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Cirque Aerial Act Joins Symphony Pops Concert to Ring In 2017

The Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of guest conductor Bob Bernhardt, will usher in 2017 with a New Year’s Eve pops concert featuring aerial-performance troupe Cirque de la Symphonie at 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31, in the historic Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Tickets are now available.
Musical selections will include themes from Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek and Mission Impossible, as well as beloved works by Tchaikovsky, Gershwin, Sousa, Mozart and Debussy. Santa Barbara Symphony Principal Michelle Temple will be the featured soloist for the first movement of Handel’s "Harp Concerto in B-flat."
“There is no better place to start your New Year’s Eve celebration than with the Symphony,” said Kevin A. Marvin, Santa Barbara Symphony executive director. “The remarkably talented performers of Cirque de la Symphonie will significantly add to the festive evening.”
Bernhardt, who has conducted the Santa Barbara Symphony on numerous occasions, was named principal pops conductor of the Grand Rapids Symphony in 2015 and this season is celebrating his 20th year as principal pops conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. He also serves as principal pops conductor of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera.

This season marks Bernhardt's 24th as a frequent guest of the Boston Pops, which he first conducted at the invitation of John Williams.
Featuring aerial flyers, acrobats and contortionists, Cirque de la Symphonie is the only cirque company in the world that performs exclusively with symphony orchestras. Performances are choreographed to specific compositions, adding a stunning visual element to the concert experience.
The Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2016-17 season will continue Jan. 28-29 with guest conductor David Lockington leading orchestral accompaniment for screened scenes from Walt Disney’s Fantasia Films, as well as performances of Hindemith’s "Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes" by Carl Maria von Weber.

Also on tap for the symphony season:

Feb. 11-12: The West Coast premiere of American composer Jonathan Leshnoff’s "Clarinet Concerto" along with Copland’s iconic "Symphony No. 3."

March 18-19: A pairing of Vivaldi’s "The Four Seasons" and Piazzolla’s "The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires," with guest violinist Philippe Quint.

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

May 13-14: 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."
Complete season program information is available online at  
The New Year’s Eve concert is supported by the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, Robin and Kay Frost, Robert Weinman, and the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation.
Tickets start at $39 and can be purchased at or by calling 899-2222. For additional information, visit
— Tim Dougherty for Santa Barbara Symphony.

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