Monday, May 21 , 2018, 5:12 pm | A Few Clouds 66º


Gerald Carpenter: Santa Barbara Symphony Closing Season in Style

Pianist Alon Goldstein will perform as a guest artist for the weekend performances

Avner Dorman views his Piano Concerto No. 2 as a séance.
Avner Dorman views his Piano Concerto No. 2 as a “séance.”

The Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of music director Nir Kabaretti, concludes its 2010-2011 season with twin concerts this weekend, at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in The Granada.

Brilliant pianist Alon Goldstein will return as a guest artist, this time performing a work written for him and that he premiered.

The program consists of three works: Antonin Dvořák’s Carnival Overture, Opus 92 (1892), the West Coast premiere of Avner Dorman’s Piano Concerto No. 2 “Lost Souls” (2009), with Goldstein, and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 in E-Minor, Opus 98 (1885).

Dvořák’s Carnival Overture, like virtually everything he wrote, is melodious, exciting, haunting and compelling — it requires no background whatsoever.

Born in Israel in 1975, Dorman has a master’s degree from Tel Aviv University and a doctorate in music composition from the Juilliard School, but he is by no means your typical academic composer. Instead of trying to impress academia with his “purity” and “integrity” — always a losing battle, in any case — his compositions speak directly to the people, his audiences and his fellow musicians.

He describes “Lost Souls” as “a séance for piano and orchestra.” It summons and celebrates the souls of many great piano concertos of the past: Edvard Grieg, Frédéric Chopin, Maurice Ravel and Sergei Rachmaninoff, to name a few.

Brahms started his Symphony No. 4 in 1884, just after completing No. 3, and concluded in 1885. That is pretty fast work for such an notoriously meticulous craftsman, but my historical mentor has long suggested that he had the advantage of having God looking over his shoulder, telling him what to write. The symphony is the greatest — I think, exponentially — of his four, its majestic power balanced perfectly with its poignant lyricism.

Tickets are available from The Granada box office at 1214 State St. or 805.899.2222, or click here to order online.

— 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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