another extraordinary season of classical music and opera awaits us in Santa Barbara. Things have already gotten off to a flying start with Lang Lang’s appearance last Saturday with the Santa Barbara Symphony. This weekend, the classical calendar is full, with Camerata Pacifica opening its season on Friday, September 11, at Hahn Hall with a new piece called “To the Four Corners” from composer Huang Ruo. Saturday, September 12, the Granada presents soprano Talise Trevigne in recital with pianist Warren Jones. And on Sunday afternoon, Hahn Hall will be the venue for what promises to be a splendid concert featuring two pianists-Renee Hamaty and Fredrik Rosvall-and soprano Jamie Chamberlin. The program will double as a benefit for Opera Santa Barbara’s Youth Education and Outreach Program.
On Saturday, September 26, Opera Santa Barbara presents Seance on a Wet Afternoon at the Granada. This will be the world premiere of a new opera by Stephen Schwartz, the man behind Godspell, Pippin, and Wicked, and is likely to become this season’s most talked-about event. Repeat performances will be held on Friday, October 2, and Sunday, October 4.
Arts & Lectures presents baritone Thomas Hampson in recital on Friday, October 9, at UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Hampson is one of music’s most powerful live presences, and his new project, a collaboration with the Library of Congress called “Song of America,” plays to his considerable strengths both as a music scholar and as a performer. Camerata Pacifica’s October program is a change of pace, with the CamPac principals joined by the piano duo of Anna Polonsky and Orion Weiss. The program, which mixes solo piano works with pieces written for one piano and four hands, includes two compositions by Schubert and two by Debussy.
The Santa Barbara Symphony continues its season at the Granada on Saturday, October 17, and Sunday, October 18, with violinist Augustin Hadelich on hand for W.A. Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219. The Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Heiichiro Ohyama, begins its season on the following Tuesday, October 20, at the Lobero with guest artist Rieko Aizawa on piano.
On Saturday and Sunday, November 7 and 8, the Santa Barbara Symphony brings in Jo Anne Wasserman’s Santa Barbara Choral Society for Joseph Haydn’s Paukenmesse. Friday, November 13, at Hahn Hall, Camerata Pacifica will be joined by composer/pianist Lera Auerbach in the evening program for her composition Twenty-Four Preludes for Cello and Piano, Op. 47-a can’t-miss opportunity for fans of contemporary composition.
The venerable CAMA gets its season started on Friday, November 20, at the Granada with the Shanghai Symphony, conducted by Long Yu and with the sensational young pianist Yuja Wang as soloist. The evening will also include an important vocal/orchestral work by Chinese composer Qigang Chen, which is scored for two sopranos, traditional Chinese instruments, and orchestra. If you want to hear the future of classical music, this wouldn’t be a bad place to start.
On Friday, December 4, Camerata Pacifica presents pianist Adam Neiman in a Tchaikovsky trio with violinist Catherine Leonard and cellist Ani Aznavoorian. Last but certainly not least, Arts & Lectures presents the world’s greatest living musician, Yo-Yo Ma, in solo recital at the Granada on Monday, December 7. Ma will play Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, numbers 2, 3, and 6. It will be pure musical bliss, just in time for the holidays.