Tag archives: summer festival

Academy Bids Adieu Twice at the Granada
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 15, 2023

Scott Reed’s brief speech at his last official public appearance as the Music Academy’s president/CEO after 12 years at the helm, which drew an instant standing ovation, set the stage for the emotional rollercoaster ride provided by the Academy Festival Orchestra at the Granada last Saturday night in the final event of the 2023 Summer […]

A Wonderful Week at MA
By Richard Mineards   |   August 8, 2023

The final weeks of the Music Academy’s 76th annual Summer Festival have been the icing on the classical cake! Principal players with the London Symphony Orchestra showed their prowess at Lehmann Hall when they performed chamber works by Britten, Villa-Lobos, Perivolaris, Salzedo, Hahn, and Haydn with flutist Gareth Davies, cellist David Cohen, violinist Clare Duckworth, […]

The Harmonious Hadelich
By Richard Mineards   |   July 25, 2023

Violinist extraordinaire Augustin Hadelich was back in our Eden by the Beach for the second time in two months when he performed at the Lobero as part of the Music Academy’s summer fest. Grammy Award winner Hadelich, who I saw at a CAMA Masterseries concert in April, his fifth appearance for the organization since 2015, […]

A New Setting for an Old Favorite
By Richard Mineards   |   July 25, 2023

Italian composer Puccini’s beloved opera La bohème took on a whole new tone at the Granada as part of the Music Academy’s 76th annual Summer Festival. Instead of Paris’ Latin Quarter in the 1830s, as in the original 1895 work, the setting was Brooklyn and Manhattan in 2011, a time of restless energy and a […]

One More in the Chamber
By Richard Mineards   |   July 25, 2023

The Music Academy’s 76th annual summer festival reached its halfway mark with a second chamber night concert at Lehmann Hall featuring works by Joan Tower’s “Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 3,” Mozart’s “Piano Quartet in E-flat Major” with Qiyan Xing on violin, Molly Prow on viola, Simon Housner on cello, and Robert Brooks Carlson […]

All in at the Academy
By Richard Mineards   |   July 11, 2023

It is hard to believe the Music Academy’s annual festival Summer of the Artist is almost halfway through. The third week of the highly entertaining program kicked off at Hahn Hall on the Miraflores campus with Avery Fisher Prize winning pianist Jeremy Denk playing an all-Bach program of five partitas. The New York City resident, […]

The Rise of Parnther
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 11, 2023

Anthony Parnther never picked up a musical instrument until eighth grade, and even then, only because he discovered it could be an avenue to free admission at a Virginia amusement park.  “I was sitting in math class and I heard the announcement over the intercom that the students who were part of the middle school […]

Quadruple the Fun and Laughs
By Richard Mineards   |   July 4, 2023

The second week of the Music Academy’s Summer Festival lineup goes from strength to strength. Hahn Hall on the 10-acre Miraflores campus was the venue for the String Quartet showcase featuring the Vela Quartet – violinists Aaron You-Xin Li and Harin Kang, violist Vincenzo Keawe Calcagno, and cellist Hamzah Zaidi – kicking off the highly […]

The Amazing Martinez
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 20, 2023

As part of its ever-expanding efforts to simultaneously raise the level of artistry for its summer festival while also deeply engaging the local Santa Barbara community, the Music Academy is making its first real foray into reaching the Latino population in the area by bringing in soprano Ana María Martínez as a Mosher Guest Artist. […]

Summer Festival 76 Starts Strong
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 13, 2023

After 75 years of having the Music Academy (née “of the West”) in our backyard – marked last summer by a celebratory return to fully in-person programming – it can be easy to take the institute’s summer festival for granted. But the truth is, the Academy not only keeps the classical music scene afloat during […]

76 Trombones for Music Academy’s 2023 Summer Festival
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 25, 2023

The Montecito-based Music Academy – “of the West” got dropped midway through last summer – looks like it will have no trouble maintaining the momentum of its milestone 75th anniversary last year, at least according to the roster of artists and ambitious programming unveiled earlier this week. The “Summer of the Artist” season boasts soprano […]

That’s a Wrap
By Richard Mineards   |   August 16, 2022

The Music Academy wrapped up its 75th anniversary summer festival in fine form at the Granada when alumna Italian Speranza Scappucci conducted the Academy Festival Orchestra. With the hugely entertaining program including Rossini’s “William Tell Overture,” “The Pines of Rome” by Respighi, and vocal works by Donizetti, Verdi, Gounod, Bizet, Serrano, Chapi, and Puccini, the […]

So Long Summer Fest 
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 16, 2022

The 2022 Music Academy Summer Festival came to a close on Saturday night with the symphony-vocal extravaganza at the Granada. Coming up next: three different recitals from the five fellows who claimed top prize in the musical competitions, plus perhaps a new product from the winner of the Music Academy Innovation Institute’s 2022 Fast Pitch […]

Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’ at the Granada
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 19, 2022

With all due respect to Opera Santa Barbara, the opera event of the year may well take place this weekend when the Music Academy (MA) mounts an original and fully-staged production of Tchaikovsky’s popular and beloved opera Eugene Onegin at the Granada on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. Especially if Peter Kazaras’ direction comes close […]

Music Academy Celebrates 75th in Community Concert
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 21, 2022

Conductor Donato Cabrera and Music Academy of the West (MAW) vocal pianist John Churchwell met in 2003, the first of two summers Donato spent at MAW as assistant conductor for the annual opera. The two, who live near each other in the Bay Area, became fast friends and visit each other frequently. In fact, Cabrera […]

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, […]

Finishing with a Flurry
By Richard Mineards   |   August 19, 2021

While Fiesta Pequeña at the Mission and Noches de Ronda at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens were cancelled after the significant uptick in coronavirus infections, La Recepcion del Presidente at the Carriage & Western Museum with 200 guests went ahead as planned, raising nearly $50,000 for Old Spanish Days. Drew Wakefield served as emcee and auctioneer, […]

Busy, Busy: Sitting Down with Two MAW Artists with Plenty on Their Plates
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 29, 2021

Juggling all the tasks and opportunities a fellow faces at the Music Academy of the West is a stiff if rewarding challenge in a normal summer, what with private lessons and sectional coaching, studying new pieces of repertoire, practicing as an individual and rehearsing for chamber, orchestra, and duo concerts, performing in master classes and […]

Madame Maestro
By Richard Mineards   |   August 15, 2019

The Music Academy of the West concluded its 72nd annual summer festival on a high note when the Academy Festival Orchestra, under conductor Marin Alsop, performed Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 at the Granada. The entertaining program also comprised of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon‘s 13-minute piece blue cathedral, just a week after her well received […]