Music Academy of the West’s 71st Season: 200 Events in Eight Weeks

Posted on Jun 12 by SEASONS Magazine

Courtesy of Academy Festival Orchestra

Music Academy of the West’s 71st annual Summer School and Festival presents 139 talented fellows and more than 70 exceptional faculty members in 200 concerts, recitals, and masterclasses. These will take place on Miraflores campus and throughout Santa Barbara, California from June 18 through August 11. Some of the highlights include the launch of a major new four-year partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Academy Festival Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale in a special Community Concert of Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony under the leadership of Gustavo Dudamel.

Looking Ahead to Highlights of the 71st Summer Season

Music Academy President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Reed says, “We begin a new partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra that takes our fellows’ experience global and increases our impact on an international scale. We’ll be rewarded with appearances by LSO conductors and musicians each summer for the next four years… A Composers—in—Residence program includes six composers who will be here to share insight about their own music with fellows and audiences alike. James Conlon makes his Music Academy debut, leading one of the highlights of the summer, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Our Community Concert is our gift to the people of Santa Barbara who have suffered, yet triumphed over, heartbreaking tragedies this year. Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel will lead the Academy Festival Orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale in Gustav Mahler’s inspirational ‘Resurrection’ Symphony.”

Over the next three summers, Michael Tilson Thomas and other key London Symphony Orchestra conductors and musicians will perform and teach at the Academy, with the full orchestra during the 2019 and 2021 festivals.

Photo by Chris Lee

Gustavo Dudamel leads Community Concert: Mahler’s “Resurrection”

When Santa Barbara suffered from multiple disasters this winter—a fire followed by a mudslide—the local response was rapid, effective, and heartwarming. The Academy presents a special Community Concert, at which trailblazing conductor, Gustavo Dudamel will lead the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Academy Festival Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, the “Resurrection.” Music Academy of the West offers its community the symphony’s redemptive message of hope, expressed by more than 200 musicians live at the Santa Barbara Bowl on August 11.

Academy Festival Orchestra Concerts

The Academy Festival Orchestra presents four programs at the Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara this season. A few of the performances are listed as followed, one combines Berlioz and de Falla with Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony on June 30. Another groups Sibelius’s uplifting Fifth Symphony with the West Coast premiere of Loon on July 7.

Festival Gala Concert

The Music Academy’s annual benefit concert, the Festival Gala, offers a celebration of notable alumni artists on August 4.

As Opera News observes, “The Music Academy of the West’s annual opera production has long been a reliable showcase for fine young vocalists.” This season the focus is on the new production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro by James Darrah.

As in previous years, the summer season offers a wealth of chamber concerts. This year it features Takács Quartet, Festival Artists, Picnic Concerts, Community Concerts and more.

This season, faculty artists have been invited to perform together in a series of sonata recitals, allowing fellows to hear the repertoire they are studying, performed by their mentors.

Music Academy of the West Garden, courtesy photo.

One of the most popular events of the summer season is the Marilyn Horne Song Competition on August 9. It is a showcase for Academy singers and vocal pianists, who compete for the Regina Roney Award.

More Than 130 Public Masterclasses

The masterclass is one of the hallmarks of the Music Academy experience. All fellows participate in the Music Academy’s extensive masterclass program, which is created to complement individuals private instruction. Over the course of the eight-week festival, more than 130 public master classes will be presented by faculty and guest artists for voice, solo piano, and instrumental series.


The Music Academy of the West’s fellows, faculty and guest artists perform at its scenic ocean-side campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara, including the Granada Theatre and the Lobero Theatre.

For more information on tickets please call 805/969-8787 or visit The Music Academy of the West is located at 1070 Fairway Road, Santa Barbara.

Delaney Mayfield


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