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Santa Barbara Symphony Announces New Season

Santa Barbara Symphony Announces New Season Subscription sales are underway for the Santa Barbara Symphony's 65th anniversary season, which will open October 20 with compelling works by Dohnányi, Gershwin, and Berlioz. The orchestra will present a total of nine deeply satisfying programs at the Granada Theatre over the course of the season, including three non-subscription concerts. Series packages start at $163.

"Our 65th anniversary season is all about underscoring the Santa Barbara Symphony's role in the community as a musical and cultural cornerstone," said Executive Director Kevin A. Marvin. "To that end, we'll offer an extraordinary mix of masterpieces, lesser-known gems, popular favorites, and unique artistic collaborations. Audiences have come to expect adventurous and rewarding programming from the Santa Barbara Symphony. Our 2018-19 season will deliver that in abundance."

"Theater, dance, film, vocal music - all are part of the Santa Barbara Symphony' musical DNA, which makes the coming season so exciting," said Maestro Nir Kabaretti, now in his 12th season as the orchestra's music director. "Highlights will include 200 musicians and singers assembled onstage for Verdi's Requiem, a Stravinsky double bill, and great American music, including an homage to Academy Award-winning composer and one-time Hope Ranch resident Elmer Bernstein. Plus Berlioz, Beethoven, Brahms, Ravel, Gershwin, and others. It's a program of musical riches."

The season-opening concert on October 20 will open with a performance of Ernst von Dohnányi's folk- and gospel-infused American Rhapsody, before chart-topping recording artist Jeffrey Biegel takes to the piano for George Gershwin's wonderfully intoxicating Rhapsody in Blue. The program will conclude with Berlioz' epic Symphonie fantastique. An encore performance will take place October 21.

Additional season highlights include performances of Igor Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale and The Rite of Spring, the former in collaboration State Street Ballet and Ensemble Theatre Company (November 17 and 18); Brahms' daring Double Concerto for Violin and Cello, combined with Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Maurice Ravel's seductive Boléro (January 19 and 20); Joseph Schwantner's enchantingly delicate Chasing Light, Beethoven's Triple Concerto - featuring musicians from Camerata Pacifica - and Robert Schumann's popular, five-movement Symphony No.3 (February 16 and 17); a screening of the award-winning film Amadeus, accompanied by Mozart's most celebrated works performed live by the Santa Barbara Symphony and a chorus of area singers (March 16 and 17); Giuseppe Verdi's powerful Messa da Requiem (April 13 and 14); and a season-ending program featuring Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy, Elmer Bernstein's eclectic, post-Romantic Songs of Love and Loathing, and Antonín Dvo?ák's euphoric Symphony No. 8. (May 11 and 12). The season's non-subscription offerings will include a pair of "Home for the Holidays" performances featuring holiday classics (an abbreviated matinee for families with young children followed by a full evening program) on November 24, and the Santa Barbara Symphony's annual New Year's Eve pops concert. The Symphony plans to present "Home for the Holidays" concerts each year during Thanksgiving weekend.

All performances will take place at the Granada Theatre, 1214 State Street in Santa Barbara. Complete season program information is available online at

Subscribers enjoy discounts of 30 percent or more as well as seating privileges. Subscriptions can be ordered online or by calling (805) 898-9386. Single tickets for the 2018-19 season will go on sale in September.

In related programing, the Santa Barbara Symphony will kick off opening weekend with the Symphony Ball from 5:30 pm to midnight on Friday, October 19, at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. Chaired by Anne Smith Towbes and Janet Garufis and featuring award-winning soprano Lisa Vroman as performer and host, the fundraising event will include music, dancing, and fine dining. Tickets start at $300.

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 10,000 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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