Santa Barbara Symphony Celebrates 65th Anniversary

Santa Barbara Symphony Celebrates 65th Anniversary2018 marks the 65th Anniversary for the Santa Barbara Symphony and to celebrate this significant milestone, the organization will host The Symphony Ball on October 19, and announces an extraordinary lineup of concert performance in store for the 2018-19 season. As the organization reflects back on over half a century of bringing powerful musical experiences to the Santa Barbara community, they also take a look ahead at an exciting next stage for the Santa Barbara Symphony and the important role they play in the performing arts community.

"As we move into a new era, it is our intention to make world-class music an integral part of the cultural life of Santa Barbara County," shared Kevin Marvin, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Symphony. "We will continue to strive to create Symphony programming for all community members to participate in, and grow our reach, enabling us to focus more than ever on artistic excellence."

The Santa Barbara Symphony was established in 1953 with 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.

The Symphony performed its first concert on December 12, 1953 at the Lobero Theatre under the baton of Belgian cellist Adolphe Frezin. In 1985, Arujan Kojian took the podium, bringing unmatched international experience as well as winning charm, ushering in an era of distinguished artistry as the Symphony matured into one of the country's most respected regional ensembles. After a two-year international search, Nir Kabaretti became the Music Director in 2006 and Artistic Director in 2008. In October 2008, Kabaretti led the Santa Barbara Symphony into a new era at the restored Granada Theatre. Born in Israel, Kabaretti has established an outstanding international career as a dynamic and innovative conductor with vast experience in both the symphonic and operatic repertoire. Today, he continues to collaborate with some of the world's most renowned musicians, orchestras and opera houses.

In addition to their performance achievements over the past 65 years, the Symphony's award-winning Music Education Center has made significant developments. The Music Education Center serves more than 10,000 students each year throughout Santa Barbara County. Their mission-driven and equal-access programs support students through their primary, secondary and high school years through a comprehensive and indispensable curriculum that includes both in-school and extra-curricular activities. From their award-winning Music Van and Concerts for Young People to their BRAVO! after-school programs, Santa Barbara Youth Symphony and more, the Music Education Center values the importance of teaching children the connections between themselves, great music and the world around them.

To kick off the 65th Anniversary festivities, the Symphony will host The Symphony Ball, on Friday, October 19, at the Hilton Beachfront Resort, and take guests back to the golden era of "Supper Clubs". Broadway star Lisa Vroman will serve as the evening's hostess, alongside members of the Santa Barbara Symphony and swing band Art Deco. Guests will enjoy cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner and dancing under the stars in the hotel's Plaza del Sol.

The Honorary Ball is co-chaired by Anne Smith Towbes and Janet Garufis, and committee members include Dan and Meg Burnham, Brooks and Kate Firestone, Patricia Gregory, Joan and Geoff Rutkowski, Gillian Launie, Ed and Sue Birch, Elizabeth Gabler, Susan Worster, and Hiroko Benko. The Symphony Ball is sponsored by Robert C. Dohmen, Dan and Meg Burnham, Brooks and Kate Firestone, Patricia Gregory for the Baker Foundation, Montecito Bank & Trust, Rick and Regina Roney, and Bryant & Sons, Ltd. More information about The Symphony Ball can be found on The Symphony's website, here.

Adding to the anticipation of the 65th Anniversary milestone is the announcement of the 65th Anniversary 2018-2019 Season, which opens with a program every bit equal to the occasion, "Rhapsody in Blue" on Saturday, October 20 and Sunday, October 21. Beginning with Ernst von Dohnányi's folk- and gospel-infused American Rhapsody. Chart-topping recording artist Jeffrey Biegel, renowned for his interpretations of works by both classic and contemporary composers, next takes to the piano for George Gershwin's wonderfully intoxicating Rhapsody in Blue. The program concludes with Berlioz's epic Symphonie fantastique, which captures the young composer's consuming passion for an actress, and clearly exudes the revolutionary spirit of 1830 France.


The 65th Anniversary season continues with "The Rite of Spring" on Saturday, November 17 and Sunday, November 18, and celebrates the holidays with "Holiday Pops" and a Free Community Concert by the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony. on Saturday, November 24, and "New Year's Eve Pops Concert" on Monday, December 31. Highlights in 2019 include "Pictures at an Exhibition," "Amadeus Live," and "Romeo & Juliet." Find the complete season schedule here.

Subscriptions for the 65th Anniversary Season of the Santa Barbara Symphony and The Symphony Ball are available online at TheSymphony.org or by phone at (805) 898-9386.

The Santa Barbara Symphony, 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.

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