Power Trio on Beethoven Mountain, at the Santa Barbara Granada

Classical Triumvirate Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, and Yo-Yo Ma Heads to Town

From left, Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, and Leonidas Kavakos perform at the Granada on January 27. | Credit: Nigel Parry

Beethoven-ia, as delivered by the masters, will descend upon the Granada next week. The esteemed Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s concert, on Wednesday (January 25) fills half its program with Beethoven, including the Symphony No. 8. Two nights later (Friday, January 27) in the same grand venue, the genuine classical music “super-trio” of Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax and Leonidas Kavakos brings on an all-Beethoven program, including a special arrangement of the Symphony No. 4.

In a sense, it will be old home week next Friday for the power trio, presented via UCSB Arts & Lectures. The grouping represents three of the finest players on their respective instruments currently alive, and all three have established strong, ongoing relationships with the hosting organization over the years. Cellist Ma is a rare bird whose fame and accolades — including 19 Grammy awards and the Presidential Medal of Honor — extends beyond classical circles to “household name” status and thankfully, he has made Santa Barbara a regular stopover for various projects.

Veteran Polish-born pianist Ax, also a regular visitor here, ranks among the premiere pianists of the day. The younger newcomer among Santa Barbara regulars linked to A&L’s programming agenda is Greek violinist Kavakos whose duo appearances with pianist Yuja Wang at the Granada and Campbell Hall affirmed his deepening status as an artist of international importance.

At the Granada, the trio will perform Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B-flat Major (“Archduke”) after intermission, following Shai Wosner’s intriguing, radical reductive reconfiguring of the Symphony No. 4 in the first half. Call it an unofficial Beethoven week on State Street.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit artsandlectures.ucsb.edu


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