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Guitarist Villegas to Perform with Santa Barbara Symphony

Classical guitar master Pablo Sáinz Villegas will perform Joaquín Rodrigo’s "Concierto de Aranjuez" and Isaac Albéniz’s "Souvenirs of Spain" with the Santa Barbara Symphony at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19.

The performance also will include suites from Manuel de Falla’s ballet El Amor Brujo and Bizet’s magnificent incidental music for Alphonse Daudet’s play L’arlésienne.

Priced from $29, tickets can be purchased at or through the Granada box office, 899-2222.

“The guitar is such a beloved instrument, and yet we don’t often hear it in conjunction with an orchestra," said Maestro Nir Kabaretti, Santa Barbara Symphony’s music director.

"These performances are especially noteworthy in that they’ll feature one of the world’s leading guitar players,”  he said.

“Spanish music is always very attractive, with its rhythms and sounds, and the guitar looms large in that musical tradition.

"In addition to the well-known Aranjuez concerto, which combines beauty and virtuosity, we’ll present the world premiere Patrick Russ’ arrangement of Albéniz’s Souvenirs of Spain,” Kabaretti said.

The Nov. 18-19 performances will mark the outset of Villegas’ tenure as the Santa Barbara Symphony’s inaugural artist-in-residence. His related appearances will include a series of educational programs for children at the Granada Theatre Jan. 18-19.

Villegas also will perform a solo recital at the Santa Barbara Presidio on Nov. 16. Tickets for this event cost $100 and include a pre-concert reception at 6 p.m. Featuring a program of Spanish guitar, the performance will follow at 7:30 p.m.

Reservations are required. Proceeds will benefit the Santa Barbara Symphony. For tickets and information, call 898-0107. The Presidio is at 123 E. Canon Perdido St.

Villegas established his international reputation by winning the gold medal at the inaugural Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition in 2006.

The New York Times has lauded Villegas for his “virtuosic playing characterized by irresistible exuberance,”

Often compared to classical guitar titan Andrés Segovia, Villegas captivated local audiences in a pair of concerts to conclude the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2015-16 season.

Villegas has appeared with orchestras in more than 30 countries, and has performed numerous world premieres, including "Rounds" by Academy Award-winning composer John Williams.

He is the founder of the Music Without Borders Legacy, a nonprofit organization devoted to leveraging the inspirational power of music for the benefit of youth.

Complete season program information is available online at

— Tim Dougherty for Santa Barbara Symphony.


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