The Vienna Philharmonic, universally acclaimed one of the world’s greatest orchestras, will give its first-ever performance in Santa Barbara on March 1 as part of UCSB Arts & Lectures’ 2010-11 season.
The concert, in the Granada Theatre, will be co-presented by Arts & Lectures and CAMA. Conductor Semyon Bychkov will lead the 120-member ensemble in Schubert’s Second Symphony, Bartok’s The Miraculous Mandarin, and the Prelude and Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.
Founded in 1842, the Vienna Philharmonic has played an important role in the history of classical music. Composers from Brahms to Bruckner to Bernstein have praised the orchestra’s performances of their music. A 2006 survey of leading European music editors named it the continent’s finest orchestra.
The concert promises to be a highlight of Arts & Lectures’ 51st season, which will feature more than 40 performances at four venues: the Granada and Arlington theaters in downtown Santa Barbara, Campbell Hall on the UCSB campus, and the Music Academy of the West’s Hahn Hall.
The season will kick off September 23 with a talk by veteran television journalist Bill Moyers at the Granada. Other familiar names on the schedule include Steve Martin, who will give a bluegrass concert with the Steep Canyon Rangers, October 8 at the Granada; Laurie Anderson, who will bring her latest performance piece, Delusion, to Campbell Hall, October 19; and John Lithgow, who will perform his one-man show Stories by Heart, October 25 at the Granada.
Comedy programs will include a set by Chicago’s improv masters the Second City troupe, February 24 at Campbell Hall, and the return of author David Sedaris, April 29 in the Arlington Theatre.
A strong dance series at the Granada will feature four major companies: Pilobolus Dance Theater, October 7; Corella Ballet Castilla y Leon, Spain’s only classical ballet company, November 8; the Paul Taylor Dance Company, November 17; and, making its Santa Barbara debut, the Joffrey Ballet March 7.
The jazz series will kick off with legendary saxophonist Ornette Coleman, November 5 in Campbell Hall. A pioneer of the “free jazz” movement of the 1960s, Coleman has settled into elder-statesman status without losing his edge. Bassist, vocalist, and composer Esperanza Spalding, widely acclaimed as one of the great young voices in jazz, will perform February 27 in Campbell Hall.
Besides the Vienna Philharmonic, other classical artists on the schedule include pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who will give a Liszt recital January 24 in Campbell Hall, and the Emerson String Quartet, which will play music of Haydn, Mendelssohn, and Berg, March 5 in Campbell Hall.
While there is no live theater on the schedule, Arts & Lectures will be presenting via satellite four shows from the National Theatre of London. The NT Live series is patterned after the Metropolitan Opera’s program of bringing selected productions to movie theaters. Plays, dates, and locations will be announced shortly.
Subscriptions, which come in a variety of forms and allow for savings of up to 20 percent, are now on sale. Single tickets go on sale August 21. For more information, call 893-3535 or go to artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.