New Year's Eve concert includes Gershwin's great 'Rhapsody in Blue,' with piano virtuoso Michael Chertock

One time each year, and in the waning hours of one year before it yields to the next, the Santa Barbara Symphony has made a habit of going pops. And that's a good thing.

During the rest of the symphony's season, the focus remains on the serious business of concert music and classical traditions, with a few light-hearted touches along the way. But the symphony's now 20-plus-year tradition of putting on the New Year's Eve ritz — early enough to allow for later "Auld Lang Syne-ing" — is the orchestra's way of dipping into the stuff of pops programming, mixed in with sneaky touches of the deeper, more sophisticated stuff for good symphonic measure. Normally staid and proper patrons of the symphonic arts are known to cut loose and misbehave on this night, while the band plays on.

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[Independent] Santa Barbara Symphony Rings in New Year

December 24, 2014

Annual Pops Concert Closes Out 2014 with Rhapsody in Blue

Disguised in sparkly New Year’s Eve costumes as crowd-pleasing programs of light fare, the Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Pops concerts are actually stimulating sources of thought-provoking party music. Taking an approach that’s grounded in the history of the orchestral “Pops” repertoire in America, and of the groundbreaking Boston Pops in particular, Maestro Robert Bernhardt illustrates and emphasizes what’s interesting about a wide range of musical styles, even as he teases the festive audience with goofy puns and witty allusions.

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Santa Barbara Symphony Appoints New Executive Director

December 18, 2014

For Immediate Release
Press Contact:  Kelly Kapaun/Juliana Minsky, 805/687-3322

Santa Barbara, CA, December 18, 2014 – After an extensive nationwide search, the Santa Barbara Symphony is pleased to announce the appointment of David Pratt as its new Executive Director. Pratt will assume his duties on March 2, 2015. David Pratt, a native of Australia, has over 15 years of successful management experience in leadership roles across the performing arts, film, and entertainment sectors in the United States and Australia. Prior to joining the Santa Barbara Symphony, Pratt acted as Executive Director for the Savannah Philharmonic, where he delivered substantial increases in audience numbers, donations, and corporate support, producing annual surpluses above targets and introducing new and engaging programs and events.

“After a thorough strategic planning and search process, the Santa Barbara Symphony is thrilled to welcome David Pratt as our new Executive Director,” said Arthur Swalley, Santa Barbara Symphony Board President. “We are proud to bring in a great new leader to build on our current artistic and operational excellence. Even more importantly, Mr. Pratt is uniquely qualified to lead the Symphony in our next stages of growth. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Pratt to the Symphony family.”

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Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Pops Concert — From Broadway to Hollywood

December 09, 2014

Ring in 2015 with the Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Pops Concert!

On Wednesday, Dec. 31 from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Granada Theatre, the symphony presents special guest conductor Robert Bernhardt. Back by popular demand, Bernhardt will conduct an array of favorites from Broadway, Hollywood and much more.

Bernhardt is in his 33rd season as the principal pops director of the Louisville Orchestra, music director emeritus of the Chattanooga Symphony and a favorite at the Boston Pops — America’s premier Pops orchestra. Party hats and noisemakers will be available for all.

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Thanks for coming out to 1st Thursday: After Hours!

December 05, 2014

We had so much fun at the Downtown Organization's 1st Thursday: After Hours event hosted by the Granada Theatre this month. Our award-winning Music Van was there for everyone to try out various orchestral instruments, and it was a huge hit! We even had a spontaneous jam session!

Thanks everyone for coming out and making some music with us!

[Scene Magazine] Beethoven takes State Street

November 24, 2014

The Santa Barbara Symphony shines with a mostly Beethoven concert, with prodigy Caroline Goulding as soloist

Viewed as part of the overall current season of the Santa Barbara Symphony, last weekend's Granada concert program might have seemed to be a relatively understated venture. It was a concert just built around Beethoven, and from the turn-of-the-19th-century period, before his stormier and more profound achievements later in his musical life.

Of course, "just" is not at all the right word when it comes to one of the greatest composers in Western musical culture. Not incidentally, a particular allure of this program had to do with its tight and engaging sense of focus, with three works created within a short 23-year spread, from Beethoven mentor Haydn's "Overture to 'Armida,'" from 1783, to the too-rarely performed Symphony No. 1 (circa 1800) and his lone Violin Concerto, composed in 1806. It has to be noted that the violin soloist was not "just" anybody, either, but the dazzling teenage sensation Caroline Goulding, who, to succumb to the cliché, is mature beyond her years - all of 16 of them by now.

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