Santa Barbara’s vivacious Youth Symphony, conducted by Andrew Radford, will present “A Spring Concert” at 3 p.m. Saturday in the historic Lobero Theatre.
In observance of Easter Sunday, the program will include Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov’s Russian Easter Overture — although, of course, the Russian Orthodox Easter falls this year on April 27. The Youth Symphony also will give a complete performance of the Symphony No. 5 in c minor, Opus 67 (“duh-duh-duh-daaaaa!”) by Ludwig van Beethoven, as well as one movement concerto selections featuring violinist Susana Vinogradski and trumpeter David Sedgwick as soloists.
Radford, in addition to serving as the youth symphony’s music director since 2004, is also first desk bassoonist of the Santa Barbara Symphony as well as the California Philharmonic. He is, moreover, the education coordinator for the Ojai Music Festival. He has performed with, and conducted, orchestras around the world.
Rimsky Korsakov, who began his adult life as an officer in the Russian Imperial Navy — he was still in uniform when he acknowledged the applause that greeted his Symphony No. 1 — wrote his Russian Easter Overture at about the same time that he composed his other two most popular works, the Capriccio Espagnol and Scheherazade. He was 44 at the time.
Speaking of the Overture, he said: “In it were combined memories of the ancient prophecy of the Gospel story and a picture of the Easter service with its ‘pagan rejoicing.’ It was the legendary and heathen aspect of the feast, the transition from the somber and mysterious evening of Passion Saturday to the unrestrained pagan-religious merry-making on the morning of Easter Sunday, that I wanted to reproduce.”
The Santa Barbara Youth Symphony was founded in 1963 by Daniel Kepl — now founder and director of the Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival — while he was a student at Santa Barbara High. Click here for more information.
Ticket prices for Saturday’s performance range from $8.50 to $13.50, with children, seniors and Youth Symphony members admitted free. Click here to order tickets online or call the Lobero box office at 805.963.0761.