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Arts & Entertainment Presented by Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts


Gerald Carpenter: UCSB’s Last ‘Spotlight’ Concert Stays on Light Side

By Gerald Carpenter, Noozhawk Contributing Writer |

The last "Music Spotlight Concert" of this academic year will take place at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Lotte Lehmann Hall (Music Building) at UCSB. Jeremy Haladyna will once again serve as host, as well as participant. Admission is free to anyone attending.

Still working on his doctorate, Ori Barel is already a well-known composer worldwide.

On this occasion, we will hear the "Poco allegretto" from the Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano, H. 300 (1944) by Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959), with Adriane Hill on flute, Zachary McGee on cello and Rosa LoGiudice on piano; the premiere performance of Structural Narratives by Ori Barel, played by pianist Haladyna; the Trombone-Keyboard Sonata No. 1 of Johann Ernst Galliard (1687-1747), with Dylan Aguilera on trombone and Mark Gutierrez on piano; the "Larghetto" and "Finale: Allegro" from the Violin-Piano Sonatina in G-Major, Opus 100 by Antonin Dvořak (1841-1904) with Camille Enderlin on violin and LoGiudice on piano; and the "Lent" movement from the Quatuor (Piano Quartet) by Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) with Matisse Geenty on violin, Carson Rick on viola, Dana Polley on cello and Haladyna on piano.

This is, on balance, a relatively lighthearted program — it was fixed more than a fortnight ago, well before the horrendous event last weekend, and the choice was either to cancel or go ahead as planned; Haladyna and his musicians, sensibly, elected to proceed.

"Perhaps," as Haladyna suggests, it will provide "a needed antidote to all the insanity." (Those seeking music dedicated to remembrance should consider attending the special memorial concert by Paul Bambach and the UCSB Wind Ensemble at 8 p.m. Thursday in Lotte Lehmann Hall, where we will hear the music of Frank Ticheli, Eric Whitacre and others. For more information about this concert, click here).

Every year that passes seems to increase the presence in our concert halls of the great Czech composer Martinu. He is undoubtedly a modernist, but his modernism partakes much more of Paris than Vienna or Berlin. He is lyrical and witty, and deserves all the attention he has been getting lately — and then some.

Barel is working toward a Ph.D. in music composition at UCSB, studying with Clarence Barlow and Curtis Roads. Before that, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with Michael Jon Fink, Ulrich Krieger and Marc Sabat. His academic pursuits notwithstanding, his music — electronic and acoustical — is already being performed around the world, often in conjunction with art installations.

Of Structural Narratives, the work he is premiering, Haladyna says it "is downright playful, and about a third of the running time imitates a music box. How cool is that?"

The piece by Milhaud, from 1966, Haladyna describes as "a lullaby in the composer's most velvety and 'innig' [that is to say, 'intimate'] vein. Seldom heard ... with the strings muted. This is our way of putting Spotlight to sleep for now."

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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