SB Symphony Celebrates Leonard Bernstein

SB Symphony Celebrates Leonard BernsteinThe Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Nir Kabaretti, will pay tribute to the musical genius of Leonard Bernstein with performances that highlight the breadth of his legacy on Saturday, February 17, and Sunday, February 18. Featuring award-winning soprano Lisa Vroman and singers from the Santa Barbara Choral Society, the concerts will take place at 8 pm on February 17 and at 3 pm on February 18 at the Granada Theatre. The program will include some of Bernstein's best-known works, including melodies from the ballet Fancy Free and his timeless West Side Story, as well as Aaron Copland's Quiet City and the world premiere of a piano concerto by acclaimed Santa Barbara-based composer Robin Frost. Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased at or by calling 805-899-2222.

"The musical world this year is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Bernstein was an exceptionally versatile artist - a composer (of both 'classical' and light music), a pianist, and a conductor - and we wanted to show the wide range of his composing skills, including ballet music, musicals, and concert music," said Maestro Kabaretti, now in his 12th season as the Santa Barbara Symphony's music director.

"One of his greater influences was Aaron Copland, which explains the inclusion of Quiet City. Bernstein also was a staunch advocate for new music, and I thought it would be a great fit to premiere Robin Frost's Piano Concerto. On top of all that, we'll have three outstanding soloists from our own orchestra, Natasha Kislenko, Jon Lewis, and Sarah Beck, together with Lisa Vroman - who possesses one of the most beautiful voices in American musical theatre - and the Santa Barbara Choral Society. This is going to be a huge party!"

Hailed as "an accomplished, imaginative artist" by Opera News, Lisa Vroman starred for several years on Broadway as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, garnering theatre critics' awards for the role during an extended run in San Francisco. She has performed with New York City Opera, Utah Opera, and Opera New Jersey, among many others, and has appeared as a guest soloist with orchestras throughout the United States and Asia. Writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman has described her as a "musical and theatrical marvel." She last appeared with the Santa Barbara Symphony on New Year's Eve 2015.

The concerts on February 17 and 18 are generously supported by Casa Dorinda, Daniel and Mandy Hochman, Patricia Gregory for the Baker Foundation, and Mission Audio/Video.

The Santa Barbara Symphony's 2017-18 season will continue March 24 and 25 with performances of Tchaikovsky's affecting Symphony No. 5 and Liszt's first Piano Concerto, featuring celebrated Ukrainian pianist Alexander Romanovsky. Additional highlights include Mahler's monumental Symphony No. 6 (April 21 and 22), and a program uniting Santa Barbara Symphony Concertmaster Jessica Guideri with the acclaimed Anne Akiko Meyers for Vivaldi's Double Violin Concerto (May 19 and 20). The Symphony's re-scheduled 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 as soloist, will take place June 16 and 17.

The Granada Theatre is located at 1214 State Street in Santa Barbara. Complete season program information is available online at

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.

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

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