A double helping of Robert Schumann will bring the season to a memorable close. We welcome back dazzling Italian pianist Alessio Bax for Schumann’s intensely expressive Piano Concerto in A minor, followed by a stirring orchestral performance of the remarkably triumphant Symphony No. 2 in C.
Praised for his lyrical playing, insightful interpretations, and extraordinary technique, Mr. Bax has appeared as a soloist with more than 100 orchestras, including the London and Royal philharmonic orchestras, the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle. Last season he embarked on successful tours of South America and Asia, and returned to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for engagements in New York and on tour, among other highlights. According to Gramophone magazine, “His playing quivers with an almost hypnotic intensity.”
Back by popular demand, noted radio host Alan Chapman will join several members of the Chamber Orchestra for an intimate evening of music and related discussion, including a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s exuberant String Quartet No. 3 in D major. Participating musicians will include the inestimable Maestro Heiichiro Ohyama.
Mr. Chapman hosts and produces three regular programs on Classical KUSC, the nation’s largest and most-listened-to public radio and non-profit classical music station. Currently a member of the music theory faculty at Colburn Conservatory, he can be heard globally as host of Delta Airlines’ in-flight classical channel. Well known as a pre-concert lecturer, Mr. Chapman has been a regular speaker on the L.A. Philharmonic’s Upbeat Live series since its inception in 1984. He also is active as a composer/lyricist, appearing frequently in cabaret performances with his wife, soprano Karen Benjamin.
A sumptuous feast for discerning woodwind aficionados, this program combines three modernist delicacies – Poulenc’s charming, dance-based Suite française (d’après Claude Gervaise), Stravinsky’s Russian-folk-infused Symphonies of Wind Instruments (dedicated to the memory of Claude Debussy), and Kurt Weill’s famed “Kleine Dreigroschenmusik” Suite from The Threepenny Opera – with an agreeably congruous work by contemporary composer Jeff Scott.
A French horn player of great accomplishment, Mr. Scott is perhaps best known as a founding member of the adventurous, Grammy-nominated quintet Imani Winds, whose dynamic performances The Washington Post has described as "exuding a sultry sophistication.” His numerous arranging and composing credits include theatrical production scores as well as original works for solo winds, wind and brass quintet, horn quartet, and jazz ensembles.
Often cited as the most popular song cycle in Western art music, Robert Schumann’s exquisite Dichterliebe fairly bursts with emotion, its tunefulness and lyricism as affecting as they are accessible. It’s the perfect musical selection for Valentine’s Day, made all the more special on this occasion by a turn on viola by Maestro Ohyama. Rounding out the evening is Felix Mendelssohn’s delightful Piano Quartet No. 2 in F minor – completed when the precocious composer was all of 14 years old.
Maestro Ohyama has served as the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra’s music director and conductor for more than three decades, and has held prominent conducting positions elsewhere, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It was as a violist of extraordinary grace and finesse that he first made a name for himself, however. Come hear this legendary performer take up the instrument that first brought him fame. This performance is part of a continued collaboration with the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
Hailed by The New York Times as a “rising artist” and lauded by The Strad magazine for his “stylish and polished playing,” Paul Huang will showcase his immense talent in a performance of Beethoven’s expansive and groundbreaking Violin Concerto in D. Also featured: Franz Schubert’s much-loved and majestic “Great” Symphony.
Recipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Mr. Huang is widely recognized for his intensely eloquent music-making, distinctive sound, and effortless virtuosity. Following his Kennedy Center debut, The Washington Post proclaimed him “an artist with the goods for a significant career.” In 2013, The New York Times applauded his “masterly account of Barber’s Violin Concerto” with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall. Mr. Huang’s appearances with locally based Camerata Pacifica have met with similar critical effusions, at one point prompting the Santa Barbara Independent to note his “commanding tone and confident diction.”
Works by three composing titans of the Baroque era will be presented in the glorious sanctuary of All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara – a Chamber Orchestra first! Featuring a program uniquely suited to the season, including Arcangelo Corelli’s renowned Christmas Concerto, this is a holiday celebration not to be missed.
A trio of talented violinists – Amy Hershberger, Sooah Kim, and Hwi-Eun Kim – will take turns in the spotlight over the course of this special evening. As concertmaster, and having performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the country, Ms. Hershberger is the veteran of the ensemble. She also serves as assistant concertmaster of the Pasadena Symphony, and has been a guest concertmaster for the Pasadena Symphony and Pops, and the Fresno and Burbank Philharmonics, among others.
The newly restored Mural Room at the Santa Barbara Courthouse will be the setting for this spicy, Spanish-flavored concert, featuring a pair of works by nuevo tango pioneer Astor Piazzolla, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s superlative Quintet for Guitar and String Quartet, Heitor Villa-Lobos’ piquant Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 Aria (Cantilena), and Luigi Boccherini’s elegantly wistful Fandango Guitar Quintet.
Led by Joel Pargman, the outstanding ensemble will include fellow violinist Carrie Kennedy, violist Colleen Sugata, and cellist Paula Fehrenbach. Joining them will be guest artist Brian Head, who chairs the Classical Guitar Department at USC’s Thornton School of Music and serves as artistic director of the Guitar Foundation of America. This performance is part of an exciting, new collaboration with the Courthouse Legacy Foundation.
Please Note: This concert is currently SOLD OUT, please call to be added to our waitlist.
The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra’s new season roars to life with one of the most popular symphonic works of all time, Czech composer Antonín Dvořák’s richly emotional “New World” Symphony, followed by George Gershwin’s genre-defying yet charmingly spirited Concerto in F, featuring acclaimed pianist Wendy Chen.
Ms. Chen, who at age 15 debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under conductor André Previn, became the youngest winner ever of the National Chopin Competition in 1990. That same year she was an inaugural recipient of the Gilmore Young Artist Award, and was named a Presidential Scholar by the National YoungArts Foundation. Ms. Chen has since performed throughout the world, garnering a steady stream of critical plaudits. The Boston Globe has lauded her “stamina, chops, brilliance, and sensitivity.”
Join us to kick off the 2016-17 season with our Opening Night Party. The event includes wine, hors d’oeuvres and a performance by State Street Ballet celebrating Old Hollywood. More Info ►
Lobero Theatre, 33 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara CA 93101. Box Office: 805-963-0761. Google Map Directions ►.
Mural Room, Santa Barbara Courthouse 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. Google Map Directions ►
All Saints-by-the-Sea, 83 Eucalyptus Ln, Santa Barbara, CA 93108. Google Map Directions ►
Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (Fleischmann Auditorium); 2559 Puesta Del Sol, Santa Barbara, CA 93105. Google Maps Directions ►
University Club of Santa Barbara. 1332 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, 93101. Google Directions ►
SBCO Concert Program Spring 2015-16
May 17th, 2016 Clip from Beethoven's "Emperor" with Alessio Bax