Santa Barbara Symphony & Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts to Present ‘The Carnival of the Animals’ Family Concert

Contributed by Tim Dougherty

The Santa Barbara Symphony, in collaboration with the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts, will present a special family performance of The Carnival of the Animals, Camille Saint-Saëns’ delightful musical suite, at 3 pm on Saturday, November 25, in the Granada Theatre. Conducted by special guest Lara Webber and featuring pianists Robert Cassidy and Santa Barbara Symphony Principal Natasha Kislenko, the 45-minute performance will be preceded by interactive musical activities in the Granada lobby organized by the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Symphony’s own Music Van, and the Santa Barbara Public Library. Ticket prices start at $10; family 4-packs are available for $25. Premium loge seating costs $50. Tickets can be purchased at or through the Granada box office, (805) 899-2222.

Santa Barbara Symphony – “Peter and the Wolf” 11/26/16 Granada Theatre

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts once again for a family friendly program to kick off the holiday season,” said Dr. Amy Williams, director of artistic administration and education for the Santa Barbara Symphony. “This year we are excited to be working with the local nonprofit organization Just Communities to provide simultaneous Spanish translation of the performance narration. The Santa Barbara Symphony prides itself on presenting musical experiences for enjoyment by the entire community.”

Saint-Saëns cooked up his delicious musical confection for a party by the eminent French cellist Joseph Lebouc in 1886. In a series of sketches, purporting to portray various animals, he in fact poked fun at some well-known Parisian composers and musicians. After an introduction, the musical menagerie opens with the “Royal March of the Lion,” followed by a succession of other tuneful creatures large and small – a total of 14 brief, humorous movements in all.

The performance on November 25 is sponsored by Carrie Ohly-Cusack, Patricia Gregory for the Baker Foundation, and the Mosher Foundation.

The Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2017-18 season will continue with a New Year’s Eve pops concert featuring guest conductor Bob Bernhardt and Los Angeles-based theatrical circus company Troupe Vertigo. Additional season highlights include performances of John Corigliano’s Academy Award-winning score for The Red Violin, accompanied by François Girard’s engrossing film in its entirety and featuring Canadian violinist Lara St. John as soloist (January 20 and 21); a tribute to Leonard Bernstein, including selections from the ballet Fancy Free and his timeless West Side Story, with guest soprano Lisa Vroman and singers from the Santa Barbara Choral Society (February 17 and 18); celebrated Ukrainian pianist Alexander Romanovsky performing Liszt’s first Piano Concerto, followed by Tchaikovsky’s affecting Symphony No. 5 (March 24 and 25); Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 6 (April 21 and 22); and a season-ending program uniting Santa Barbara Symphony Concertmaster Jessica Guideri with the acclaimed Anne Akiko Meyers for Vivaldi’s Double Violin Concerto (May 19 and 20).

Complete season program information is available online at

The Santa Barbara Symphony is led by the ever-compelling Nir Kabaretti, who was named the orchestra’s music director in 2006 and its artistic director in 2008. Maestro Kabaretti has conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, to name just a few. His extensive operatic experience includes productions at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Teatro Real in Madrid, Switzerland’s Opéra de Lausanne, and Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Winner of the 1993 Forum Junger Kunstler Conducting Competition in Vienna, he was named the music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony in 2014.

The Santa Barbara Symphony was founded in 1953 on the belief that a special city deserves a special orchestra. Consistently lauded for its unique ability to present brilliant concerts, engage the community, and deliver dynamic music education programs, the organization prizes both innovation and artistic excellence, and is widely recognized as one of the region’s premier cultural institutions. Its award-winning Music Education Center serves more than 8,000 students throughout Santa Barbara County each year. Charismatic Israeli conductor Nir Kabaretti was appointed music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony in 2006. For additional information, visit