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Gerald Carpenter: UCSB Music Department to Launch Summer Festival

This Thursday, Sept. 1, the UC Santa Barbara Department of Music, in conjunction with the university’s College of Creative Studies and MultiCultural Center, will set forth on the maiden voyage of their new “Summer Festival, a one-day event packed with exciting performances and cultural explorations, culminating in a full-length concert by the explosively talented Formalist Quartet (Andrew Tholl, violin; Mark Menzies, violin & viola; Andrew McIntosh, violin & viola; and Ashley Walters, cello). To make the whole thing irresistible, admission is free for all events.

The festival starts at 4 p.m. with a performance by cellist Kathryn Carlson (award-winning member of the Ensemble for Contemporary Music who is beginning her senior year as a performance major) in the MCC, followed at 4:15 p.m. by a half-hour concert of works by composer Graham Bunce (now in his 3rd year in CCS) in the same location.

Continuing at the MCC at 4:45 p.m., there will be a master class with Miguelito León, accompanied by Los Rumberos de Cali. The Afro-Cuban band will follow up with a concert at 5:30 p.m.

Also at 5:30 p.m., but in the Old Little Theater, there will be a recital by concert violist Jonathan Morgan (of the UCSB ensemble in residence, Now Hear), followed at 5:45 p.m. in the same venue, by guitarist and singer-songwriter Christina Apostolopoulos, performing her own works, a fusion of popular music, classical, jazz and the blues.

Then, at 6:15 p.m., still in the Old Little Theater, the Now Hear Ensemble will perform a more extended program to take us up to what many will consider the main event: At 7:30 p.m. the Formalist Quartet plays a full-length concert at Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall.

Three of the works on the program were composed by members of the quartet — Mark Menzies, Andrew McIntosh, Andrew Tholl, respectively — while one of the other two pieces will be the work of composer Erik Ullman of Stanford University, and the other will be the premiere of a new microtonal work by Santa Barbara-based composer Federico Llach.

Once again, admission is free to all events. For more information about the UCSB Summer Festival, visit http://music.ucsb.edu/summerfestival.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor.

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