Wendy Chen Performing Gershwin to Open SBCO's 38th Season

The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra will open its 38th season with a performance of Dvorák's beloved "New World" Symphony and Gershwin's genre-defying Concerto in F featuring acclaimed pianist Wendy Chen at Santa Barbara's historic Lobero Theatre on Saturday, October 8. The concert will begin at 7:30 pm. Ticket prices start at $50.

"This exciting program is a statement of purpose, and perfectly captures the spirit of our entire 2016-17 season," said Chamber Orchestra Executive Director Kevin A. Martin. "The concert will both showcase our extraordinary musicians and serve as a reminder that our ensemble now routinely attracts the world's very best soloists."

Ms. Chen, who at age 15 debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under conductor André Previn, became the youngest winner ever of the National Chopin Competition in 1990. She has since performed throughout the world, garnering a steady stream of critical plaudits. The Boston Globe has lauded her "stamina, chops, brilliance, and sensitivity."

Once again, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra will be led by the peerless Heiichiro Ohyama, about to embark on his 34th year as the ensemble's music director and conductor. Over the course of his distinguished career Maestro Ohyama also has served as principal violist and assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; principal chief conductor of the Kyushu Symphony Orchestra in Fukuoka, Japan, and the Osaka Symphony Orchestra; artistic director of La Jolla Music Society's SummerFest and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; and music director of the Nagasaki Music Festival. Also a professor of music at the University of California from 1973 to 2003, he received the 1991 Gruber Award for Excellence in Chamber Music Teaching in Los Angeles.

The October 8 concert will be preceded by an opening-night party at 5:30 pm featuring wine, hors d'oeuvres, and a performance by State Street Ballet celebrating "Old Hollywood." Party tickets must be purchased separately. Call 805-966-2441 for details.

The Lobero Theatre is located at 33 East Canon Perdido Street in Santa Barbara. To purchase Chamber Orchestra subscriptions or tickets, go to sbco.org/concerts/tickets or call (805) 966-2441. Series prices start at $186, and for the first time subscribers can customize their ticket packages. Single tickets also can be purchased through the Lobero Theatre Ticket Office, 805-963-0761.

The SBCO's 2016-17 season will continue on November 15 with an intimate chamber music concert in the Santa Barbara Courthouse's newly restored Mural Room featuring compositions by Astor Piazzolla, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Luigi Boccherini. (There is a waiting list to purchase tickets for this performance.) The Chamber Orchestra will next present a holiday program of works by Baroque masters Purcell, Vivaldi, and Corelli at All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara on December 13. Guest artist Frank Huang will take on Beethoven's expansive and groundbreaking Violin Concerto in D, and the full ensemble will perform Schubert's much-loved and majestic "Great" Symphony at the Lobero Theatre on January 24. The SBCO also will present Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe on Valentine's Day (Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History), a woodwind showcase on March 21 (Lobero Theatre), and a chamber music and dialogue event featuring KUSC host Alan Chapman on April 4 (University Club), before the electrifying Alessio Bax closes out the season May 16 with Schumann's intensely expressive Piano Concerto in A Minor at the Lobero.

Complete season program information is available online at sbco.org/concerts/season.

Founded in 1978, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra is devoted to presenting concerts and programming of exceptional quality, and to fostering engagement with classical music among community members of all ages. The organization's reputation for excellence has long attracted musicians of uncommon achievement. Current and former SBCO musicians perform with the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, Pacific Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Symphony. Acclaimed conductor Heiichiro Ohyama has served as music director of the ensemble since 1983. For more information, visit www.sbco.org.



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