Singers and songs provide the inspiration for many of this spring’s most promising classical concerts. The Santa Barbara Master Chorale has a major performance coming up, as does the Santa Barbara Choral Society, which will join the Westmont College Choir and the Santa Barbara Symphony for Brahms’s majestic Requiem. For fans of pop, the songs of the Beatles will get their chance on April 21 when the Santa Barbara Symphony goes on a Classical Mystery Tour.
Santa Barbara Symphony presents Peter and the Wolf and Island of the Blue Dolphins
The S.B. Symphony presents Prokofiev’s classic, Peter and the Wolf; and Peter Madlem’s newest work, based on Scott O’Dell’s book Island of the Blue Dolphins, will enjoy its world premiere at the Natural History Museum. Kids can enjoy the Music Van prior to the concert. Sun., Mar. 25, 3pm. Fleischmann Auditorium, S.B. Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol Rd. Call 963-0761 or visit thesymphony.org.
Santa Barbara Youth Symphony’s Spring Concert
Featuring music by Berlioz, Brahms, Kabalevsky, and Mozart. Sun., Mar. 25, 7pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. Call 963-0761 or visit www.sbys.org.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
CAMA presents another sterling American orchestra. Sir Andrew Davis will conduct and Jonathan Biss will be the piano soloist for this concert, which includes Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A Minor and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5. Wed., Mar. 28, 8pm. Arlington Theatre. Call 963-4408 or visit camasb.org.
Santa Barbara Master Chorale Concert
The chorale will be conducted by Phillip McLendon in Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. Sat., Mar. 31, 8pm and Sun., Apr. 1, 3pm. First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. Call 967-8287 or visit sbmasterchorale.org.
Sarah Chang, Violin
Chang, who has several major recordings with the Berlin Philharmonic to her credit, will be accompanied by pianist Ashley Wass in her Santa Barbara solo recital debut. Tue., Apr. 3, 8pm. UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Also known as the German Requiem, Brahms wrote his longest piece in the wake of losing both his mother and his close friend Robert Schumann. With the Westmont College Choir, the Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Santa Barbara Choral Society. Sat., Apr. 14, 8pm and Sun., Apr. 15, 3pm. Arlington Theatre. Call 963-4408 or visit thesymphony.org.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
The orchestral portion of CAMA’s 2006-’07 season concludes with Paavo J¤rvi conducting one of the most venerable orchestras in the western hemisphere. Tue., Apr. 17, 8pm. Arlington Theatre. Call 963-4408 or visit camasb.org.
Camerata Pacifica April Concert
Camerata Pacifica will be joined by the world’s most acclaimed young clarinetist, Jose Franch-Ballester, for this concert, which will include Brahms’s Sonata for Clarinet & Piano in E-flat Major, Op. 120, No. 2. Fri., Apr. 20, 1 and 8pm. Lotte Lehmann Hall, Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Rd. Call 884-8410 or visit cameratapacifica.org.
Classical Mystery Tour
The music of the Beatles will be given a full orchestral treatment by the Santa Barbara Symphony, with Richard Kaufman conducting. Sat., Apr. 21, 8pm. Arlington Theatre. Call 963-4408 or visit thesymphony.org.
Sergio and Odair Assad are Brazilian classical guitarists with a unique sound and an international reputation. Check out the amazing video clip currently on youtube.com of the two of them playing one guitar simultaneously. Sun., Apr. 22, 2 and 5pm. Santa Barbara Courthouse Mural Room, S.B. Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Stephen Hough, Piano
The formidable pianist will play Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111 and Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1, among many other fine things, in this, the final concert of CAMA’s 2006-’07 Master Series at the Lobero Theatre. Tue., Apr. 24, 8pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. Call 963-0761 or visit lobero.com.
The Robin Cox Ensemble
Robin Cox, our resident maestro of all things avant-garde, presents an evening of his ensemble with guest percussion soloist Scott Deal. Sun., Apr. 29, 8pm. Center Stage Theater, 751 Paseo Nuevo. Call 963-0408 or visit iridianarts.com or centerstagetheater.org.
Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra
Another chance to hear Jose Franch-Ballester, the clarinetist whose Merkin Concert Hall recital in New York in February 2007 was met with rave reviews. Jay Nordlinger of the New York Sun proclaimed, “Franch-Ballester should be selling out Carnegie Hall.” The program includes works by Aaron Copland and Igor Stravinsky. Tue., May 1, 7:30pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. Call 963-0761 or visit lobero.com.
Santa Barbara Symphony
Guest artist Martin Chalifour, violin, will assist the orchestra in a program that includes Sibelius, Bernstein, Stravinsky (Firebird Suite), and Ravel (La Valse). Sat., May 12, 8pm and Sun., May 13, 3pm. Arlington Theatre. Call 963-4408 or visit thesymphony.org.
Camerata Pacifica May Concert
This concert features the world premiere of Ian Wilson’s “Messenger” Concerto for Violin and Chamber Ensemble, as well as Stravinsky’s Septet and Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Fri., May 18, 1 and 8pm. Lotte Lehmann Hall, Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Rd. Call 884-8410 or visit cameratapacifica.org.
Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra
Boston-based and Harvard-educated Max Levinson is one of the top young pianists performing in America today. He will join the SBCO for a concert featuring works by Beethoven and Mendelssohn. Tue., May 29, 7:30pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. Call 963-0761 or visit lobero.com.
Looking ahead :
Ojai Music Festival, June 7-10.
Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival, June 15-17.