As days grow longer, evenings in the concert halls of Santa Barbara take on a twilight tinge suitable for all manner of musical adventures. This Saturday, March 20, and Sunday, March 21, the Santa Barbara Symphony brings a guest conductor, Mark Russell Smith and an extraordinary cellist, Joshua Roman, to the Granada for a concert that includes the Ausencia of composing sensation Osvaldo Golijov. On Thursday, April 8, the Music Academy of the West opens Hahn Hall for a recital by the acclaimed young tenor Alek Shrader. Nir Kabaretti returns to the Granada stage on Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11, when the Symphony plays host to pianist and longtime Kabaretti associate Jeffrey Kahane. Pianist Alessio Bax joins the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra at the Lobero on Tuesday, April 13, for a program that includes works by Mozart, Delius, and Stravinsky. UCSB’s Arts & Lectures brings the Juilliard Quartet to Campbell Hall the next night, Wednesday, April 14.
On Friday, April 16, Camerata Pacifica will host some of the world’s finest horn and wind players for an evening of adventurous chamber music, including quintets by Harbison and Beethoven, at the Music Academy of the West. That same night at the Granada, Lang Lang returns, this time courtesy of CAMA and supported by the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. Lang Lang’s a good pianist, and so is Yuja Wang, who will be at Hahn Hall on Friday, April 23, courtesy of Arts & Lectures. On Thursday, April 29, the violin of Itzhak Perlman will resound through the Granada in CAMA’s final concert of the season. Although not a classical artist, the great singer Patti LuPone will surely attract many who care for vocal music when Arts & Lectures brings her to the Granada on Thursday, May 13. A&L also brings the vocal group Chanticleer to Campbell Hall the next night, Friday, May 14. That same night, Camerata Pacifica returns to the Music Academy’s Hahn Hall with its core ensemble of Catherine Leonard, Ani Aznavoorian, Richard O’Neill, Adrian Spence, and pianist Warren Jones for an evening that includes Schumann’s E-flat Quartet for Piano and Strings, Op. 47.
The Santa Barbara Symphony winds up its season on Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16, with a single huge work, the Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp Minor of Gustav Mahler. The final concert of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra features piano favorite Wonny Song in an all-Schumann program on Tuesday, May 18, at the Lobero. Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the always-intriguing Ojai Music Festival, which this year runs Thursday, June 10-Sunday, June 13.