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Local Choruses, Santa Barbara Symphony Join Forces to Perform Beethoven’s Ninth

The Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Nir Kabaretti, will assemble singers from throughout the region for performances of Beethoven’s jubilant and inspiring Symphony No. 9 Oct. 15 and 16 at the Granada Theatre.

Also featuring Rapture, an orchestral work by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Christopher Rouse, the season-opening concerts will take place at 8 pm Oct. 15, and 3 p.m. Oct. 16. Tickets are now available. The Granada Theatre is at 1214 State St.

The performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with its rapturous choral setting of Friedrich Schiller’s Ode to Joy, will feature singers from the Santa Barbara Choral Society, Westmont College, UCSB, Quire of Voyces and San Marcos High School, as well as soloists Jeanine De Bique (soprano), Nina Yoshida Nelson (mezzo), Benjamin Brecher (tenor), and DeAndre Simmons (bass).
 
“These concerts will be true community events. We are thrilled to be joined by five choruses that reflect the area’s vibrant vocal scene, including singers of all ages, and four wonderful soloists who have strong connections to our town. We see it as our mission to serve as the catalyst for collaborations of this sort,” said Israeli conductor Kabaretti, who was named Santa Barbara Symphony's s music director in 2006 and its artistic director in 2008.
 
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is a tribute to the enduring spirit of humanity and will be performed by more than 150 singers and 80 orchestra members, with soloists from across the country returning to their Santa Barbara roots, for a spectacular start to the season,” said Kathryn R. Martin, interim executive director of the Santa Barbara Symphony.
 
Described by The Washington Post as an artist of “dramatic presence and versatility,” Trinidadian soprano Jeanine De Bique has garnered accolades for her luscious tone and compelling stage presence. She will perform as Micaela in Opera Santa Barbara’s season-opening production of Carmen at the Granada Theatre on Nov. 4 and 6.

Hailed as “appealingly direct and honest in tone and bearing” by the Boston Globe, mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen recently made her New York City Opera debut as Suzuki in Madam Butterfly, a role she previously sang with Opera Santa Barbara.

Nelsen made her Santa Barbara Symphony debut as a soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass five seasons ago, and took top honors in the 2004 Santa Barbara Foundation Vocal Competition.

Acclaimed tenor Benjamin Brecher is well-known to local audiences. An associate professor of music at UCSB, he appeared in Opera Santa Barbara’s production of Don Giovanni last year, and will next perform with the company in The Cunning Little Vixen in March.

Music Academy of the West alumnus DeAndre Simmons has been lauded for his "elegant” voice (The New York Times). In 2009 he performed Copland’s Lincoln Portrait with the Academy Festival Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin at the Granada.
 
The Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2016-17 season continues Nov. 19 and 20 with a program of Mozart and Tchaikovsky piano concertos featuring soloists Natasha Kislenko and visiting artist Markus Groh.

Following a family concert performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with storyteller Michal Katz on Nov. 26, guest conductor Bob Bernhardt will lead the ensemble’s New Year’s Pops Concert, which will include an appearance by the aerial performance troupe Cirque de la Symphonie.

Guest conductor David Lockington will lead performances of Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber, as well as orchestral accompaniment for screened scenes from Walt Disney’s beloved Fantasia films on Jan. 28 and 29.

The Symphony will next present the West Coast premiere of American composer Jonathan Leshnoff’s Clarinet Concerto along with Copland’s iconic Symphony No. 3 on Feb. 11 and 12.

Coming in the spring are:

A pairing of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, with guest violinist Philippe Quint (March 18 and 19)

Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 and Grieg’s Piano Concerto, featuring guest soloist Lilya Zilberstein (April 15 and 16)

A celebration of Paris, including Mozart’s Symphony No. 31, Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto (with guest artist Zuill Bailey), Liszt’s Les Préludes, and Gershwin’s An American in Paris (May 13 and 14).

The concerts on Oct. 15 and 16 are supported by Montecito Bank & Trust, Richard and Marilyn Mazess, Barbara Burger and Paul Munch, Brooks and Kate Firestone, Mikki Andina, Chris and David Chernof, Stephen Erickson and Brett Moore.
 
For tickets, which start at $29, go at www.granadasb.org or call 899-2222. Group sales discounts of up to 20 percent are available. Patrons ages 20-29 can buy $20 tickets; students with valid ID can buy $10 tickets. Seating in both cases is confined to selected sections of the Granada Theatre. Series packages start at $62. To place a subscription order, go to www.thesymphony.org/store_symphony or call 898-9386.

For additional information on the symphony, visit www.thesymphony.org.

Tim Dougherty for the Santa Barbara Symphony

 

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