The Santa Barbara Music Club enters the fall music season with a brace of concerts to delight any music lover.
The first is a Special Scholarship Fund Benefit Concert at 4 p.m. Saturday in Fé Bland Forum, 900 Cliff Drive, on the West Campus of Santa Barbara City College. Unlike the preponderance of music club concerts, this one has a price tag. Tickets are $25, or, if you are a student at any accredited educational institution and can prove it, $5. Space is limited.
Now, as all proceeds will benefit the Music Club’s Scholarship Fund, you will assume that the club has scheduled some spectacular talent as a draw, and your assumption is correct. It has enlisted pianists Zeynep Ucbasaran and Sergio Gallo to play a program of four-hand piano music by Mozart, Chopin, Brahms, Dvorak and others. If you don’t yet know that the demur Ucbasaran is one of the finest pianists now residing on the West Coast, it is time you learned. Gallo is also a gifted musician — if he were not, he would not be teamed with Ucbasaran, not just for this concert, but for their shortly-to-begin European concert tour. Let’s give them a good send-off.
If you can’t make the concert but want to contribute to the Scholarship Fund, send a check made out to the SBMC Scholarship Fund to P.O. Box 3974, Santa Barbara, CA 93130. The Santa Barbara Music Club is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, Tax ID No. 95-3023863.
The other upcoming recital is the first free Saturday matinee concert of the season, at 3 p.m. Oct. 18, in the usual venue of the Faulkner Gallery of the downtown branch of the Santa Barbara Public Library.
On the afternoon’s program you will find Franz Joseph Haydn’s Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. XVI:52, performed by sorceress of clarity and feeling Betty Oberacker; Hendrik Andriessen’s Pastorale, César Cui’s Five Pieces, Opus 56, and Jacques Ibert’s Deux interludes, all rendered superbly by flautist Mary Jo Hartle, violinist Elaine Schott and pianist Allen Bishop; Henri Wieniawski’s “Romance,” from his Concerto in D Minor, and Sir Edward Elgar’s La capricieuse played by violinist Camille Miller; and “Romantic Arias” sung by Andre Shillo, baritone, with pianist Betty Oberacker supporting him on piano.
Despite the French-sounding name, César Cui (1835-1918) was a Russian composer — not just as an accident of birth, but as a conscious proponent of characteristically Russian music. In his day job, he was an army officer and a teacher of fortifications. He and his friends Mily Balakirev, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Borodin made up a famous group, known rather unimaginatively as “The Five,” who had tremendous influence on all the Russian (and Soviet) composers who followed.
I daresay that Cui is the only member of this club whose music you have never heard. Now is your chance.
Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor.