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Santa Barbara Symphony Sets Stage for Greatness in 2010-11 Season

Seniors receive incredible rates for concert subscriptions

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2010-2011 season will be a delight for your senses — the array of musical masterpieces and more are sure to thrill and excite.

The lineup features a score of exciting composers, performers and conductors, including international powerhouse pianist Alon Goldstein; outstanding harpist and rising star Letizia Belmondo; dynamic and daring Norwegian conductor Arild Remmereit; musical maverick and local favorite Gilles Apap performing a world premiere; sizzling Argentine pianist Sergio Tiempo; and dynamic orchestral works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Schubert, Mozart, Dvořák and others.

Also planned are collaborations with other local arts groups: Aaron Copland’s masterpiece, “Appalachian Spring,” with the State Street Ballet and a very special performance of Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” with the Santa Barbara Choral Society and Westmont College Choir under the direction of JoAnne Wasserman.

“The quality of our 2010 to 2011 season is unmatched,” said John Robinson, the symphony’s executive director. “From Argentina to Israel and from Beethoven to Tchaikovsky, we are bringing the finest performers from around the world to join our musicians in the most exquisite pieces in the musical repertoire.”

“There will be a delightful assortment of styles in our 2010 to 2011 season, with something for everybody,” added Nir Kabaretti, the symphony’s music and artistic director.

“For me personally, it will be a great privilege to conduct master works like Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’ and Korsakov’s ‘Scheherazade’ while discovering and exploring newer repertoire written in the 20th century, and working with stellar artists like Sergio Tiempo and Letizia Belmondo.”

The symphony is also pleased to announce a brand-new, easy-to-use Web site introducing the organization’s new look and up-to-date features, including a comprehensive press room, special events and other resources. Click here for the site.

Symphony subscriptions of seven Saturday concerts range in price from $170 to $525 and subscriptions of seven Sunday concerts range in price from $130 to $435. Senior rates on Saturday for B/BB section are $170 and for C/CC sections $275. Sunday rates are $130, B/BB $275 and A/AA are $360. Click here to purchase subscriptions, or call 805.898.9386. All Saturday concerts begin at 8 p.m. and all Sunday concerts begin at 3 p.m.

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2010-2011 season will feature international virtuosos, the finest symphonic works and much more. Highlights include:

“Beethoven 9”: Saturday, Oct. 16, and Sunday, Oct. 17
Susanna Phillips, Soprano
Elise Quagliata, Mezzo-Soprano
Bryan Griffin, Tenor
Jason Grant, Bass-baritone
Santa Barbara Choral Society and Westmont College Choir
Chorus directed by JoAnne Wasserman
Beethoven: Consecration of the House Overture
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

The season opens in joyous fashion with Beethoven’s majestic “Ninth Symphony.” Searching, agitated, tranquil and ultimately rapturous, this visionary work is a towering masterpiece that movingly affirms our common humanity. Beethoven’s eloquent plea for universal brotherhood will receive its first performance in the renovated Granada Theatre, as music and artistic director Nir Kabaretti leads the symphony, the Santa Barbara Choral Society, the Westmont College Choir and four splendid vocal soloists. The program also includes the composer’s highly dramatic “Consecration of the House Overture.”

“Scheherazade”: Saturday, Nov. 13, and Sunday, Nov. 14
Sergio Tiempo, piano
Rimsky Korsakov: “Scheherazade”
Tchaikovsky: “Piano Concerto No. 1”

Old favorites will be infused with new excitement when Kabaretti leads the orchestra in two of the most popular pieces from the romantic repertory. Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, which recreates the spell woven by a legendary storyteller, will entrance audiences with its gorgeous melodies and exotic orchestral colors. It will be followed by Tchaikovsky’s distinctly dramatic and intensely lyrical “First Piano Concerto.” Argentine-Venezuelan soloist Sergio Tiempo, a protégé of Martha Argerich, is heralded by critics and fellow musicians as one of the outstanding pianists of his generation.

