Santa Barbara Symphony To Perform Alongside Film Screenings

Santa Barbara Symphony To Perform Alongside Film ScreeningsThe Santa Barbara Symphony, under the baton of guest conductor Carolyn Kuan, will perform John Corigliano's Academy Award-winning score for The Red Violin, accompanied by François Girard's engrossing film in its entirety, at the Granada Theatre on Saturday, January 20, and Sunday, January 21. Featuring Canadian violinist Lara St. John as soloist, the concerts will take place at 8 pm on January 20 and at 3 pm on January 21. Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased at www.granadasb.org or by calling 805-899-2222.

"What a way to start the new year! Lara St. John will remarkably recreate the demanding solo passages depicted on screen, in what amounts to a virtuosic two-hour concerto. We are very pleased to present this exciting pairing of film and live symphonic music," said Santa Barbara Symphony Executive Director Kevin A. Marvin.

Mr. Girard's 1998 drama traces the intricate history of an exquisite antique violin from its creation in 17th century Italy to an auction room in modern-day Montreal. During the intervening centuries the instrument figures prominently in the lives of its owners in Austria, Oxford, and China during the Cultural Revolution. The large ensemble cast includes Samuel L. Jackson and Greta Scacchi. Roger Ebert described The Red Violin as having "the kind of sweep and vision that we identify with elegant features from decades ago." Violinist extraordinaire Joshua Bell performed the solos on the soundtrack, which was conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Mr. Corigliano received an Academy Award for his magnificent film score in 2000.

Described as "something of a phenomenon" by The Strad, Ms. St. John has appeared as a featured soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, as well as major orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia/New Zealand. In 1999 she created her own record label, Ancalagon, and has recorded with the Royal Philharmonic, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, and The Knights, with which she won the Juno Award in 2011. A violinist since age 2, Ms. St. John made her first solo appearance with an orchestra at age 4, and her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon six years later. She performs on the 1779 "Salabue" Guadagnini, on loan from an anonymous donor.

Recognized as a conductor of extraordinary versatility, Carolyn Kuan has enjoyed successful associations with top-tier orchestras, opera companies, ballet companies, and festivals worldwide. Appointed music director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in 2011, she recently signed a six-year contract extending their creative collaboration through May 2022.

Maestra Kuan's North American engagements have included performances with the symphonies of Baltimore, Detroit, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Seattle; the Florida and Louisville orchestras; the New York City Ballet; the Colorado Music Festival and Glimmerglass Festival; and the New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Washington National Opera. Recent international engagements have included concerts with the Bournemouth Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the National Symphony of Taiwan, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Residentie Orkest, Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the West Australian Symphony. The recipient of numerous awards, Maestra Kuan holds the distinction of being the first woman to be awarded the Herbert von Karajan Conducting Fellowship by the Herbert von Karajan Centrum and American Austrian Foundation in 2003, resulting in her residency at the 2004 Salzburg Festival.

The concerts on January 20 and 21 are generously supported by Robin and Kay Frost, and Arlington Financial Advisors.

The Santa Barbara Symphony's 2017-18 season will continue February 17 and 18 with a tribute to Leonard Bernstein featuring guest soprano Lisa Vroman and singers from the Santa Barbara Choral Society. Additional highlights include celebrated Ukrainian pianist Alexander Romanovsky performing Liszt's 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 the acclaimed Anne Akiko Meyers for Vivaldi's Double Violin Concerto (May 19 and 20).

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 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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