Rachleff to Conduct Beethoven's Fifth at The Granada, Today

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Rachleff to Conduct Beethoven's Fifth at The Granada, Today

Celebrated conductor Larry Rachleff will lead the Academy Festival Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven's iconic Fifth Symphony as well as Richard Strauss' rousing Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare and Prokofiev's high-energy Symphony No. 5 at Santa Barbara's historic Granada Theatre beginning at 8 pm on Saturday, June 28. Tickets start at $15.

One of the most popular and well-known classical works of all time, Beethoven's fate-themed Fifth Symphony retains the power to enthrall more than two centuries after the mercurial composer completed it. By turns urgent, dreamy, and stirring - and thoroughly unforgettable throughout - it is quite simply the quintessential timeless masterpiece.

Described by the Chicago Tribune as a "take-charge maestro who invests everything he conducts with deep musical understanding," Mr. Rachleff has served as music director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic for 18 seasons. He also serves as music director of Rice University's Shepherd School Orchestras in Houston, and recently stepped down as music director of the Chicago Philharmonic, a post he held for 23 years. Mr. Rachleff has appeared as a guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Houston, Seattle, Indianapolis, Utah, and Kansas City symphony orchestras, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

A former faculty member at Oberlin Conservatory, where he was music director of orchestras and conductor of the Contemporary Ensemble, Mr. Rachleff also has served as conductor for USC Thornton Opera. In constant demand as a conductor and masterclass clinician, Mr. Rachleff is frequently invited to lead other conservatory orchestras, including those at Juilliard, England's Royal Northern College, and New England Conservatory. He has collaborated with such leading composers as Samuel Adler, the late Luciano Berio, George Crumb, and John Harbison.

Mr. Rachleff led the Academy Festival Orchestra in well-received concerts to open the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 Summer Festivals. Writing in the Santa Barbara Independent, critic Charles Donelan observed that the conductor "moves so well on the podium that he can be easy for the audience to overlook, but that is clearly not the case on the musicians' side of the proscenium, where smiles, warm glances, and the gentle thunder of pounding heels met his every effort."

The Granada is located at 1216 State Street in Santa Barbara. The Music Academy's 2014 Orchestra Series is generously supported by Robert W. Weinman.

The Music Academy of the West's 67th annual Summer School and Festival will begin June 16. Over the course of this year's eight-week season the Academy will present some 200 events, including a new production of Georges Bizet's popular opera Carmen. The coming Festival will mark the first of a multiyear partnership with the New York Philharmonic that will bring Music Director Alan Gilbert and otherPhilharmonic musicians to the Music Academy for performances and teaching. Mr. Gilbert's 2014 residency under the agreement will include conducting members of the Academy Festival Orchestra in Santa Barbara's newly renovated Lobero Theatre on July 26. Additional season highlights will include performances by pianists Jonathan Biss, Jeremy Denk, and Stephen Hough; soprano Deborah Voigt; thecontemporary chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird; violinist Daniel Hope; cellist Joshua Roman; and the Takács Quartet, as well as conducting turns by Thomas Adès, Jay Friedman, James Gaffigan, Edward Gardner, and Joshua Weilerstein. Featuring the Academy's exceptionally talented Fellows, together with illustrious guest performers and faculty, the events will be presented in venues throughout Santa Barbara.

For tickets and information, call 805.969.8787. Information is also available online at www.musicacademy.org.

Founded in 1947, the Music Academy of the West is among the nation's preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classical musicians. The Academy provides these promising musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and frequent performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Admission to the Academy is strictly merit based, and Fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. Based in Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West presents more than 200 public events annually, including performances by faculty, visiting artists, and Fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and fully staged opera. The Music Academy began broadcasting live, high-definition simulcasts by the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera at Hahn Hall in October 2008. For more information, visit www.musicacademy.org.

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