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Maestro Kabaretti Extends Tenure With Santa Barbara Symphony

Successor being sought to take over in three years

Nir Kabaretti conducts Santa Barbaa Symphony.
Nir Kabaretti conducts Santa Barbaa Symphony. (Santa Barbaa Symphony)

Music and Artistic Director Nir Kabaretti has signed a three-year contract extension with the Santa Barbara Symphony, with plans to continue to bring high-quality performances of interest to Santa Barbara audiences.

The Board of Directors approved the contract with compliments to Maestro Kabaretti and excitement about the current and coming seasons.

Since 2006, the Santa Barbara community has embraced Kabaretti and his dynamic, innovative style. At the time, more than 300 candidates from around the world expressed interest in the position to lead the Santa Barbara Symphony.

Kabaretti was the clear choice due to his experience and talent in symphonic and operatic repertoire; he has fulfilled the expectations of the Santa Barbara community for the last 12 seasons.

“We are grateful that our ever-popular and sought-after maestro will be with us for the next three years,” said Don Gilman, president of the Board of Directors. “Under his artistic leadership, the orchestra has developed into one of the finest in the region,”

In addition to Santa Barbara Symphony, Kabaretti begins a new appointment as musical director of the Israel Sinfonietta Beer-Sheva next season, where he will succeed Maestro Justus Frantz’ five-year tenure with the orchestra.

Kabaretti has dedicated his talents to the Southwest Florida Symphony in Fort Myers, Fla., since 2014.

He has decided to conclude this treasured and successful musical chapter of his career with the Santa Barbara Symphony at the end of this three-year contract extension. Symphony leadership has a process in motion to identify Kabaretti’s successor over the course of the next few seasons.

“The grace and passion with which he leads the Santa Barbara Symphony’s top-tier musicians, bringing out the best in individual instruments and the entirety of the pieces is riveting,” said Kevin Marvin, executive director.

“Nir Kabaretti continues to collaborate with some of the world’s most renowned musicians, orchestras and opera houses to ensure Santa Barbara Symphony supporters get the depth and breadth of a variety of music,” he said.

Kabaretti’s expertise in selecting a balance of programs is appreciated by long-time symphony supporters and attractive to new audiences. This broad reach through the Santa Barbara community to keep people engaged and attract new audiences is a goal of the Symphony Board of Directors.

Kabaretti has conducted numerous orchestras includeing:

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, L’Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, Orquestre National du Theatre du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova.

Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano “La Verdi”, Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, Belgrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra of Rishon Le Tzion, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, and Niederösterreichisches.

For a complete biography of Kabaretti and more information about the Santa Barbara Symphony, visit

— Kevin A. Marvin for Santa Barbara Symphony.


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