“Appalachian Spring”: Saturday, Jan. 22, and Sunday, Jan. 23
With State Street Ballet
Artistic director: Rodney Gustafson
Stravinsky: “Pulcinella Suite”
Schubert: “Symphony No. 5”
Copland: “Appalachian Spring Suite”

In their first-ever collaboration, Santa Barbara’s own State Street Ballet will join forces with the symphony to present an American masterpiece, Copland’s “Appalachian Spring.” William Soleau, who has devised brilliant works for companies from New York to Shanghai, will create new choreography to accompany this beloved score. The program also features the Suite from Stravinsky’s “Pulcinella,” a brilliantly colorful, rhythmically playful work based on baroque-era melodies, and Schubert’s buoyant, sparkling “Fifth Symphony.”

“Grieg & Shostakovich”: Saturday, Feb. 19, and Sunday, Feb. 20
Arild Remmereit, guest conductor
Natasha Kislenko, piano
Grieg: “Holberg Suite”
Shostakovich: “Piano Concerto No. 1”
Svendsen: “Symphony No. 1”

Remmereit, a charismatic Norwegian maestro, has dazzled critics throughout the United States and Europe. His program includes two works from his native Norway: Edvard Grieg’s buoyant “Holberg Suite” and the cheerful, outgoing first symphony of Grieg’s close friend, Johan Svendsen. Natasha Kislenko and Jon Lewis will be soloists in Shostakovich’s witty and sardonic “Concerto for Piano and Trumpet.”

“Gilles Apap”: Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20
Gilles Apap, Violin
Robin Frost: “Concertino for Violin” world premiere
Khachaturian: “Violin Concerto”
Mussorgsky/Ravel: “Pictures at an Exhibition”

Former Santa Barbara Symphony concertmaster and French violinist Gilles Apap, a favorite of Santa Barbara audiences, returns for his first-ever performance of Khachaturian’s brilliantly virtuosic “Violin Concerto.” With his unmatched facility in both classical and traditional folk music, Apap brings a unique sensibility to this 20th-century masterpiece, which draws on the rhythmic and melodic vitality of Armenian folk song. The program also features the world premiere of Santa Barbara composer Robin Frost’s “Concertino for Violin,” a piece written for Apap, and the mighty, muscular sounds of Mussorgsky’s musical stroll through a memorable museum exhibit. Prior symphony Apap performances have been sold out.

“Mozart’s Jupiter’”: Saturday, April 16, and Sunday, April 17
Letizia Belmondo, harp
Renié: “Concerto for Harp and Orchestra”
Mozart: “Symphony No. 41 ‘Jupiter’”

Mozart’s final symphony is one of his most glorious creations, an exceptionally rich, highly dramatic work that is both immensely pleasing and deeply profound. It will be paired with the little-known but utterly delightful “Harp Concerto” by pioneering French composer Henriette Renié. The preeminent harpist of her era, Renié wrote and premiered this delicate, romantic work in 1901. One of the greatest harpists of our time, prize-winning Italian virtuoso Letizia Belmondo, will perform it here in a rare American appearance.

“Brahms 4”: Saturday, May 14, and Sunday, May 15
Alon Goldstein, piano
Dvořák: “Carnival Overture”
Avner Dorman: “Piano Concerto No. 2 ‘Lost Souls”’
Brahms: “Symphony No. 4”

Israeli pianist Alon Goldstein, who joined the symphony for a remarkably sensitive performance of Rachmaninoff’s “Second Concerto” in 2005, returns with the West Coast premiere of a work written specifically for him: Avner Dorman’s “Lost Souls.” Dorman describes this stylistically varied 2009 composition as a séance calling forth composers and pianists of the past. The season concludes with Brahms’ intensely beautiful “Fourth Symphony,” a profoundly satisfying summation of the composer’s art.

The Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra Association was founded in 1953 on the belief that a special city deserves a special orchestra. Throughout more than a half-century of glorious history, the symphony has been celebrated for its unique ability to deliver brilliant orchestral concerts while maintaining a strong commitment to education and community engagement.

Click here to purchase season tickets to the Santa Barbara Symphony, click here for more information, or call 805.898.9386.

—Marjorie Wass and Juliana Minsky represent the Santa Barbara Symphony.

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