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Gerald Carpenter: UCSB Chamber Ensembles Take Center Stage for Monday Performances

The UC Santa Barbara University Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Brent Wilson, will present its annual fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday in UCSB’s Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. Click to view larger
The UC Santa Barbara University Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Brent Wilson, will present its annual fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday in UCSB’s Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. (UC Santa Barbara Music Department photo)

The young virtuosos from the UC Santa Barbara Music Department will offer a two-tiered concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday in UCSB’s Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. I call it “two-tiered” in an effort to convey my sense that we are actually dealing with two separate concerts, joined at the waist (intermission).

This is not meant as a criticism, but as a preparation of the sort of experience(s) we are likely to have in Lehmann Hall that evening.

The opening half features the winners of the UCSB Chamber Music Competition, divided in to small, intimate ensembles and performing as the UCSB Chamber Players. Their program will consist of clarinetists Gabrielle Valladares, Martin Hsu, Michelle Graff, Shannon Thomas, William Luszczak, Melissa Demarjian and Trevor Withrow, with Andrew Ting, bass clarinet, playing the song “Molly on the Shore,” by Australian composer Percy Grainger, as arranged for them by Luszczak.

Then the UCSB Young Artist Piano Quartet (Youjin Jung, violin; Jordan Warmath, viola; Larissa Fedoryka, cello; Leslie Cain, piano) will perform the “Allegro” from Johannes Brahms’Piano Quartet No. 1 in g-minor, Opus 25 (1861) — the same work that Arnold Schoenberg brilliantly orchestrated into a full-fledged symphony in an attempt to prove that Brahms had imagined it as a symphony in the first place.

After which a wind quintet made up of Sylvie Tran, flute; Lexie Callaway-Cole, oboe; Min Su Kim, clarinet; Will Grace, horn; and Claire Garvais, bassoon, will play the the Five Antique Hungarian Dances (1959), by Ferenc Farkas (1905-2000), taking us up to the intermission.

In the second half, the University Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Brent Wilson, will play the “Overture” to Leonard Bernstein’s opera, Candide (1956); Wolfgang Mozart’s Divertimento for String Orchestra in Bb-Major, K. 137 (1772) and Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G-Major, Opus 88 (1889).

The Farkas tunes are likely to be the major discovery for most of us, being lovely and very much in the line of Peter Warlock’s Capriol Suite and Ottorino Respighi’s suites of Ancient Dances and Airs.

When ensembles play a Dvořák symphony other than the one “From the New World,” it is usually this one in G-Major, which is exciting and bursting with memorable melodies — although any of the other seven, should it by some fluke make it on to an orchestra’s program, would soon win hearts and souls in the audience.

Tickets to this concert are $10 general admission, $5 for non-UCSB students with ID, and free for UCSB students with ID as well as children under 12. Click here to purchase tickets online, buy them at the door or call 805.893.2064.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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