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Gerald Carpenter: SBCC Symphony Works Up ‘Beauty’ of a Program

The orchestra will perform its winter concert at 7 p.m. Friday

SBCC’s Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Music Director James Mooy, will offer its winter concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in the Marjorie Luke Theatre, on the Santa Barbara Junior High School campus, 721 E. Cota St.

The program, while it can by no means described as “pops,” nevertheless shades toward the light classical and endearing.

We’ll hear the overture to the opera La Forza del Destino by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), the Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra (with Michael Evans on trombone) by Launy Grøndahl (1886-1960), the Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins and Orchestra, BWV 1043 (with Kiri-Christina Hauck and Jeon Richard on violins) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and the suite from the ballet Sleeping Beauty, Opus 66a by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893).

For all but one of the pieces named above, it would be overstating the obvious to say that they need no introduction. The exception, of course, is the concerto by Grøndahl, the unfamiliar name and 20th century dates causing unease in the hearts of some segments of the music-loving public.

Thus, Grøndahl was a Danish composer and conductor. He began to study the violin when he was 8, and got his first professional job as a fiddler when he was 13. For more than a quarter-century, he was resident conductor of Denmark’s most prominent orchestra, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

His compositional style was basically romantic, not unlike that of his fellow Dane, Carl Nielsen, whose six majestic symphonies Grøndahl was the first to record. He himself wrote a symphony, works for small string ensembles, and a violin concerto, but he is best known for the trombone concerto, written in 1924, while the composer was in Italy, dreaming of the outstanding trombone section of the orchestra of the Casino Theatre in Copenhagen.

Tickets to the SBCC Symphony are $12 for general admission and $8 for seniors and students. They can be purchased at the SBCC Garvin box office, at 805.965.5935, and at the door.

— 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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