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The Santa Barbara Symphony Reveals 2023-24 Season

Learn more about the lineup here!

By: Jun. 26, 2023
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 The Santa Barbara Symphony has announced its 2023-24 season, continuing a musical legacy focused on the transformative power of music. Music & Artistic Director Nir Kabaretti, now in his 18th season with the Santa Barbara Symphony, has curated an expansive eight-month-long musical journey that spotlights local, national, and international talent, as well as community, collaboration, and classical traditions.  

“Each concert aims to inspire audiences and create moments of awe, connection, and joy,” shared Kabaretti. “It’s an exciting time for me as an artistic director and for our musicians, as traditional symphonic music is inspired and influenced by diverse cultures, and an expansive range of contemporary musical genres. This season we traverse jazz, pop, opera, film scores, and more while celebrating classical favorites. I can’t wait to share this journey - and our extraordinary musicians with you!”

“With generous support from the community, The Symphony invests in high caliber professional orchestral musicians, guest artists, and faculty to create concerts and youth education programs that are unique to Santa Barbara and foster a sense of togetherness,“ said Kathryn R Martin, President, and CEO of the Santa Barbara Symphony. “The Symphony is for everyone, and the new season offers us an unprecedented opportunity to continue to attract classical music aficionados as well as music lovers of all genres.”     

This season, the Symphony is participating in the California Festival: A Celebration of New Music, a two-week statewide festival inaugurated by the music directors of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Gustavo Dudamel), the San Francisco Symphony (Esa-Pekka Salonen) and the San Diego Symphony (Rafael Payare) that includes more than 50 organizations and ensembles who will highlight many of today’s most compelling and forward-looking composers. Additional highlights include genre-defying guest performers, a celebration of Oscar® film favorites, and creative artistic collaborations with Opera Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Choral Society, SBCC Quire of Voyces, Westmont College Choir, and members of the Santa Barbara Gay Men’s Chorus.

As a professional artistic resource to the community, audiences will also hear the Santa Barbara Symphony, conducted by Maestro Kabaretti outside of its normal season line-up providing live orchestral accompaniment to the State Street Ballet’s Giselle and a tribute concert to Van Morrison with the local rock band the Doublewide Kings.

Experience the Symphony’s 2023-24 season! All performances will take place at the Granada Theatre. Season subscriptions are on sale now with packages starting as low as $112 for a four-concert package, and $184 for a full seven-concert package - that gets you Beethoven 9 for FREE! Single tickets go on sale on September 1, 2023. For subscriptions and ticket information visit or call 805-898-9386. 

Seven Subscription Concerts, one New Year’s Eve Concert, and two bonus events with other organizations:

Beethoven 9: An Ode To Joy, Hope & Community

Saturday, October 14, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 15, 2023, at 3:00 p.m.


Nir Kabaretti, Conductor

Santa Barbara Choral Society
SBCC Quire of Voyces
Westmont College Choir,
Members of the Santa Barbara Gay Men’s Chorus


Johanna Will, Soprano
Christina Pezzarossi Ramsey, Mezzo-Soprano
John Matthew Myers, Tenor
Cedric Berry, Bass-Baritone


Aaron Copland | “The Promise of Living”, from The Tender Land

Franz Liszt | Les Préludes

Ludwig van Beethoven | Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 “Choral”

The 2023-24 Season opens with a celebration of the 200-year anniversary of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. In an impressive collaboration of four choral groups and a quartet of soloists, Nir Kabaretti conducts more than 200 performers—all with ties to Santa Barbara. Combined with Copland’s stirring orchestral composition “The Promise of Living”, capturing the essence of 1930s rural America, and Franz Liszt’s Les Préludes, a symphonic poem of sweeping melodies and dramatic mood shifts, this concert is sure to be an Ode to Joy.

