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Guest Conductor Nic McGegan Joins the Santa Barbara Symphony to Light Up Audiences With “Royal Fireworks”

Baroque music master Nic McGegan conducts the Symphony in a program of popular and vibrant music that evokes movement and nostalgia.

● Performances celebrate the 300th Anniversary of the Brandenberg concertos

● Symphony’s Principal Violist Erik Rynearson shines in the spotlight

● Bach, Handel, Telemann: Concert devoted entirely to beloved Baroque classics!

(October 22, 2021) Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara Symphony welcomes guest conductor Nic McGegan for its next performance, “Royal Fireworks” and includes a tribute to the 300th Anniversary of the Brandenberg concertos, on November 13 & 14 at the Granada Theatre. An entire concert devoted to Baroque, audiences of all genres will enjoy this musical journey, featuring one of Handel’s most popular works for the orchestra, Music for the Royal Fireworks.

“The beauty of Baroque music is still vibrant and popular today, 300 years after it was first written! We take tremendous joy in celebrating this history and tradition through the joy of live music, with selections that are as fresh and exciting as when they were first performed. For example, Music for the Royal Fireworks was originally performed outdoors along with real fireworks,” shared Nir Kabaretti, Music & Artistic Director of the Santa Barbara Symphony. “We invited Maestro McGegan to conduct this concert because he is the world’s most preeminent master of this genre, and his passion for this music is contagious. Our patrons will get to experience Baroque music in a whole new way.”

As he embarks on his sixth decade on the podium, Nic McGegan — long hailed as “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” (The Independent) and “an expert in 18th-century style” (The New Yorker) — is recognized for his probing and revelatory explorations of music of all periods. The 2019/20 season marked the end of his 34-year tenure as Music Director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, for which he is now Music Director Laureate. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Pasadena Symphony and Hungary’s Capella Savaria, and is a frequent conductor around the globe, equally at home in opera houses.

The Symphony will perform J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Bach’s beloved concertos, and will be bookended by two pieces both written to celebrate the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748 between France and England; Rameau’s Dances from the opera Naïs, and Handel’s Royal Fireworks music.

The Symphony continues to shine the light on its own members of the orchestra, with its own Principal Violist Erik Rynearson being featured for this concert. A native of Southern California, Erik Rynearson has been performing music since the age of three. He is the principal violist of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Erik has been first call substitute with the Detroit and Phoenix symphonies and has valued relationships with his local playmates in the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Building on the connections and engagement created through the Symphony’s groundbreaking broadcasts throughout the pandemic, the 2021/22 Season invites audiences to experience the musical journey live, and connect and be moved. While the Symphony performed together for its digital season, this new season reunites live audiences and the orchestra, creating dynamic energy felt by concertogers and musicians alike and completely unique to live performances.

Tickets are on sale now to Royal Fireworks on Saturday November 13 at 7:30 pm and Sunday November 14 at 3:00 pm at the Granada Theatre. Customizable season subscriptions are available online here, and single tickets can be purchased online here. For full details about the Santa Barbara Symphony’s 2021/22 season, please click here.

About The Santa Barbara Symphony

Now in its 71st year, The Santa Barbara Symphony delivers artistic excellence, outstanding music education stewardship and programming, and community collaboration – all through symphonic music. Under the artistic leadership of Maestro Nir Kabaretti as Music & Artistic Director since 2006, The Symphony is one of the region’s premier cultural institutions. Through his charismatic leadership, this globally admired conductor and Santa Barbara resident invigorates audiences and musicians alike through his passion, creativity, and vast experience. As the only music education program tied to a professional symphony orchestra in the region, The Symphony serves more than 4,000 students annually throughout Santa Barbara County. While The Symphony continues to evolve, bringing joy, engagement, and connection remain steadfast pillars of its mission and were evident in the organization’s ability to thrive during the pandemic including the historic announcement that board chair Janet Garufis and President & CEO Kathryn R Martin join Nir Kabaretti in making a five-year commitment to serve in their roles. For more information, visit

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