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Music Academy of the West Announces Community Initiatives for Summer Festival

The Music Academy of the West has announced four bold new initiatives to welcome audiences to its annual summer classical music festival.

Anchoring the effort are $10 Community Access tickets, which will be available for all festival events.

Additionally, young people ages 7 to 17 will be admitted free to all events, performances and masterclasses will be streamed live on the internet, and the Music Academy will host a free open house, including rehearsals, performances and masterclasses, on June 24.

“Transforming our audience by increasing it is critical to our mission. We are fiercely dedicated to introducing more people to classical music, and earning more fans. Thanks to the incredible philanthropy of our supporters, we’ll be able to present performances and learning opportunities for more people in Santa Barbara’s finest venues, in their own homes, or wherever they are,” said Music Academy board chair Margaret Cafarelli.

Community Access Tickets for All Events

Community Access tickets priced at $10 will be available for all Music Academy events on a first-come, first-served basis when individual tickets for the Music Academy’s 2015 Summer Festival go on sale Saturday, April 25. Community Access seats will be located in premium sections of each Summer Festival venue: Hahn Hall, Lehmann Hall, and Weinman Hall, on the Music Academy campus; the Lobero and Granada theatres; and the Santa Barbara Bowl.

Festival performances include Academy Festival Orchestra concerts, the faculty and guest artist chamber music series, guest artist recitals, a fully staged production of Rossini’s opera Cinderella, and all performances by Academy fellows.

A Landmark Concert for the Community

The Music Academy of the West, with special appreciation to the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, presents the New York Philharmonic in concert with Music Director Alan Gilbert on Monday, August 3, at the Santa Barbara Bowl.  The all-American program includes music from Leonard Bernstein’s beloved West Side Story and Aaron Copland’s epic masterpiece Appalachian Spring, with its inspiring Shaker melody, “’Tis the Gift to be Simple.” Soprano Julia Bullock and tenor Benjamin Bliss, a 2012 alumnus of the Music Academy, will join the Philharmonic as soloists in the suite from West Side Story.

“Thanks to our generous supporters, we have secured substantial funding to enable us to offer astonishingly affordable tickets for this special event. More than 4,000 tickets will be available for $10 each. Our ongoing partnership with the New York Philharmonic allows us to bring one of the world’s greatest orchestras to inspire our fellows and engage with our community. This exceptional performance under the stars, overlooking the ocean, will be a highlight of the summer for Santa Barbara,” said Music Academy President Scott Reed.

Tickets for the Philharmonic concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl will go on sale on Saturday, April 25, at the Bowl Ticket Office, the Music Academy Ticket Office, and online at

7-17s Free Tickets for All Events

Under the Music Academy’s new 7-17s Free initiative, young people ages 7 to 17 accompanied by ticketed adults will be admitted free of charge to all Summer Festival events. 7-17s Free tickets will be available starting Saturday, April 25, at venue ticket offices, and throughout the Summer Festival.

Live and On-Demand Video Streaming

In order to make its programs more widely available, the Music Academy will increase live streaming of Festival performances and events at in 2015. More than 25 events will be streamed and then made available on demand worldwide. The quintessential Music Academy experience is the public masterclass; Academy faculty and visiting artists teach more than 50 classes over the course of each Summer Festival. Multiple videos of these performance and classes will be made available online in real time and hosted on the Academy’s website and YouTube channel for further viewing.

Music Academy Open House

On Wednesday, June 24, the Music Academy will throw open its doors for its annual free, all-day community event. For the first time, the day will begin with an Academy Festival Orchestra rehearsal at Hahn Hall led by guest conductor Larry Rachleff featuring Ravel’s ever-popular Boléro. In the afternoon, audiences can enjoy masterclasses and rehearsals at all campus performance venues. Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne will teach a masterclass in Hahn Hall. The grounds will be open for picnicking from 5 6:30 pm, followed by a string quartet performance and discussion at 6:30 pm in Hahn Hall. Free tickets for the Marilyn Horne masterclass and the string quartet performance will be available on Saturday, April 25, at the Academy Ticket Office until all seats are reserved.

Community Support

The Music Academy’s partnership with the New York Philharmonic has been made possible through the generosity of Lead Sponsors Linda and Michael Keston. Supporting Sponsors include the Michael J. Connell Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The New York Philharmonic Concert Sponsor is the John C. Bowen and Shelby C. Bowen Charitable Foundation, presented with special appreciation to the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation.

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert is a 2015 Music Academy Luria Foundation Artist in Residence.

The Music Academy proudly thanks the following sponsors of the 2015 Community Access tickets and 7-17s Free initiative: Northern Trust, Eve Bernstein, and the Willfong-Singh family in memory of Alice and Donald Willfong.

— Tim Dougherty is the communications manager for the Music Academy of the West.

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