Olga Kern | Credit: Chris Lee

CAMA’s International Series has been one of Santa Barbara’s most precious cultural treasures for over a century. This fantastic resource brings the world’s top symphony orchestras to town for concerts that allow us to experience the thrill of hearing what audiences in the great musical capitals do without the time and expense of traveling to Europe or beyond. On Tuesday, January 11, the International Series recommences at The Granada Theatre for the first time since March 2020. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be led by Vasily Petrenko, who became its music director less than a year ago. It’s an occasion for celebration, even as we accept the responsibility that comes with attending live concerts under the present challenging circumstances. 

Petrenko comes from a tradition of rigorous musical training that extends back to the era of the former Soviet Union. As an interpreter of the Russian repertoire, his skill shines on dozens of recordings, including a comprehensive account of the 15 Shostakovich symphonies for the Naxos label initiated in 2008 and completed in 2017. For this concert, Olga Kern joins Petrenko and the RPO as the soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Major, Op. 23. In addition to his expertise in the music of his native Russia, Petrenko has established a sterling reputation among British musicians during nearly two decades as the Chief Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. 

This aspect of Petrenko’s vision will be on display in the service of the Royal Phil’s extraordinary talent on the other two works included in Tuesday’s concert, the Four Sea Interludes, Op. 33a from Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten and the Variations on an Original Theme “Enigma,” Op. 36 of Edward Elgar.

For tickets and information, visit camasb.org.

This edition of ON Culture was originally emailed to subscribers on June 7, 2024. To receive Leslie Dinaberg’s arts newsletter in your inbox on Fridays, sign up at independent.com/newsletters.


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