Cameron Carpenter, the guest artist featured in the Santa Barbara Symphony’s upcoming Sonic Boom concerts on Saturday, March 19, and Sunday, March 20, has reimagined the organ as an instrument for the new century. His playing combines the precision and musicality of a traditional virtuoso with the theatrical flair of a rock star. When he rolls into town this weekend, he will have an impressive new organ in tow and a program that’s geared to his strengths, and to those of the Santa Barbara Symphony. A fierce solo warmup involving the obligatory Bach fugue leads off a program featuring a concerto by Poulenc and the Organ Symphony of Saint-Saëns. For anyone curious about the future of keyboard music or just enamored of Van Gogh–era Paris, this one is not to be missed.
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