Principal Concert Sponsor

Sarah and Roger Chrisman

Artist Sponsors

Susan Aberle

Brooks & Kate Firestone

Dr. Bob Weinman

Selection Sponsor

George Konstantinow & Helene Segal

Anne F. Sage & Jesse D. Sgro

Howard Jay Smith & Patricia Bivans Dixon

Vista del Monte Retirement Community


Musical E-Motion: Featuring Time for Three

Part of the California Festival: A Celebration of New Music

Saturday, November 18, 2023,  at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 19, 2023, at 3:00 p.m


Nir Kabaretti, Conductor

Time for Three

   Nicolas “Nick” Kendall, Violín and Vocals

   Charles Yang, Violín and Vocals

   Ranaan Meyer, Double Bass and Vocals

Kevin Puts | Contact

Alexander Borodin | Polovtsian Dances 

Georges Bizet | L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2 

Maurice Ravel | La Valse

This is a symphonic journey that will transport you through time and space! The infectious high-energy artistry of Grammy®-winning string trio Time for Three will have you on the edge of your seat with Contact, a triple concerto that explores the human experience, from acclaimed American composer Kevin Puts. Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances keeps the energy pulsating with its powerful & energetic rhythms. The pace mellows as the journey concludes with Georges Bizet’s L’Arlésienne Suite No. 2 evoking the sights and sounds of rural France and Ravel’s haunting La Valse.

Principal Concert Sponsor

Montecito Bank & Trust

Artist Sponsor

Barbara Ann Clark

Selection Sponsors

Karen Drown & John Trotti

Chris Lancashire

New Year’s Eve With The Symphony: Timeless Classics - A Celebration of Pop, Rock & Broadway 

Sunday, December 31, 2023, 8:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 


Andrew Lipke, Guest Conductor & Host

Christine Maxwell, Singer

Guest conductor and host Andrew Lipke puts the NEW in our New Year's Eve tradition as he leads the orchestra in a thematic celebration about the passing of time with a set of Pop, Rock & Broadway classics that will have you dancing in the aisle and waxing nostalgic. In a festive evening of music, Lipke trades the conductor’s baton for his guitar to create some symphonic surprises! Our traditional salute to the military and Auld Lang Syne sing-along will round out the evening as we all create new memories in time.

Principal Concert Sponsor

Samuel M. & Alene S. Hedgpeth

Conducting Sponsor

Dr. Bob Weinman

Opera At The Symphony: Fan Favorites

Featuring Opera Santa Barbara soloists

Saturday, January 20, 2024, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, January 21, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.


Nir Kabaretti, Conductor

Karin Wolverton, Soprano

Deborah Nansteel, Mezzo-Soprano

Harold Meers, Tenor

Timothy Mix, Baritone

Anikka Abbott, Emcee

Soloists from Opera Santa Barbara join The Symphony! Experience the rapture of unforgettable moments from grand operas by Verdi, Rossini, Puccini, Wagner, and others, including Madame Butterfly, Cavalleria Rusticana, and Tosca, to name a few. With local TV personality Anikka Abbott, a concert program of deception, romance, and tragedy unfolds!

Principal Concert Sponsor

Todd & Allyson Aldrich

Artist Sponsor

Duncan & Suzanne Mellichamp

Selection Sponsors

Barbara Burger & Paul E. Munch

Libby & Stephen Erickson

Janet A. Garufis

Frederic & Nancy Golden

Jean Rogers

Serenade For Romance: Valentine’s Week!

Saturday, February 17, 2024, at 7:30 pm and Sunday, February 18, 2024, at 3:00 p.m.


Nir Kabaretti, Conductor

Sirena Huang, Violin

Edward Elgar | Serenade for Strings

Antonin Dvořák | Violín Concerto

Louise Farrenc | Symphony No. 3 

This strings-forward program is certain to bring out your inner romantic. Elgar's Serenade for Strings is a beautiful and intimate work full of rich harmonies and delicate textures that create a sense of familiarity and warmth. Dvořák’s expressive, Slavic-inspired melodies that make the most of the violín’s lyricism and showcases the impeccable technique of celebrated guest violinist Sirena Huang will feel like a love letter to the violín. Iconoclast French composer Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3 in G in minor, considered almost heretical for its time, brings the program full circle. 

Principal Concert Sponsor

Zegar Family Foundation

Artist Sponsor

Rachel Kaganoff Stern

Selection Sponsors

Judd* & Susan Lundt

Yakko & Richard Meyers 

An Oscar© Celebration: Favorite Film Clips With Live Orchestra

In collaboration with the Granada Synergy Series

Saturday, March 16, 2024, at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.


