Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 8:16 pm | Fair 49º


Symphony to Celebrate a Century of Leonard Bernstein

The Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Nir Kabaretti, will pay tribute to the musical genius of Leonard Bernstein with performances that highlight the breadth of his legacy Feb. 17-18 at the Granada Theatre, 1214 State St.

Featuring award-winning soprano Lisa Vroman and singers from the Santa Barbara Choral Society, the concerts will take place at 8 p.m. Feb. 17 and 3 p.m. Feb. 18.

The program includes some of Bernstein’s best-known works, including melodies from West Side Story and the ballet Fancy Free, plus Aaron Copland’s Quiet City, and the premiere of a piano concerto by Santa Barbara-based composer Robin Frost.

Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased at or by calling 899-2222.

“The musical world this year is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century," said Kabaretti.

"Bernstein was an exceptionally versatile artist — a composer (of classical and light music), a pianist and a conductor — and we wanted to show the wide range of his composing skills, including ballet music, musicals, and concert music,” he said.

“One of his greater influences was Aaron Copland, which explains the inclusion of Quiet City," Kaberetti said.

"Bernstein also was a staunch advocate for new music, and I thought it would be a great fit to premiere Robin Frost’s Piano Concerto," he said.

"On top of all that, we’ll have three outstanding soloists from our own orchestra, Natasha Kislenko, Jon Lewis and Sarah Beck, together with Lisa Vroman — who possesses one of the most beautiful voices in American musical theater — and the Santa Barbara Choral Society. This is going to be a huge party,” Kaberetti said.
Hailed as “an accomplished, imaginative artist” by Opera News, Vroman starred for several years on Broadway as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, garnering theater critics’ awards for the role during an extended run in San Francisco.

She has performed with New York City Opera, Utah Opera and Opera New Jersey and has appeared as a guest soloist with orchestras throughout the U.S. and Asia, the symphony said.

Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman has described Vroman as a “musical and theatrical marvel.” She last appeared with the Santa Barbara Symphony on New Year’s Eve 2015.

The upcoming concerts are supported by Casa Dorinda, Daniel and Mandy Hochman, Patricia Gregory for the Baker Foundation, and Mission Audio/Video.
The Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2017-18 season continues March 24-25 with performances of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Liszt’s first Piano Concerto, featuring Ukrainian pianist Alexander Romanovsky.

Complete season program information is at

— Tim Dougherty for Santa Barbara Symphony.

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