SBS Sneak Peak

By Richard Mineards   |   April 25, 2023
Janet Garufis and Mercedes Millington (photo by Juli Askew)

Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2023-24 season promises to be an absolute cracker!

Veteran maestro Nir Kabaretti has enlisted a record-breaking 23 guest artists, including eight vocal soloists, four choral groups, two trios, and a guest conductor to perform at the venerable Granada.

“They cost a lot, but enrich the community,” he told VIP donors at a “sneak peek” reception in the McCune Founders Room.

With a $3.5 million annual budget he added: “We are now able to plan like never before!”

The new season will open in October with a 200-year-anniversary celebration of Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9,” where more than 150 singers from local choruses – Santa Barbara Choral Society, Quire of Voyces, Westmont College Choir, and the Santa Barbara Gay Men’s Chorus – will join the orchestra on the cavernous stage. Other highlights will include Mozart, Mahler, Dvořák, and Ravel.

There will also be opera “fan favorites,” including Verdi and Puccini, as well as a program of epic film scenes with the orchestra from Hollywood’s Golden Age at an Oscar Celebration.

Among the music lovers getting the news were Janet Garufis, Fred and Nancy Golden, Marilyn Gilbert, Renee Grubb, Todd and Allyson Aldrich, Aaron and Kandy Budgor, Dan Burnham, Mashey Bernstein, Howard Jay Smith and Tricia Dixon, George Konstantinow, Peter and Kathryn Martin, Mercedes Millington, Sybil Rosen, Robert Weinman, and Stefan and Christine Riesenfeld.

Just 24 hours later the symphony presented Beethoven Dreams, with Kabaretti curating a Beethoven-centric program renewing the company’s enduring collaborative relationship with the Ensemble Theatre Company’s artistic director Jonathan Fox, who directed the West Coast premiere of Ella Milch-Sheriff’s staged monodrama The Eternal Stranger, the German composer’s poetic “Piano Concerto No. 4” played by renowned Ukrainian-born American pianist Inna Faliks with his “Symphony No.4” concluding the entertaining program.


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