Tag archives: Orchestra

Mom, Apple Pie, Chevrolet and … ‘Rhapsody in Blue’
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 14, 2024

It seems every orchestra and their third cousins are playing Rhapsody in Blue this season to mark the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s once-controversial 1924 musical composition that combined elements of classical music with jazz piano – billed back then as an Experiment in Modern Music. Our own Santa Barbara Symphony is no exception. But […]

On the Road with the Choir and Orchestra
By Scott Craig   |   May 7, 2024

The Westmont Orchestra and the Westmont College Choir join forces in May for the college’s first combined tour. Traveling from Los Angeles to Northern California, about 120 students will perform scenes from “Elijah” by Felix Mendelssohn as well as other pieces.  “It’s a big undertaking and will show the breadth of music at Westmont,” says […]

Double Debut Day for Classical Ensembles 
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 31, 2023

Less than six years after the four-decades-old Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra played its final concert in town, a new ensemble that’s even more community-based and oriented is stepping in to fill the void with an even more ambitious approach.  The Santa Barbara Chamber Players (SBCP), created by local musicians who first practiced during the pandemic […]

Monterey on Tour: Sands of Time
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 31, 2023

Taking the famed Monterey Jazz Festival out on its official tour for a third successive road trip (2020-22 were dormant) is just the latest MJF honor for pianist Christian Sands, a two-time Grammy nominee and former child prodigy who started playing professionally at 10. MJF is celebrating its 65th year as one of the world’s […]

Silky Songs
By Richard Mineards   |   November 29, 2022

After staging Puccini’s triumphant work Tosca at the Granada, it was time for Opera Santa Barbara to turn to comedy for its latest production, Rossini’s La Scala di Seta – The Silk Ladder – at the Lobero, a one-act vintage work from 1812. Home-grown soprano Jana McIntyre, who sang in Handel’s Semele last season, was […]

A New Era for Westmont Begins with Beethoven
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 25, 2022

As the saying goes, Ruth Lin has some big shoes to fill as she steps into the dual role of chair of the Westmont music department and conductor of its orchestra. Her predecessor, Michael Shasberger, who retired this summer, not only served as the department’s first chair but also created both the orchestra and the […]

Classical Corner: Lobero Chamber Project Lives! 
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 18, 2022

Violist Heiichiro Ohyama led the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra for 35 years, shepherding its growth as a training ground for classical musicians while serving as one of the finest ensembles in town that was also willing to make forays into new territories. Faced with financial challenges, the SBCO closed operations in late 2017, so Ohyama […]

Coming Full Circle with CAMA
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 11, 2022

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, whose history dates back to just one year after CAMA hosted its first concert with the brand-new Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1919, reached international fame under British conductor Sir Simon Rattle, who was recently in town himself to lead the London Symphony Orchestra at the Granada Theatre for the […]

Orchestra Returns Live for ‘Four Seasons’
By Scott Craig   |   October 26, 2021

The Westmont College Orchestra returns to the stage for live, in-person performances of the Fall Orchestra Concert on Friday, Oct. 22, at 7 pm and Sunday, Oct. 24, at 3 pm in Hahn Hall at Music Academy of the West. Tickets, which cost $10 for general admission (students are free), may be purchased at westmont.edu/music […]

Quite the Crescendo
By Richard Mineards   |   August 31, 2021

Santa Barbara Symphony celebrated the founding members of the Crescendo Society, a group of visionary supporters who have each made a five-year pledge to support the orchestra at levels ranging from $2,500 to $100,000, with a boffo brunch at the Santa Barbara Club. This means the next four seasons of the symphony, under maestro Nir […]

Taking on the Challenge: Rachleff Leads MAW into Uncharted Territory
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 15, 2021

Imagine stepping in to lead a fully established orchestra with your wits and a baton your only weapons to mold the symphony musicians into at least a shared vision for a performance. That’s the job of most visiting conductors who travel the world for one-off concerts. Now imagine coming to an organization where the players […]

Music to Their Ears!
By Richard Mineards   |   February 11, 2021

Three of the key leaders of the Santa Barbara Symphony, president and CEO Kathryn Martin, artistic director Nir Kabaretti, and board president Janet Garufis, have committed to advancing the organization over the next half decade. It will build upon the 67-year-old organization’s programming innovation, leveraging the symphony’s new momentum and growth to look toward the […]

Christmas Fest Launches with ‘Healing in His Wings’
By Scott Craig   |   December 10, 2020

The 16th annual Westmont Christmas Festival, “Ris’n with Healing in His Wings,” presents a special online event this year due to the pandemic. The Westmont Music Department, led by Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship, has creatively recorded the 100 members of the Westmont Orchestra and College Choir, Chamber Singers, and Choral Union […]

State Street Ballet
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 29, 2020

State Street Ballet was the first arts organization in town to perform the pandemic pivot as the statewide orders that shut down audience events came just two days before their planned premiere of Sleeping Beauty back in March, forcing the company to come up with a new approach quickly, resulting in a studio rehearsal version […]

Concert Offers Orchestral Sampler
By Scott Craig   |   October 29, 2020

The Westmont Orchestra, masked up, socially distant, and with bell covers over their instruments, will perform “An Orchestral Sampler” on Friday, October 23, at 7 pm. The event, which is being recorded live outdoors, will be available for free viewing at vimeo.com/showcase/westmontmusic. Michael Shasberger, Westmont Adam’s professor of music and worship, will conduct the orchestra […]

Santa Barbara Symphony Faces the Music
By Richard Mineards   |   October 29, 2020

With the virulent coronavirus pandemic sweeping the nation impacting innumerable cultural programs, the orchestra, under veteran maestro Nir Kabaretti, has not been deterred in any way whatsoever and has launched a series of seven virtual concerts to sate the appetites of its many local fans. Last week I was at the cavernous Granada Theatre where […]

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 […]

Heading Home
By Richard Mineards   |   May 7, 2020

Kevin Marvin, CEO of the Santa Barbara Symphony, is leaving our Eden by the Beach and returning to Colorado for personal and family reasons. Kevin, who previously headed the now defunct Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, has led the orchestral organization, under maestro Nir Kabaretti, for three seasons. He was responsible for organizing the benefit concert […]

CAMA Centennial
By Richard Mineards   |   March 12, 2020

One hundred years to the very day the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Venezuelan maestro Gustavo Dudamel performed in a special CAMA – Community Arts Music Association – sold-out concert at the Granada. Both CAMA and the orchestra are celebrating centenaries this year, with the Big Orange musicians having made its Santa Barbara debut at the […]

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 […]