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Thursday, March 21 , 2019, 1:19 am | Fair 49º

 
 
 
 

Guitar’s the Hero at Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2nd International Festival

Young performers, family opportunities are among the highlights of the March 21-29 strings fling.

The sounds of guitar music from around the world will fill the air in Santa Barbara next month during the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2nd International Guitar Festival.

“We are honored to share the festival stage with this year’s dedicated parties and sponsors,” Santa Barbara Symphony executive director John Robinson said last week. “We are truly working together ‘in concert’ to make the International Guitar Festival the highly anticipated event it has become for Santa Barbara.”

The weeklong celebration of the world-popular stringed instrument includes performances by noted musicians all over town.

Highlights of the March 21-29 festival include performances from the younger members of the community. Sixteen-year-old “wunderkind” guitarist Tim Callobre and the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony’s 13-year-old Sofiya Prykhitko will be accompanied by the full youth symphony at the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido, on March 22.

On March 25, the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and actor John Cleese roll out their world premiere of The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote: Words and Music from the Time of Cervantes.

“We don’t know quite what to expect,” Robinson explained.

Those who can’t make it to the evening events can catch the festival’s lunchtime series on the steps of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St.

So why so much fuss over guitars?

According to Robinson, the instrument’s versatility helped make it popular all over the world.

“The guitar can speak to all sorts of audiences,” he said. The guitar can be traced back thousands of years as one of the earliest string instruments, in a family that has grown to include classical and electric guitars, the Indian sitar, the Japanese shamisen, the harp and the piano.

For local guitar pickup manufacturer Seymour Duncan, it was the instrument that inspired his career.

“Being involved in music has given me a chance to travel around the world,” he said.

Duncan is sponsoring “Guitar Hero: An Evening with the Legendary Leo Kottke” at the Marjorie Luke Theatre, 721 E. Cota St., on March 24, as well as the family concert at The Granada, 1214 State St., at noon March 28 featuring the Brasil Guitar Duo. The Santa Barbara Symphony will be providing free tickets to the noon event to families through local youth agencies.

The festival closes out with the West Coast premiere of the LAGQ’s newly commissioned concerto “Interchange.” LAGQ member John Dearman described it as a confluence of four different styles of guitar music that interact — “something like a freeway interchange in L.A.” — and come together in the end.

Click here for more information on the festival and tickets to events.

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