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Gerald Carpenter: UCSB Musicians to Deliver ‘Valentine Serenade’

Faculty and students will present a special 'Hearts for the Arts' benefit performance on Saturday

Faculty members of the UCSB Music Department and some of their most gifted students will pin their hearts on their sleeves this weekend to play a special program in honor of St. Valentine. “Hearts for the Arts: A Valentine Serenade” will be at 7 p.m. Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State St.

The event is co-sponsored by the UCSB Music Affiliates and the UCSB Music Department. All proceeds will benefit the Music Affiliates Student Scholarship Fund.

Faculty artists will be featured in four works.

Violist Helen Callus will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite No. 4 in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010 (transcribed from the famous solo cello suite); pianist Natasha Kislenko will play Peter Tchaikovsky’s popular, often orchestrated set of 12 short pieces for solo piano, The Seasons, Opus 37b; pianist and collaborative maven Robert Koenig first will join baritone Paul Sahuc in a rendering of Maurice Ravel’s wonderful three-song cycle Don Quichotte à Dulcinée, Opus 84 (with Koenig’s piano serving as orchestra), and then with the flautist Jill Felber in Charles-Marie Widor’s Suite for Flute and Piano, Opus 34 (1877).

Then, two of UCSB’s award-winning student ensembles will take the stage.

First, the Young Artists String Trio (with Dimitry Olevsky on violin, Kimberly Fitch on viola and Kathryn Mendenhall on cello) will perform Ernő von Dohnányi’s Serenade in C Major for String Trio, Opus 10 (1902). Then, professor Callus’ UCSB Graduate Student Viola Ensemble (Jacob Adams, Alex Chang, Kimberly Fitch, Rachel Galvin, Shannon McCue and Linda Shaver) will play two works by professor Clarence Barlow, current holder of the Corwin Chair in Composition: Six Quatrains for Viola Quintet and Glockenspiel for Jens for Viola Sextet.

Widor (1844-1937) not exactly being a household name in these parts, it might be of interest that he was the premier organist of France for more than a half-century. He was the scion of a family that had built organs for centuries.

His father, François-Charles Widor, was titular organist of Saint-François-de-Sales in Lyon from 1838 to 1889. Charles-Marie learned how to play from him. In 1870, when he was 25, Widor was appointed as “provisional” organist of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, the top seat for a French organist. His ardent sponsors were Charles Gounod and Camille Saint-Saëns.

Not surprisingly, Widor is best known for his compositions for his instrument — particularly, a series of 10 Organ Symphonies and three Symphonies for Organ and Orchestra — but he was a prolific composer for all instruments and combinations. Some of his songs are particularly notable. The Suite was composed seven years after he took up his duties at Saint-Sulpice.

Tickets to “Hearts for the Arts” are $25 general admission and $10 for students. To double down your donation, become a Patron for $50 or a Patron Couple for $85, which include preferred seating and reception.

For tickets, call 805.563.4601. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door. Click here or call 805.893.7001 for more information.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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