Santa Barbara Symphony To Present Alexander Romanovsky Performing Tchaikovsky and Liszt

Santa Barbara Symphony To Present Alexander Romanovsky Performing Tchaikovsky and LisztUkrainian piano virtuoso Alexander Romanovsky, whose extraordinary technique and interpretive acumen have garnered critical plaudits in the United States and Europe, will perform Franz Liszt's incandescent first piano concerto with the Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of Maestro Nir Kabaretti, on Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25. Also featuring The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Benjamin Britten's irresistible, age-defying symphonic tutorial, as well as Tchaikovsky's spectacular Symphony No. 5, the concerts will take place at 8 pm on March 24 and at 3 pm on March 25 at Santa Barbara's Granada Theatre. Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased at www.granadasb.org or by calling 805-899-2222.

Though composed for use in a children's educational film, Britten's The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra has delighted audiences of all ages since its premiere in 1946. Soprano Deborah Bertling, who has performed with Opera Santa Barbara and Opera San Luis Obispo, will serve as narrator for the Santa Barbara Symphony's performances.

"This is a fantastic program that will appeal to audience members of all stripes," said Maestro Kabaretti, now in his 12th season as the Santa Barbara Symphony's music director. "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra is normally done for kids, but Santa Barbara is young at heart, so I thought it would be a great fit. Our stellar guest pianist is more than up to the challenge of Liszt's demanding Concerto No. 1, and I can't wait to hear him interact with our orchestra. And a performance of Tchaikovsky Fifth Symphony is always an event not to be missed."

Described as "a dramatist and poet of lyrical charm" (Classic FM), Alexander Romanovsky won first prize at the prestigious Busoni Competition in Italy at age 17 and has since appeared with major orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Recent highlights include performances at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, Teatro Olimpico in Rome, and Tokyo's Kioi Hall, among others. He has released five critically acclaimed albums on the Decca label, including a recording of Rachmaninoff's Études-Tableaux, Op. 39, and Variations on a Theme of Corelli hailed as "a remarkable achievement" by The New York Times. Mr. Romanovsky has served as artistic director of the Vladimir Krainev Moscow International Piano Competition since 2014.

The concerts on March 24 and 25 are generously supported by the Samarkand.

The Santa Barbara Symphony's 2017-18 season will continue April 21 and 22 with performances of Mahler's monumental Symphony No. 6, followed by a program uniting Santa Barbara Symphony Concertmaster Jessica Guideri with the acclaimed Anne Akiko Meyers for Vivaldi's Double Violin Concerto on 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 www.thesymphony.org.

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 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 www.thesymphony.org.

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