Tonight it’s Les Violons du Roy; regular season starts in January
Community Arts Music Association of Santa Barbara is returning with in-person concerts, starting at 7:30 tonight at the Lobero Theatre.
Mandolin virtuoso Avi Avital will perform with Les Violons du Roy. (“Les Violons du Roy” is French for “The Violins of the King,” and the Canadian string orchestra, founded in 1984, is based in Quebec City.)
The non-subscription concert helps to set the stage for CAMA’s 103rd season, which begins in January.
Tonight’s concert will feature Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concerto in C Major, RV 425; excerpts from Bach’s “The Art of Fugue,” BWV 1080’; Mr. Avital’s arrangements of Bach’s Violin Concerto in A Minor, BWV 1041, and Vivaldi’s Lute Concerto in D Major, RV 93. Les Violons du Roy will also play Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso in G Minor, Op.3, No.2, RV 578.
Julian Wachner will be playing harpsichord and conducting the ensemble, filing in for Jonathan Cohen, who experienced an illness.
“Les Violons du Roy is going to be very exciting,” Stephen Cloud, the CAMA programming committee chair, told the News-Press. “Avi Avital is a wizard. … He’s a very engaging, charismatic young man of 30. In the classical world, he’s a real virtuoso. He came from a classical and international folk music background.”
He noted the Lobero has the ideal acoustics for a concert like this one. “When we have a chamber orchestra, the room vibrates.”
The 103rd season will start at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and piano soloist Olga Kern to kick off the International Series.
“We’ve had them every two or three years,” Mr. Cloud said. “They seem to always be touring in the even-numbered years. (Music Director) Vasily Petrenko is one of the young, energetic conductors from Russia. We had Ogla Kern a decade or 12 years ago.”
Mr. Cloud noted the orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Major, Opus 23. “It’s like The Beatles,” he said about that selection. ““It’s so well-known.”
The orchestra will also play works by Britten and Elgar.
The series will continue at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with 30-year-old Hong Kong conductor Elim Chan leading the orchestra at The Granada. The soloist is pianist Igor Levit, whom Mr. Cloud described as “one of the major pianists of his generation.”
Mr. Cloud added he was glad to have two emerging great talents, Mr. Levit and Ms. Chan, at The Granada.
The orchestra will perform works by Ogonek, Beethoven and Mendelssohn.
Kirill Karabits will conduct the Russian National Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at The Granada. Pianist Mikhail Pletnev is the pianist.
The orchestra will play works by Beethoven, Schumann and Prokofiev.
The Masterseries will start at 7:30 p.m. March 2 with Jordi Savall directing Le Concert des Nations, a six-member ensemble featuring period instruments, at the Lobero. In addition to directing, Mr. Savall plays the bass viol. The other musicians are violinist Manfredo Kraemer; Charles Zebley on the transverse flute; Phillippe Pierlot on bass viol; Rolf Liselvand on theorbo; and Luca Gugliemi on harpsichord.
“This is the fourth time we’ll have him (Mr. Savall),” Mr. Cloud said. “His musicality is incredible. He is one of the world’s great musicologists.”
The series will continue with pianist Benjamin Grosvenor’s concert at 7:30 p.m. March 18 at the Lobero.
“He’s astounding,” Mr. Cloud said.
Mr. Grosvenor will play works by Franck, R. Schumann, Albeniz and Ravel.
The International Series will resume at 7:30 p.m. March 24 at The Granada with Sir Simon Rattle conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. The concert is the result of a collaboration with the Music Academy of the West in Montecito.
Conducting will be Sir Simon Rattle, who Mr. Cloud noted is one of the world’s most famous conductors.
The concert will feature music by Berlioz, Hannah Kendall, Sibelius, Bartok and Ravel.
The International Series will continue at 7:30 p.m. April 12 with the English Baroque Soloists, led by music director Sir John Elliot Gardiner, at the Lobero Theatre.
The concert will feature music by Haydn and Mozart.
Acclaimed soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian will perform during “Glorious and Free: Romani-inspired Songs and Operetta Arias,” set for 7:30 p.m. April 23 as part of the Masterseries at the Lobero. Joining her will be violinist Mark Fewer and pianist Jamie Parker in a concert featuring works by Brahms, Dvorak, Iradler, Lehar, Kalman, Yhain and Gilbert.
“Isabel is originally from the Music Academy (of the West), in the late 1990s. She went on to win a number of competitions,” Mr. Cloud said.
Violinist James Ehnes and pianist Orion Weiss will perform the music of Mozart, Schubert, Korngold and Saint-Saens at 7:30 p.m. May 24 during another Masterseries concert at the Lobero.
“He (Mr. Ehnes) is one of the major violinists from Canada and plays with all the top orchestras,” Mr. Cloud said.
Mr. Cloud noted he’s looking forward to the 103rd season.
“It’s been really exciting to track down and book these ensembles.”