Santa Barbara Symphony Begins 2017-2018 Season with Spectacular All-Mozart Program

Posted on Oct 8 by SEASONS Magazine

Maestro Kabaretti Conducting, courtesy of the Santa Barbara Symphony.

Maestro Kabaretti Conducting, courtesy of the Santa Barbara Symphony.

The Santa Barbara Symphony begins its new season of spectacular concerts on Saturday, October 14 at 8 p.m. in the Granada Theatre (1214 State St.). This new season is led by Maestro Nir Kabaretti who will conduct the first all Mozart concert comprised of talented musicians and singers from across the region. This opening even includes a collaboration with the State Street Ballet.

The concert features Mozart’s miraculous final symphony and his renowned Requiem. Requiem is augmented with a new piece by the respected choreographer William Soleau. His new choreography will be brought to life by the members of the State Street Ballet.

Soleau first rose to recognition after his piece “Universe,” which was performed at the Shanghai Ballet at the International Shanghai Arts Festival. Some of his early work as a resident choreographer and principal dancer for both Finis Jhung’s Chamber Ballet U.S.A. and “Dennis Wayne’s Dancers” in New York City during the 1980s prompted the praise of Allan Charlet of Back Stage. Charlet declared Soleau, “destined to become one of our most prolific dancer creators.” Soleau has brought this prediction to fruition throughout his career creating more than 100 breathtaking ballets worldwide including Ballet British Columbia, Richmond Ballet, Ballet de Montreal, the Icelandic Ballet and Ballet Florida among countless others. His work also transcends the boundaries as Soleau has also created choreography for film, theater, and opera.

“Pairing dancing with a Catholic mass is highly original, to say the least,” notes Maestro Kabaretti, entering his 12th season as the Santa Barbara Symphony’s music director. “There are cultures in which dance is an accepted, even integral, part of funeral rites, and inspired by that, I thought it would be fascinating to have dancers join us for Mozart’s Requiem. The Requiem is Mozart’s last piece of music, and combined with his final symphony (the “Jupiter”) represents Mozart at his best. And for the first time ever, we have auditioned and selected chorus members specifically for this project.”

Featured vocal soloists include soprano Jeanette Vecchione-Donatti, mezzo Nina Yoshida Nelson, tenor Benjamin Bliss, and bass DeAndre Simmons. Over 80 accomplished singers from Los Angeles to San Francisco auditioned for the professional chorus for this fantastic program but few made the cut.

Under the direction of Kabaretti, the symphony will take flight. Kabaretti was named the orchestra’s music director in 2005 and the artistic director in 2008. He has conducted many other orchestras worldwide, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. He is a well-recognized conductor as well, he was named the winner of the 1993 Forum Junger Kunstler Conducting Competition in Vienna and was named the music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony in 2014.

For more information, visit or call 805/898-9386.

—Lauren Bennett


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