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Santa Barbara Symphony to Celebrate a Decade of Artistic Leadership by Nir Kabaretti

The Santa Barbara Symphony will mark the 10th anniversary of Maestro Nir Kabaretti’s appointment as music director with a celebratory program of works by Wagner, Hummel and Brahms at The Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara March 12-13, 2016.

Featuring a pair of masterworks performed as part of Maestro Kabaretti’s Symphony debut a decade ago — Wagner’s Die Meistersinger Overture and Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 ​— as well as Hummel’s crowd-pleasing Trumpet Concerto, which will showcase the remarkable talents of longtime orchestra principal Jon Lewis, the concerts will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are now available.

“Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 was the very first work I conducted in Santa Barbara, as it was one of my audition pieces in 2006 at the Arlington Theatre, and the Die Meistersinger Overture was the piece that launched my tenure as music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony,” said Maestro Kabaretti. “I am especially looking forward to performing the Brahms again, this time with the many musicians who have joined our orchestra over the last 10 years, and in our musical home, The Granada Theatre. For this festive concert I wanted to have a soloist from our orchestra, so I’m very happy that Jon Lewis will play the Hummel Trumpet Concerto.”

Under Maestro Kabaretti, the Santa Barbara Symphony has plotted a boldly collaborative course, sharing the stage with the likes of Lang Lang, Hélène Grimaud, Lynn Harrell and Anne Akiko Meyers; mounting fully staged productions of Stravinsky’s Firebird and Copland’s Appalachian Spring with State Street Ballet; and performing Beethoven’s Ninth and Mahler’s “Resurrection” symphonies with the Santa Barbara Choral Society and Quire of Voyces.

The orchestra teamed with three area arts organizations for an ambitious, multidisciplinary production of German composer Carl Orff’s epic cantata Carmina Burana to open the current season, selling out The Granada Theatre Oct. 17-18, 2015.

“I am thrilled to celebrate Nir Kabaretti’s 10 years with the Symphony,” enthused Board President Arthur G. Swalley. “Under his leadership the Symphony has developed into one of the finest regional orchestras in the world. Nir is beloved for his community spirit and collaborative genius, along with his winning personality.”
Named music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony in 2006 and its artistic director in 2008, Nir Kabaretti continues to collaborate with many of the world’s most renowned musicians, orchestras and opera houses.

Maestro Kabaretti has conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, to name just a few.

His extensive operatic experience includes productions at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Teatro Real in Madrid, Switzerland’s Opéra de Lausanne and Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

Winner of the 1993 Forum Junger Kunstler Conducting Competition in Vienna, he was named music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony in 2014.

Jon Lewis, who joined the Santa Barbara Symphony is 1988, is a top studio musician in Los Angeles. His playing can be heard on more than 500 movie soundtracks, including National Treasure: Book of SecretsThe Spiderwick ChroniclesLeatherheadsStep Up 2Get Smart and College Road Trip, among many others.

Noted conductor William Ross recently hailed Lewis’s work on the soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens as “stunning.”

He can also be heard on more than 500 television programs and on recordings by such artists as Ringo Starr, Amy Grant, KD Lang, Mariah Carey, Puff Daddy, Graciela Palafox and Bruce Lofgren.

In addition to his duties as principal trumpet of the Santa Barbara Symphony, Lewis performs as co-principal of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

He regularly performs as a soloist and gives masterclasses throughout the United States and abroad. 

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2015-16 season will continue with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto featuring guest soloist Timothy Chooi April 9-10 and guest artist Pablo Sáinz Villegas performing Elmer Bernstein’s Guitar Concerto in the season’s final concerts May 14-15.

Performances will take place at The Granada Theatre, located at 1214 State Street in Santa Barbara. Additional information is available at

The March 12-13 concerts are generously supported by The Samarkand, the Mosher Foundation, Montecito Bank and Trust and John and Ruth Matuszeski. 

Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased at or by calling 805.899.2222.

Group sales discounts of as much as 20 percent are available. Contact Gloria Regan at 805.319.1648 or [email protected].

Tim Dougherty represents the Santa Barbara Symphony.


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