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Camerata Pacifica Opens Season With Prokofiev, Harbison, Shostakovich

Chamber music ensemble Camerata Pacifica will open its 28th season with a program that combines Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison’s String Trio with two mid-20th century Russian gems: Sergei Prokofiev’s “Sonata for Flute and Piano in D Major” and Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor.”

The ensemble’s Santa Barbara performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 in Hahn Hall, at the Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road. Other programs are scheduled for 3 p.m Sept. 10 in Ventura; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in San Marino; and 8 p.m. Sept. 14 in Los Angeles.
“John Harbison was commissioned to write his ‘String Trio,’ his first, in celebration of Camerata Pacifica’s 25th season," said Camerata Pacifica Artistic Director and Principal Flute Adrian Spence.

“Premiered in 2014, it’s an absolute masterpiece of form and counterpoint, and has immediately secured a place in the canon. Bookending the Harbison are two World War II-era Russian works that could not be more dissimilar in character:

“Shostakovich’s penetrating ‘Piano Trio No. 2’ and Prokofiev’s buoyant ‘Sonata for Flute and Piano,’ ” Spence said.
Modeled loosely on Mozart’s exalted “Divertimento in E-flat, Harbison’s String Trio” has been described as “wonderfully elegant” (The Guardian) and “a major addition to the string trio repertory” (both The Guardian and Los Angeles Times).

The thematic material of the work’s six movements is reportedly derived from musical spellings of Argentine soccer great Lionel Messi’s name. (Harbison has called Messi the sport’s “Mozart.”)   
In addition to Spence, featured performers for these concerts will include violinist Paul Huang, violist Richard O’Neill, cellist Ani Aznavoorian and pianist Inna Faliks. Artist biographies are available online at
Camerata Pacifica will present a total of eight eclectic programs over the course of 2017-18, including the world premiere of “24 Preludes for Viola and Piano” by Lera Auerbach.

In October, the ensemble will present Carl Vine’s “Inner World,” William Kraft’s “Encounters V,” Osvaldo Golijov’s “Mariel,” Mendelssohn’s “Songs Without Words,” and David Bruce’s “The Consolation of Rain.”

Complete season program information is available at
Subscriptions and single tickets — priced from $125 and $50, respectively — can be ordered at To order tickets or for more information, call 884-8410.
San Marino Concerts are at the Huntington, 1151 Oxford Road; Los Angeles concerts at Zipper Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave.; and Ventura concerts at Temple Beth Torah, 7620 Foothill Road.
For more information, call 884-8410 or visit

— Tim Dougherty for Camerata Pacifica.


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