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Santa Barbara Symphony Announces 60th Anniversary Season Lineup

World-renowned pianist André Watts among the many highlights for 2012-13

The Santa Barbara Symphony announced its 60th Anniversary (2012-13) Concert Season at an event held Thursday on stage at the Granada Theatre.

Invited guests and media were treated to an “orchestra’s eye-view” from the stage of the Granada to learn about the symphony’s accomplishments this past year, and a preview of the upcoming milestone 60th anniversary season. Highlights also included presentations of proclamations from the state, county and city, and a short musical performance by Moonman Whitehead, violist with the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, with his teacher Laury Woods, a Santa Barbara Symphony violist.

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s upcoming season will boast the finest, world-class performers and conductors. Ludwig van Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and world-renowned pianist André Watts will open this spectacular season-long celebration with Sergei Rachmaninoff’s passionate Piano Concerto No. 2. The season will include classical “blockbusters” from the symphony’s 60 years of performance history plus two world premieres.

Audiences will experience beloved works of the most legendary composers and fascinating lesser-known composers from Beethoven, Gustav Mahler and George Gershwin to Jacques Ibert and Toru Takemitsu. The season will feature collaborations with the State Street Ballet (with world premiere choreography by William Soleau) and the Santa Barbara Choral Society, under the direction of JoAnne Wasserman.

“If you have not yet experienced the symphony, this special 60th anniversary season is the time to start enjoying the excitement of live masterpieces and master artists,” said Nir Kabaretti, music and artistic director of the Santa Barbara Symphony. “With a host of international, national and top-notch local musicians of the finest caliber, composers ranging from classic to modern, and special community collaborations, we truly offer something for everyone!”

The symphony also announced the renewal of Kabaretti’s three-year contract, welcoming him to his seventh consecutive season with the symphony. Described as “a conductor with immense musicality and warm personality” by Maestro Zubin Mehta, Kabaretti has earned an impressive reputation across continents for his command of a vast symphonic and operatic repertoire and his profound knowledge of and sensitivity to the music he conducts.

Upcoming season highlights include:

Gala Opening with Andre Watts
Oct. 20-21
André Watts, piano
Nir Kabaretti, conductor
Emma Lou Diemer, Santa Barbara Overture
Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Opus 67
Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Opus 18
French Connections
Nov. 10-11
Demarre McGill, flute
Nir Kabaretti, conductor
Debussy, Syrinx
Debussy, Prélude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Ibert, Concerto for Flute
Saint-Saëns, Symphony No. 3 “Organ Symphony”

Mozart & Mendelssohn
Jan. 19-20, 2013
Glenn Dicterow, violin
Cynthia Phelps, viola
Nir Kabaretti, conductor
Takemitsu, How Slow the Wind
Mozart, Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola
Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 3 in A minor Op. 56 “Scottish”

Firebird with State Street Ballet
World Premiere Choreography
Feb. 9-10, 2013
Michelle Temple, harp
Nir Kabaretti, conductor
Debussy, Sacred and Profane Dances
Brahms, Symphony No. 3 in F Major Opus 30
Stravinsky, Firebird
William Soleau, choreographer

American Masterpieces, Bernstein and Gershwin
World Premier, Concerto Grosso
March 16-17, 2013
Xiayin Wang, piano
Nir Kabaretti, conductor
Jonathan Leshoff, Concerto Grosso, World Premiere
Leonard Bernstein, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
George Gershwin, Piano Concerto in F

Four Seasons
April 13-14, 2013
Gregory Vajda, guest conductor
Nigel Armstrong, violin
Vivaldi, The Four Seasons
Glazunov, The Seasons Opus 67

Mahler “Resurrection” Finale
May 18-19, 2013
Santa Barbara Choral Society
JoAnne Wasserman, artistic director
Jennifer Black, soprano
Tamara Mumford, mezzo-soprano
Nir Kabaretti, conductor
Gustav Mahler, Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”

New Year’s Eve Pops Concert
Dec. 31, 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Back by popular demand, Bob Bernhardt, will lead the orchestra in an array of favorites from Broadway, Hollywood, Gershwin and much more! Guest soloist will be the symphony’s own great pianist, Natasha Kislenko. Ring in the new year with great fanfare; party hats, tiaras and noisemakers provided for all. Order tickets early — this fun concert is always a sell-out.

Concert Schedules and Ticketing

All Saturday concerts begin at 8 p.m. and all Sunday concerts begin at 3 p.m. with a dynamic pre-concert lecture, “Music Behind the Music” starting one hour before the concert. Subscriptions comprised of seven Saturday concerts range in price from $140 to $432 for new subscribers, and subscriptions comprised of seven Sunday concerts range in price from $108 to $360 for new subscribers. For renewing subscribers, subscriptions comprised of seven Saturday concerts range in price from $175 to $540, and subscriptions comprised of seven Sunday concerts range in price from $135 to 450.

To purchase subscriptions, call the symphony office at 805.898.9386 or click here to order online.

— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Symphony.

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