Tag archives: classical

MAW Music: Competition Winners Congregate for Concerts
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 5, 2022

The official launch of the Music Academy of the West’s special 75th anniversary summer festival is still more than two months away, but in the span of less than three weeks, Santa Barbara will have been witness to the wildly divergent extremes offered by the revered institute. Hot on the heels of three landmark performances […]

More From MAW
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 31, 2022

Even more accomplished alumni of the Music Academy’s summer festival are returning to Hahn Hall this week, if only via streaming via satellite in a re-broadcast of the Met Opera’s Live in HD presentation of Strauss’ Ariadne Auf Naxos on April 3. Former fellows Brenda Rae and Isabel Leonard appear as Zerbinetta and the Composer, […]

Music in the Garden Goes Online
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 3, 2020

Among the casualties of the coronavirus closures was the complete cancellation of all in-person events last summer at the Music Academy of the West, normally one of the highlights of the year on the classical calendar. Instead, the 120-plus fellows and faculty members collaborated on the Music Academy Remote Learning Institute (aka MARLI), which bridged […]

Rolling Over for Beethoven
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 26, 2020

One of the perks of the Santa Barbara Symphony’s decision to dive into digital rather than completely forgo its 2020-21 season is the opportunity to celebrate an important milestone for Beethoven, perhaps the most important composer in the classical music canon. The symphony is marking his 250th birthday with “Beethoven @ 250,” a chamber music […]

An Online Series with In-Person Performances
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 21, 2020

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s reimagined 2020-2021 performance season launches this weekend first as an online-only series – although the musicians are performing live in person. And while plans have already been put in place to allow audiences up to about 30 percent capacity at its home venue of the Granada Theatre starting in January, the […]

Camerata’s CoronaConcerts Set to Conquer COVID Confinement
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 21, 2020

Camerata Pacifica was at the forefront of local arts organizations in pivoting to online streaming events at the onset of enforced closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, launching weekly curated videos with live commentary way back in March. While the chamber music ensemble’s Concerts at Home series continues on Sundays on YouTube and Facebook, its […]

Sundays With the Symphony
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 20, 2020

The next episode of the Santa Barbara Symphony’s live broadcast series takes place at 3:30 pm on August 23, when the Music-Artistic Director Nir Kabaretti will be joined by the symphony’s new Director of Music Education, Kristine Pacheco, to shine the spotlight on students of all levels from the youth program. The young musicians persevered […]

Sundays With the Symphony
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 16, 2020

The Santa Barbara Symphony next episode of its live streamed series is the first to feature its former concertmaster of a decade, the almost unbearably charismatic fiddler Gilles Apap. Curated and hosted by Music and Artistic Director Nir Kabaretti, the 30-minute broadcast, produced by local videographer David Bazemore, features an interview and performance of Fritz […]

MAW Faculty, Fellows Making the Most of MARLI
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 9, 2020

Faced with closing down the campus this summer, the Music Academy of the West’s summer festival performed a pivot so dramatic that anyone watching in person might have suffered whiplash. Rather than having the 134 fellows from around the world immersed in studies, classes, rehearsals, and performances on the Miraflores campus in Montecito, everything would […]

Santa Barbara Symphony, Under New Management, Segues to Streaming
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 28, 2020

Having your CEO depart in the middle of a pandemic that caused cancellation of the rest of the season’s concerts probably isn’t the best thing for building the confidence of the local classical music community. Fortunately, the Santa Barbara Symphony was able to announce its Interim CEO, Kathryn Martin, even before the then-current Executive Director/CEO […]

‘Odyssey’ at the Opera
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 7, 2020

With its special streaming presentations of main stage operas on pandemic pause, Opera Santa Barbara takes a youthful turn, offering an online reprise of the culmination of last summer’s Santa Barbara Youth Opera two-week camp: a production that brings Homer’s epic tale to life via Ben Moore and Kelly Rourke‘s Odyssey. The livestream of the […]

Classical Corner
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 5, 2020

Opera Santa Barbara presents Il Postino (The Postman), created by Mexican-American composer Daniel Catán, who is known for his sweeping, impressionistic music and bringing Spanish-language opera into the international repertory. Based on the Oscar-winning film of the same name, the story follows a poor and uneducated mail carrier who meets Chilean exile and poet, Pablo […]

Classical Music Confronts Conflict via Collaboration
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 5, 2020

The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was founded by renowned conductor-pianist Daniel Barenboim and the late Palestinian scholar/author Edward Said 20 years ago to bring together outstanding young Palestinian and Israeli musicians in a collaboration superseding national and cultural boundaries. The group, Barenboim has said, was conceived as a project against ignorance and aims to promote understanding […]

MAW Piano Winner
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 27, 2020

Elliot Wuu doesn’t have a direct memory of the first time he slept next to the bench while his older sister Rebecca practiced on the family’s piano, something his parents told him he started doing as a baby barely one year old. But he does recall frequently taking naps as a toddler while Rebecca, who […]

Music Faculty to Perform House Concerts
By Scott Craig   |   February 20, 2020

Westmont music professors have brought back the popular Select House Concert Series, performing four chamber concerts on Saturdays, March 21, April 25, May 30 and June 20; all at 3 pm in homes to be announced once tickets have been purchased. Individual concert tickets, which go on sale beginning March 1 at westmont.edu/music, cost $50 […]

Crowded Classical Calendar
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 6, 2020

The “core four” of Camerata Pacifica’s chamber musicians chairs – violinist Paul Huang, violist Richard O’Neill, cellist Ani Aznavoorian, and pianist Warren Jones – congregate in various formats for an enticing program at Hahn Hall on Friday, February 7. Sandwiched around 250th birthday boy Beethoven’s Sonata in C Major for Piano & Cello, Op. 102, […]

From Cookies to Cultural Concerts
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 30, 2020

If violinist-violist Sara Bashore hadn’t been craving cookies as a kid, she might never have made it to Montenegro. At least that’s what Bashore remembered about her first exposure to the violin at age five. “My parents took me to an orchestra concert and asked me if I was interested in any of the instruments,” […]

Elsewhere on the Classical Calendar
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 16, 2020

Celebrate the great Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman on both film and in person as UCSB A&L first presents Alison Chernick’s 2017 documentary Itzhak, which  details Perlman’s struggles as a polio survivor and Jewish émigré who rises to vast artistic success, at Campbell Hall on Thursday, January 16, then lets the musician himself share the tales […]

Classical Corner: Dream Team of Winds
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 16, 2020

Camerata Pacifica kicks off the second half of Season 2 of its two-year “Why Beethoven?” project with a program wind program featuring flutist Jasmine Choi, oboists Nicholas Daniel and Claire Brazeau, clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester and Pascal Archer, and bassoonists Judith Farmer and William Short, who no doubt are up to the task of tackling Beethoven’s […]

Small but Mighty
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 29, 2019

Opera Santa Barbara, which is also being honored as a Granada Legend, was founded by Montecito couple Marilyn Gilbert and Nathan Rundlett as Santa Barbara Grand Opera in 1994, with a vision of creating a professional opera company based in town to serve audiences on the Central Coast. From its humble beginnings when the sets […]