The community is invited to experience a performance of Beethoven 9: An Ode To Joy, Hope & Community, the opening weekend of The Santa Barbara Symphony‘s 2023/24 Season.

Nir Kabaretti, music and artistic director, leads the orchestra in this expansive artistic collaboration that features four local choral groups, a quartet of soloists, and celebrates the 200-year anniversary of Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9.”

Performances will be held at The Granada Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, preceded by Conversations with Kabaretti, a talk at 2 p.m.

The principal musicians of the Santa Barbara Symphony, all dressed in black and holding the instruments they play.
The principal musicians of the Santa Barbara Symphony, Credit: Courtesy photo

“This concert is a celebration of one of the most powerful works ever written,” said Nir Kabaretti, Santa Barbara Symphony music and artistic director.

“We invite the community to experience what happens when a community collaborates to bring joy to others, each with distinct voices coming together as one,” he said.

The Santa Barbara Choral Society, SBCC Quire of Voyces, Westmont College Choir, and the Adelfos Ensemble, along with a quartet of soloists including Johanna Will, soprano; Christina Pezzarossi Ramsey, mezzo-soprano; John Matthew Myers, tenor; and Cedric Berry, bass-baritone, will join with the Santa Barbara Symphony to bring Beethoven’s famous “Ninth Symphony,” and its choral anthem “Ode to Joy” to life on stage.

Audiences will also hear Aaron Copland’s stirring composition “The Promise of Living,” capturing the essence of 1930s rural America, as well as Franz Liszt’s “Les Préludes,” a symphonic poem of sweeping melodies and dramatic mood shifts to round out the season opener.

To enhance the concert experience, all Beethoven 9 ticket-holders will receive exclusive online access to watch the documentary film “Following the Ninth,” about the global impact of Beethoven’s final symphony on humanity.

The documentary was created by Santa Barbara County writer, director and producer Kerry Candaele, and includes a cameo by Kabaretti.

Despite a life of loneliness, alienation and hearing loss, Beethoven created an anthem of joy with his “Symphony No. 9” that is celebrated to this day for its ability to heal, repair, and bring people together across great divides.

Tickets for Beethoven 9 can be purchased online here. For season subscriptions and additional ticket information visit or call 805-898-9386.

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