Camerata Pacifica continues its 2009-10 season with two Santa Barbara concerts, at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Music Academy of the West’s Hahn Hall.

Russian composer-pianist Lera Auerbach will sit in with Camerata Pacifica for a performance Friday evening

Russian composer-pianist Lera Auerbach will sit in with Camerata Pacifica for a performance Friday evening. (Camerata Pacifica courtesy photo)

The Camerata members participating on Friday will be Adrian Spence on flute, Tereza Stanislav and Agnes Gottschewski on violins, Richard Yongjae O’Neill on viola, Ani Aznavoorian on cello and Lera Auerbach on piano.

The program for this month includes four works: Arthur Foote’s Nocturne and Scherzo for Flute and String Quartet, Philippe Gaubert’s Pièce Romantique — which is bound to have some flute part, too — Alberto Ginastera’s Impresiones de la Puna and Auerbach’s Twenty-Four Preludes for Cello and Piano, Opus 47. All but Auerbach’s will be played at the lunchtime event.

You know you’re faced with an interesting concert when Ginastera is the most familiar name on the program, and that probably is thanks to Gisèle Ben-Dor, who was devoted to the Argentine’s music (she championed Ginastera almost as tirelessly as she did Revueltas).

Foote (1853-1937), the lone American of the lot, vies with his contemporary George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931) for consideration as the first American composer who might reasonably called great. Foote studied with John Knowles Paine at Harvard, where he earned the first master’s degree in music ever bestowed in this country. He even has an association with this coast, having taught at UC Berkeley for a couple of years. Mainly, though, he was a New Englander, who played the organ at First (Unitarian) Church in Boston for 32 years (two of his brothers were Unitarian ministers).

Part of the reason for his current obscurity is the fact that orchestral works form a very small, and relatively unoriginal, part of his output — though his Suite for Strings in E Major was quite popular in his lifetime. He wrote no symphonies or operas, but his chamber music is heavenly. The “Nocturne” movement of his Nocturne and Scherzo for Flute and String Quartet has some success these days under the name “Night Piece.” Once you hear it, it’s very likely you’ll want to hear it again. Fortunately, several fine CDs exist.

Gaubert (1879-1941) was a notable performer on the flute, and a well-respected French composer in the years between the two world wars. As a composer, he was something of a reactionary — which means we will probably like the Pièce Romantique very much, the first time we hear it.

Auerbach was here in March with Camerata Pacifica. She most likely has the distinction of being the last significant artist to defect from the USSR before that entity ceased to exist. She is a composer of awesome talent, who is also a poet whose works are taught in Russian schools.

For tickets and other concert information, click here or call Camerata Pacifica at 805.884.8410.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor.