Guitarist Extraordinaire Pablo Sáinz Villegas to Serve as the Santa Barbara Symphony's Inaugural Artist-in-Residence

Guitarist Extraordinaire Pablo Sáinz Villegas  to Serve as the Santa Barbara Symphony's  Inaugural Artist-in-Residence

Classical guitar virtuoso Pablo Sáinz Villegas, whose charismatic stage presence and formidable technique have dazzled audiences throughout much of the world, will headline a pair of concerts at the Granada Theatre and take part in multiple community outreach events as the Santa Barbara Symphony's inaugural artist-in-residence during the 2017-18 season. Mr. Villegas, who captivated local audiences in a pair of electrifying concerts to conclude the Santa Barbara Symphony's 2015-16 season, will rejoin the orchestra for Joaquín Rodrigo's sensuous Concierto de Aranjuez as well as Isaac Albéniz's evocative Souvenirs of Spain at the Granada Theatre on November 18 and 19. He will also perform a solo concert at the Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara on November 16, and present educational programs for area children at The Granada on January 18 and 19. Additional events are being planned.

"This is a very exciting development for the Santa Barbara Symphony and the wider community," said Symphony Executive Director Kevin A. Marvin. "Pablo made quite an impression onstage and off during his last visit, and we expect him to have a significantly greater impact in his capacity as our first-ever artist-in-residence. We are very pleased to welcome him back."

Proceeds from Mr. Villegas' performance on November 16 will benefit the Santa Barbara Symphony. Tickets cost $100 and include a pre-concert reception. For tickets and more information, call (805) 898-0107. The Royal Presidio of Santa Barbara is located at 123 E. Canon Perdido Street.

Mr. Villegas established his international reputation by winning the gold medal at the inaugural Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition in 2006, and has since become one of the world's most sought-after soloists. A native of La Rioja, Spain, he is routinely compared to classical guitar titan Andrés Segovia. Hailed by The New York Times for his "virtuosic playing characterized by irresistible exuberance," Mr. Villegas has appeared with orchestras in more than 30 countries, and has performed numerous world premieres, including Rounds by five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams. He is the founder of "The Music Without Borders Legacy," a non-profit organization devoted to leveraging the inspirational power of music for the benefit of youth.

Subscription sales are underway for the Santa Barbara Symphony's 2017-18 season, which will open October 14 with Mozart's miraculous final symphony as well as his famed Requiem, the latter augmented with a new work by renowned choreographer William Soleau - commissioned by the Symphony and performed by State Street Ballet dancers. The orchestra will present a total of nine programs at the Granada Theatre over the course of the season, including a pair of non-subscription concerts. Series packages start at $65.

Additional season highlights include performances of John Corigliano's Academy Award-winning score for The Red Violin, accompanied by François Girard's engrossing film in its entirety and featuring Canadian violinist Lara St. John (January 20 and 21); a tribute to Leonard Bernstein, including selections from the ballet Fancy Free and his timeless West Side Story, with guest soprano Lisa Vroman and singers from the Santa Barbara Choral Society (February 17 and 18); celebrated Ukrainian pianist Alexander Romanovsky performing Liszt's innovative first Piano Concerto, followed by Tchaikovsky's affecting Symphony No. 5 (March 24 and 25); Mahler's monumental Symphony No. 6 (April 21 and 22); and a season-ending program uniting Santa Barbara Symphony Concertmaster Jessica Guideri with acclaimed soloist Anne Akiko Meyers for Vivaldi's arresting Double Violin Concerto (May 19 and 20).

All performances will take place at the Granada Theatre, 1214 State Street in Santa Barbara. Complete season program information is available online at www.thesymphony.org/performances/season_2017-18.

The Santa Barbara Symphony is led by the ever-compelling Nir Kabaretti, who was named the orchestra's music director in 2006 and its artistic director in 2008. Maestro Kabaretti has conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, to name just a few. His extensive operatic experience includes productions at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Teatro Real in Madrid, Switzerland's Opéra de Lausanne, and Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Winner of the 1993 Forum Junger Kunstler Conducting Competition in Vienna, he was named the music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony in 2014.

To order subscriptions, go to www.thesymphony.org/tickets/subscriptions or call (805) 898-9386. Single tickets for the 2017-18 season will go on sale September 15.

The Santa Barbara Symphony was founded in 1953 on the belief that a special city deserves a special orchestra. Consistently lauded for its unique ability to present brilliant concerts, engage the community, and deliver dynamic music education programs, the organization prizes both innovation and artistic excellence, and is widely recognized as one of the region's premier cultural institutions. Its award-winning Music Education Center serves more than 8,000 students throughout Santa Barbara County each year. Charismatic Israeli conductor Nir Kabaretti was appointed music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony in 2006. For additional information, visit www.thesymphony.org.

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