Wonder Boy

by Gerald Carpenter

PRIMAVERA IN THE CITY: This week’s music is rather skewed toward next week, with only one concert over the weekend, albeit an interesting one. On Saturday, April 15, at 8 p.m. in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, the UCSB Department of Music will present pianist Philipp Richardsen, in a doctor of musical arts recital. Admission is free.

Richardsen was born and raised in Vienna, Austria, and has been taking intensive piano lessons since he was five. I’ll bet he’s glad to be nearly done. His program will consist of two pieces by Domenico Scarlatti, the Sonata in E Major, K. 380 and the Sonata in E Major, K. 381; Robert Schumann’s Gesänge der Frühe (Songs of Dawn), Opus 133; Schumann and Franz Liszt’s Widmung (Dedication from: Myrthen, Opus 25 No. 1); Liszt’s Concert Paraphrase on Verdi’s “Rigoletto”; and Johannes Brahms’s Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Opus 5.

After an elegant sidebar of a concert featuring Beethoven and Brahms but no Mozart, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra’s mostly Mozart season resumes at 8 p.m. next Tuesday, April 18, in the Lobero Theatre. The all-Mozart program boasts two works: the Symphony No. 39 in E-flat Major, K. 543, and the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 23 in A Major, K. 488. The soloist in the concerto will be the internationally admired James Dick. Heiichiro Ohyama, music director of SBCO, will conduct. For tickets to this lovely Mozart-ian bouquet, call the Lobero at 963-0761.

Now, there are many candidates for the mythical title of “World’s Most Beautiful Music,” but I know few music lovers for whom listening to K. 488 would not narrow the field considerably. After the first movement, you will have used up most of your choice adjectives — sublime, exquisite, and so forth — and will have none left for the slow movement, which is, in any case, beautiful beyond words.

At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, the Santa Barbara Music Club will offer a delicious Twilight Concert of chamber music for instrumental and vocal ensembles, in the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library (40 E. Anapamu St.). We will hear the Trio in A Minor for Violin, Cello, and Piano by Maurice Ravel, and the inescapable Mozart will be on hand in the form of his famous serenade, Eine kleine Nachtmusik in G Major, in an arrangement for piano duo. Then, the Westmont Chamber Singers will perform Sacred to Secular, Renaissance to 20th Century. Admission is free, as usual. For more information, call 683-0811 or visit

UCSB’s annual Primavera Festival, a multimedia, broad-spectrum artistic extravaganza — with an emphasis on what’s currently happening — starts next Monday, April 17, and runs through Saturday, April 22. In various venues across the UCSB campus, there will be demonstrations and workshops, performances and discussions, concerts and lectures. There is too much going on to cover it all here, so I recommend that you visit or call 893-7001 to get a more detailed picture, and a complete schedule of events.

But on Wednesday, April 19, we get a genuine concert from the marvelous UCSB Ensemble for Contemporary Music. ECM Director Jeremy Haladyna will lead his group in works of the featured composer of the festival, Anne LeBaron, as well as Joel Feigin, Derek Bermel, George Crumb, and Bobby Halvorson. The program bears the title New Music: The Gospel According To. It should be quite a lot of fun.

I shall have more to say about the concluding act of Primavera next week, for there is a good deal more music to come before the curtain comes down on Saturday, April 22.

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