Constantine Kitsopoulos, Guest Conductor


Erich Wolfgang Korngold | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Max Steiner | Gone with the Wind

Miklos Rozsa | Ben Hur

Bernard Hermann | Citizen Kane

George Gershwin | An American in Paris

Herbert Stothart | The Wizard of Oz

Experience the glamour and nostalgia of Hollywood’s Golden Age of Oscar®! Relive the memories of iconic movies and their indelible symphonic soundtracks. Classic scenes are presented via the Granada’s giant screen with The Symphony on stage playing live. Featuring music from Gone with the Wind, An American in Paris, The Wizard of Oz, and more.

Principal Concert Sponsor

Sarah & Roger Chrisman

Artist Sponsor

Christine A. Green

Selection Sponsors

Isabelle Meyer Stapf & Emmanuel Stapf

Susan & Bruce Worster

Mahler Meets Klezmer: Titans Of Sound

Saturday, April 20, 2024, at 7:30 pm and Sunday, April 21, 2024, at 3:00 p.m.


Nir Kabaretti, Conductor

David Krakauer, Clarinet


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Overture to Abduction from the Seraglio, K.384

Wlad Marhulets | Concerto for Klezmer Clarinet

Gustav Mahler | Symphony No. 1 “Titan”

This concert will leave you in awe, starting with Mozart’s Overture to Abduction from the Seraglio, K.384. Prepare to be blown away by David Krakauer’s stunning performance of Wlad Marhulets’ Concerto for Klezmer Clarinet, which combines traditional klezmer (traditional Jewish & East European) music with classical instrumentation to create a truly unique and captivating sound. As for Mahler’s emotional masterpiece Symphony No. 1 in D major, “Titan,” you will understand why this performance is subtitled Titans of Sound.

Principal Concert Sponsor

Ann Jackson Family Foundation

Artist Sponsors

Brown Family Foundation in memory of Hans Koellner

The Lehrer Family Charitable Fund

Selection Sponsors

Eve Bernstein

Ruth & John Matuszeski

Stefan & Christine Riesenfeld


Rhapsody In Blue @ 100: Jazz Comes To The Symphony

Artist Residency in collaboration with the Lobero Theatre

Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 19, 2024, at 3:00 p.m.


Nir Kabaretti, Conductor

Marcus Roberts Trio

   Marcus Roberts, Piano

   Roland Guerin, Bass

   Jason Marsalis, Drums


George Gershwin | Rhapsody in Blue 

Marcus Roberts | Rhapsody in D

Charles Ives | Symphony No. 2

Classical and jazz aficionados unite in this commemorative concert highlighting 100 years of Rhapsody in Blue. Gershwin’s creation is one of the most recognizable compositions to define the Jazz Age. The virtuosic and audience favorite Marcus Roberts Trio will pay homage in an unforgettable, toe-tapping performance of Roberts’ own re-conceived composition for piano and orchestra Rhapsody in D. Ives' Symphony No. 2 will round out the concert with a blending of traditional orchestral sounds, hymns, and marches.

Principal Concert Sponsor

Dan & Meg Burnham

Artist Sponsor

Marilyn & Richard Mazess

Selection Sponsors

Mark & Shelley Bookspan

Omega Financial Group

Wallin Studios


Bonus events featuring the Santa Barbara Symphony and Maestro Kabaretti, presented by other organizations: 

State Street Ballet Presents Giselle 

Saturday, October 21, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 22, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.


Nir Kabaretti, Conductor

State Street Ballet

State Street Ballet invited the Santa Barbara Symphony to accompany one of the most beloved ballets of all time,Giselle. This iconic romantic ballet is a must-see, a timeless story that has touched millions of hearts since its premiere in 1841. With Nir Kabaretti conducting and a superb international cast of State Street Ballet dancers, this classic tale of immortal love will come to life like never before.  Thank you to Sarah & Roger Chrisman for leadership support. Purchase tIckets: or 805-899-2222.


The Doublewide Kings And The Symphony Celebrate the Music of Van Morrison

Saturday, November 11, 2023, at 7:30 p.m.


Nir Kabaretti, Conductor

Doublewide Kings

The Santa Barbara Symphony joins local rockin’ rollers, the Doublewide Kings, to celebrate the iconic and legendary music of Van Morrison and bring his inimitable platinum catalog to new symphonic heights. From "Brown Eyed Girl" to "Moondance" to "Wild Night" and "Tupelo Honey", Van Morrison’s songs have helped define a musical generation. Don’t miss this "all hits", one-night-only-in-Santa Barbara event and hear the orchestra and band reinterpret “classic”(al) rock. Purchase tickets: or 805-899-2222


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