Santa Barbara Symphony
Maestro Nir Kabaretti and the S.B. Symphony take you on a joyous, melodic trip in Festa Italiana!, with Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony No. 4 in A Major, and Italian-flavored works by Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, and Tchaikovsky. Sat., Jan. 17, 8pm and Sun., Jan. 18, 1pm. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Call 899-2222 or visit thesymphony.org.
San Francisco Symphony
Powerful, dramatic music comes to S.B. when Michael Tilson Thomas conducts one of his own works, Street Song for Symphonic Brass, along with Haydn’s Symphony No. 60 in C Major, “Il Distratto” and Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 in C Minor. Sat., Jan. 24, 8pm. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Call 899-2222 or visit camasb.org.
Tokyo String Quartet
This acclaimed quartet is scheduled to perform chamber works with a matched set of Stradivarius instruments known as the “Paganini Quartet.” Pianist Paul Berkowitz, the chair of UCSB’s Music Department, will join them for the Dvor¡k Piano Quintet in A Major. Wed., Feb. 4, 8pm. UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Donizetti’s Viva la Mamma!, presented by UCSB Opera Theatre
You haven’t seen a stage mother until you’ve seen the one in Donizetti’s satire of backstage life-UCSB’s production, with stage direction by Katherine Arthur and music direction by John Ballerino, promises to be both funny and beautiful. Thu.-Sat., Feb. 5-7, 8pm and Sun., Feb. 8, 2pm. UCSB’s Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall. Call 893-7001 or visit www.music.ucsb.edu.
String quintets by a pair of boy geniuses come to us by way of the South Coast’s most adventurous chamber group. Catherine Leonard, Nurit Pacht, Richard O’Neill, Toby Appel, and Ani Aznavoorian play Mozart’s String Quintet in C Major, K. 515 and Mendelssohn’s String Quintet in B-flat Major, Op. 87. Fri., Feb. 6, 1 and 7:30pm. Hahn Hall, Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Rd. Call 884-8410 or visit cameratapacifica.org.
Santa Barbara Symphony’s Valentine’s Day Concert
Violinist Jennifer Koh joins Maestro Nir Kabaretti and the S.B. Symphony for a Valentine’s Day tribute to romance with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550, which critic Charles Rosen called “a work of passion, violence, and grief.” Sat., Feb. 14, 8pm and Sun., Feb. 15, 1pm. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Call 899-2222 or visit thesymphony.org.
Critic’s Pick: Cecilia Bartoli, Mezzo-Soprano
A truly magnificent voice will fill the Granada with works by Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Viardot, Garc-a, and Malibran, and will break your heart over and over again, beautifully. Thu., Feb. 19, 8pm. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Call 899-2222 or visit camasb.org.
The Westmont Orchestra and soloists perform in two beautiful venues-Hahn Hall and the First Presbyterian Church. Fri., Feb. 27, 8pm. Hahn Hall, Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Rd. Sun., Mar. 1, 3pm. First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. Call 565-6889 or visit westmont.edu.
Pianist Gabriela Montero
Improvisational wonder Gabriela Montero brings audience participation to the classical music scene in her debut appearance in Santa Barbara-tell her your favorite melody, and she’ll do something amazing with it. Presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures in association with the Music Academy of the West and the Pearl Chase Society. Thu., Mar. 5, 8pm. Hahn Hall, Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Rd. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Bizet’s Carmen, presented by Opera Santa Barbara
S.B. Symphony’s Maestro Nir Kabaretti returns to opera conducting with Opera Santa Barbara’s production of Bizet’s thrilling, colorful Carmen, with Louise Guyot in the title role and Michael Hayes as Don Jose. Sat., Mar. 7, 7:30pm and Sun., Mar. 15, 2:30pm. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Call 899-2222 or visit operasb.org.
Leh¡r’s The Merry Widow, presented by Opera Santa Barbara
Shimmering melodies and pure Viennese silliness reign in this operetta, conducted by Valery Ryvkin and directed by Yefim Maizel. Janette Zilioli sings the role of Hanna, the merry widow of the title; Eugene Chan plays Count Danilo Danilovich, her reluctant suitor. Sat., Mar. 14, 7:30pm and Sun., Mar. 22, 2:30pm. Granada Theatre, 1214 State St. Call 899-2222 or visit operasb.org.