Winter Arts Preview: Classical

This Season Brings Champagne and Sachertorte to S.B.

Like Robert Frost’s woods on a snowy evening, this winter’s classical offerings are lovely, dark, and deep, so don’t plan on getting any sleep—you have concerts to attend. First up, UCSB’s Arts & Lectures presents outstanding piano prodigy Yuja Wang in recital at the Music Academy of the West’s Hahn Hall on Friday, January 14. Monday, January 24, CAMA brings the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra to the Granada with Ignat Solzhenitsyn conducting from the piano. The Shanghai Quartet will be at the SBMA’s Mary Craig Auditorium on Wednesday, January 26.Camerata Pacifica returns to the Hahn Hall on Friday, February 4, with guest clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester. World-renowned American violinist Joshua Bell comes to the Granada for a recital on Tuesday, February 8. The UCSB Music Department presents Natasha Kislenko and Ilya Sinaisky, both on piano, at the Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall on Wednesday, February 9. Arts & Lectures has cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Gabriel Kahane in recital at Hahn Hall the same night. A week later, on Wednesday, February 16, the UCSB Music Department presents an intriguing concert by soprano Sylvia Greenberg and pianist David Aronson at UCSB’s Karl Geiringer Hall. The pair will play what they are calling “Hausmusik,” drawn from the distinguished musical history of the apartment building where they live in Vienna. Over at Campbell Hall that night, Arts & Lectures sponsors a program by the fascinating ensemble of Kayhan Kalhor and Brooklyn Rider. Combining a modern string quartet with Kalhor’s instrument, the viol-like kamancheh, the group makes impressive new music influenced by their participation in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.

Gabriel Kahane
Click to enlarge photo

Jen Snow

Gabriel Kahane

CAMA’s Masterseries at the Lobero recommences on Tuesday, February 15, with a recital by pianist Peter Serkin. And young French piano whiz Jean-Yves Thibaudet arrives at Hahn Hall on Tuesday, February 22, for an all-Liszt program.

The chamber music series at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art remains one of the town’s most valuable musical institutions. SBMA’s Mary Craig Auditorium welcomes the Penderecki String Quartet on Thursday, February 17. Over at the Lobero on Tuesday, February 22, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra will create what is sure to be a memorable night of 20th-century masterpieces by Stravinsky, Milhaud, Schoenberg, and Ravel. But the season’s biggest deal is the arrival of the legendary Vienna Philharmonic to the Granada on Tuesday, March 1. This history-making program includes the Symphony No. 2 of Franz Schubert and Béla Bartók’s sublimely daring and scandalously erotic ballet concert-suite The Miraculous Mandarin. Get there early for champagne and sachertorte in the lobby.

Hold on tight for a wild March at the Granada, as that Friday, March 4, Opera Santa Barbara will open La Traviata, which also plays in a matinee performance on Sunday, March 6. On March 5, there’s a visit scheduled from the Emerson String Quartet at the Campbell Hall. And the following Friday, March 11, Camerata Pacifica invades Hahn Hall with the addition of Adam Neiman’s piano and Jose Franch-Ballester on clarinet.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Highway 101 to Close Wednesday and Thursday

Removal of bridge supports at Olive Mill Road to divert traffic through Montecito.

Santa Barbara Surfer Chris Brown Dies

Body found just east of Hendry’s Beach.

Damaged Bridge Repairs Delayed

March, June, and July given as possible completion dates by Caltrans for six bridges along the 192 ...

Natural History Museum Begins Vertebrate Preservation Project

The project will move 45,000 specimens into bug-proof conservation boxes.

Santa Barbara Joins in on 2019 Women’s March

Santa Barbara participates in annual national Women’s March on Saturday.