Tag archives: Music Academy

Cazan & ‘Carmen’
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 16, 2024

Ken Cazan, the director of the Music Academy 2024 opera Carmen, last helmed a production of the famed and beloved work nearly 30 years ago, and has been happily ensconced in recent years taking on smaller, more experimental pieces. But he was tempted to field the fiery fan favorite once again by both the offer […]

Bravo to Bell
By Richard Mineards   |   July 16, 2024

Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell, music director of London’s Academy of St, Martin-in-the-Fields, joined iconic pianist Jeremy Denk in a dazzling duo performance at the Granada. The tony twosome’s concert, part of the Music Academy of the West’s Summer Festival, featured works by Franck, Beethoven, and Mozart. The sold-out 90-minute performance featured Mozart’s “Sonata No. 18 […]

Praise to Parnther 
By Richard Mineards   |   July 9, 2024

The Music Academy of the West hosted the second of its five-part orchestra series when the Academy Festival Orchestra under conductor Anthony Parnther, the Yale-educated music director of the San Bernardino Symphony since 2019, performed at the Granada Theatre. Joan Huang’s “Tujia Dance,” and Florence Price’s “Symphony No. 3” kicked off the entertaining concert, wrapping […]

Practice Makes Perfect
By Richard Mineards   |   July 9, 2024

Corin Lee is the 2024 Alumni Enterprise Award winner at the Music Academy of the West for his innovative endeavor VR Practice. Lee attended the Miraflores campus as violin fellow in 2009 and today is a member of the Ethel string quartet and founder of the Liberated Performer, a program that trains and empowers performers […]

Cellist Returns to Perform at MAW
By Scott Craig   |   July 2, 2024

Westmont alumnus and local resident Tim Beccue (’18) is back on campus, this time as a fellow of the Music Academy of the West. Since 2016, Westmont houses 140 exceptional young classical musicians each summer for the academy, which provides live events through Aug. 3. Visit musicacademy.org for a full calendar of concerts.  “I have […]

Denk’s Foray into Fauré
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 2, 2024

The Music Academy audience has already seen a lot of Jeremy Denk. The piano great is in his 10th season as a faculty teaching artist on campus, which assignment began less than two years after Denk was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, and the summer after he served as the Ojai Festival’s music director. In […]

Osmo, Opera, and More at MAW
By Richard Mineards   |   July 2, 2024

Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä, 71, former musical director of the Seoul Philharmonic, was in fine form at the Granada when he led the Academy Festival Orchestra in its first performance of the summer festival season. The highly entertaining concert opened with Wagner’s Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. and Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, concluding […]

MAW’s Directing Fellow: Turning the Paige on Opera
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 25, 2024

When Paige Cameron enrolled at Northwestern in her home state of Illinois to study vocal performance, the plan was to sing her way to stardom.  “I really thought I was going to be an opera singer,” said Cameron, who goes by either she or they and has recently decided to lop off her hyphenated last […]

Takács Mosh
By Richard Mineards   |   June 25, 2024

The ever-entertaining Takács Quartet was in superb form at the sold out Lobero as they performed in the first week of the Music Academy of the West’s 77th Summer Festival. The Fab Four – violinists Edward Dusinberre and Harumi Rhodes, cellist András Fejér, and Grammy-winning violist Richard O’Neill, formerly with Camerata Pacifica – are currently […]

Playing with Percussion
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 18, 2024

Maybe the Music Academy of the West had some unanticipated smarts in scheduling the annual Percussion Fest for the first Saturday of the season, just four days into the 2024 Summer Festival. With the fellows flying in from San Francisco, Cleveland, Houston, and New York and driving up from L.A. they’d all have to arrive […]

New Heights for Hakobyan
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 11, 2024

You might say Navasard Hakobyan had a pretty good summer in Santa Barbara last year. The Armenian baritone not only made his debut as Marcello, one of the principal roles in La Boheme at the Granada, he also secured the most coveted and longstanding prize of the festival in the Music Academy’s 2023 Marilyn Horne […]

Magical Music in the Er-a
By Richard Mineards   |   June 11, 2024

Just days before the kickoff of its 77th summer festival, the Miraflores campus of the Music Academy of the West was packed with 225 supporters for the “Magic of the Music Academy: A New Era” gala with a special solo performance by top cellist Joshua Roman in Hahn Hall. Roman, 40, attended the academy in […]

MAW Makes Magic Happen
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 4, 2024

In just about every city across America, summer is when the classical music season grinds to a halt, with both professional and university institutions going on hiatus until the fall. But for more than three-quarters of a century, Santa Barbara has had the great distinction of having two months at the beginning of summer bring […]

MAW Gala: Roman Through the Piazza
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 4, 2024

The Music Academy of the West’s annual Summer Gala, set for Saturday, June 1, not only serves as an elegant appetizer to the enviable eight-week festival that follows, but also an official welcome to new Music Academy President and CEO Shauna Quill. The 2024 gala, appropriately titled “A New Era,” features an Italian-themed culinary journey […]

Liu Lights up Hahn Hall
By Richard Mineards   |   May 28, 2024

Pianist Bruce Liu, 27, showed his very obvious talent in a 90-minute concert at the Music Academy of the West’s Hahn Hall, part of the popular UCSB Arts & Lectures program, with works by Chopin, Kapustin, Rameau, and Prokofiev. Born in Paris and brought up in Montreal, Canada, Liu was the first prize winner of […]

A Grinning Audience
By Richard Mineards   |   April 9, 2024

After postponing their concert in February given a mandatory evacuation warning because of heavy rain, the charmingly named Grammy Award-winning octet Roomful of Teeth with pianist-guitarist Gabriel Kahane, performed in a UCSB Arts & Lectures show at the Music Academy of the West’s Hahn Hall. The tony troupe is dedicated to reimagining the expressive potential […]

The Magic of MAW
By Richard Mineards   |   April 2, 2024

Social gridlock reigned at the Music Academy of the West’s Hahn Hall when VIP donors got a sneak peek at this year’s 77th annual summer festival “The Magic of Music.” Featuring 150 performances with more than 137 fellows between June 12 and Aug. 3, new academy president and CEO Shauna Quill outlined the many programs […]

Midwinter Night’s Dream: Artful Affairs at the SB Museum of Art
By Joanne A Calitri   |   March 5, 2024

Santa Barbara Museum of Art held its annual fundraiser titled, “Artful Affairs: Seasons of Change, Midwinter Night’s Dream,” on Saturday, February 24, at the museum galleries. The coveted upscale attire event saw the mix of art and music, as the SBMA joined with the Music Academy for a collaborative affair, accented with art themed hors […]

Just A-Paws
By Richard Mineards   |   March 5, 2024

Meghan Markle gave paws for thought when she made a surprise appearance via video link to open the new wing of an animal charity named in honor of her late friend Oli Juste. The Riven Rock resident emotionally told how the dog trainer suddenly died in January 2022, leaving her heartbroken as his family and […]

Shinners Will Shine with New Award for Music Academy
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 27, 2024

While we were busy with winter rains and staring at stars strolling down the red carpet for SBIFF at the Arlington, the Music Academy – Montecito’s great claim to fame in the classic music world – has been brewing up some bright new things.  Make that the Music Academy of the West. Thankfully, the strange […]