The riches in store for classical music fans in Santa Barbara this season surpass even the wildest of expectations, proving the city has become America’s foremost mid-sized destination for classical music of every kind. In addition to the new festival format of Opera Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Symphony and several other area organizations including the Museum of Art and PCPA are collaborating on the first annual Santa Barbara Guitar Festival.
Eduardo Villa This distinguished tenor from the Metropolitan Opera also happens to be a Santa Barbara resident, and the concert is a benefit for a pair of good causes — the Diabetes Resource Center of Santa Barbara and the UCSB Opera Program. Fri., Jan. 12, 7:30pm. Marjorie Luke Theatre, 721 E. Cota St. $26.50-$51.50. 963‑0761.
Camerata Pacifica This year, wintertime will be a season of adventure for Camerata Pacifica audiences as Adrian Spence’s stellar team of splendid musicians embarks on a journey into the limits of the modern classical repertoire. January’s concert features compositions by Britten and Kagel, while in February, Crumb and Takemitsu get their chance. March comes in like a lion with Messiaen’s glorious and exacting Quartet for the End of Time. Fri., Jan. 12; Fri., Feb. 9; and Fri., Mar. 16; 1 and 8pm. Lotte Lehmann Hall, Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Rd. $20 at 1pm, evening tickets available by full subscription only. 884-8410 or cameratapacifica.org.
Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra Chamber Players Presenting the world premiere of Gernot Wolfgang’s “Dual Identity” with bassoonist Judith Farmer. Tue., Jan. 16, 7:30pm. Fleischmann Auditorium, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol. $32. 966-2441.
Hilary Hahn Is she the top young violinist in the world? Judge for yourself when Hilary Hahn performs in recital at the Arlington. Wed., Jan. 17, 8pm. Arlington Theatre. $30-$65. 963‑4408.
Santa Barbara Music Club These free concerts are the life blood of our homegrown musical scene. Sat., Jan. 20, Jan. 27, and Feb. 24 at 3pm; Wed., Feb. 14 and Mar. 14, 11am. Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St. Free. sbmusicclub.org. Santa Barbara Symphony, with Grant Llewellyn and Daniel Müller-Schott Guest conductor Llewellyn and cellist Müller-Schott collaborate on a program that includes Haydn’s Symphony No. 103, “Drum Roll.” Sat., Jan. 20, 8pm and Sun., Jan. 21, 3pm. Arlington Theatre. $26.50-$57.50. 895‑9626.
Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra Pianist Akira Eguchi plays an all-Beethoven program. SBCO’s dynamic, spirited versions of Beethoven are one of the must-hears for this season. Tue., Jan. 23, 7:30pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. $37.50-$42.50. 966-2441 or lobero.com.
Itzhak Perlman Considered by many to be the greatest living violinist, Perlman is never anything other than spectacular. See him up close and personal at this recital concert. Sat., Jan. 27, 4pm. UCSB’s Campbell Hall. $25-$75. 893‑3535 or www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Guitar Festival The beginning of a beautiful friendship between Santa Barbara and the guitar in all its incarnations. Fri., Feb. 9 -Sun., Feb. 18. Various locations. Prices vary. 895‑9626.
Dawn Upshaw Soprano Dawn Upshaw, with three Grammys to her credit, is one of the world’s most beloved voices. Presented by CAMA. Wed., Feb. 14, 8pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. $40-$50. 963-4408 or lobero.com.
Rigoletto and A Masked Ball Opera Santa Barbara presents its second annual Opera Festival. This year, the festival celebrates the music of Giuseppe Verdi (pictured) — the artist widely considered to be opera’s greatest composer. Rigoletto: Sat., Feb. 24, 7:30pm; Fri., Mar. 2, 7:30pm; Sun., Mar. 4, 2:30pm; Sat., Mar. 10, 7:30pm. A Masked Ball: Sat., Mar. 3, 7:30pm; Fri., Mar. 9, 7:30pm; Sun., Mar. 11, 2:30pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. $77.50-$132.50. 963‑0761 or lobero.com.
National Philharmonic of Russia In an all-Russian program with an emphasis on the music of Shostakovich, the orchestra will feature Olga Kern as guest soloist on piano. Sure to be one of the highlights of this, or any, season. Tue., Feb. 27, 8pm. Arlington Theatre. $35-$75. 963-4408.
Alfred Brendel The incomparable Brendel is the world’s greatest solo pianist. He returns to the Lobero thanks to CAMA in a performance that is certain to sell out quickly, so act now. Thu., Mar. 15, 8pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. $55-$75. 963‑4408 or lobero.com.