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Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra Serves Up Mendelssohn, Dvořák

Making its second appearance of the 2015-16 season, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s radiant “Swiss” Symphony for Strings No. 9 and Antonin Dvořák’s sumptuous Serenade for Strings at the historic Lobero Theatre on Dec. 8.

The concert will begin at 7:30 pm, following the orchestra’s first “Supper Club” dinner of the season and a performance by the Cold Spring School Children’s Choir.

KUSC Executive Producer Gail Eichenthal will serve as the evening’s guest host. Ticket sales are underway.

Completed in 1823 when he was just 14 years old, Mendelssohn’s “Swiss” Symphony for Strings No. 9 signaled his emerging originality and boldness as a composer. Though clearly influenced by Haydn, the work displays remarkable harmonic and rhythmic range and technical sophistication.

Written over 12 days in May 1875, Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings continues to enchant performers and audiences alike with its airy tunefulness.

Once again this season, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra is led by the peerless Heiichiro Ohyama, now in his 33rd year as the ensemble’s music director and conductor.

Over the course of his distinguished career, Maestro Ohyama also has served as principal violist and assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; principal chief conductor of the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra in Fukuoka, Japan, and the Osaka Symphony Orchestra; artistic director of La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; and music director of the Nagasaki Music Festival.

Also a professor of music at the University of California from 1973 to 2003, he received the 1991 Gruber Award for Excellence in Chamber Music Teaching in Los Angeles.

The Dec. 8 concert will be preceded by the Chamber Orchestra’s first “Supper Club” dinner of the 2015-16 season.

Featuring Cinque Stelle wines and deliciously unique Italian cuisine by Chef Renato Moiso of Santa Barbara’s celebrated Via Maestra 42 restaurant, the event will take place at 6 pm in the Lobero courtyard.

Wine service will begin at 5:30 p.m. Dinner tickets cost $50 and seating is limited. Call 805.966.2441 for more information. Supper Club sponsors include Touring & Tasting magazine.

At 7 p.m., the Cold Spring School Children’s Choir will perform a brief program of holiday favorites outside the Lobero Theatre’s main entrance.

The Lobero Theatre is at 33 E. Canon Perdido St. in Santa Barbara.

Concert tickets can be purchased at the Lobero Theatre Ticket Office, 805-963-0761, or by calling 805-966-2441.

Additional SBCO ticketing details are available at

The SBCO season will continue with a chamber music performance at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Fleischmann Auditorium on Feb. 9; concerts at the Lobero Theatre on March 22 (featuring violinist Martin Beaver) and May 17 (featuring pianist Alessio Bax); and a discussion and performance featuring KUSC host Alan Chapman, SBCO Maestro Heiichiro Ohyama, and select orchestra players at the University Club of Santa Barbara on April 5.

Complete program information is available at

Founded in 1978, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra is devoted to presenting concerts and programming of exceptional quality, and to fostering engagement with classical music among community members of all ages.

The organization’s reputation for excellence has long attracted musicians of uncommon achievement. Current and former SBCO musicians perform with the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, Pacific Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Symphony.

Acclaimed conductor Heiichiro Ohyama has served as music director of the ensemble since 1983. For more information, visit

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