Kostis Protopapas to conduct Santa Barbara Symphony’s New Year’s Eve Concert

The Santa Barbara Symphony has announced a program change to its New Year’s Eve concert on December 31. Santa Barbara’s very own Kostis Protopapas, renowned opera and symphony conductor and the Artistic & General Director of Opera Santa Barbara will take the podium to lead The Symphony in the festive New Year’s Eve performance in place of Bob Bernhardt.

A longtime friend of the Symphony, and colleague of the Symphony’s Music & Artistic Director, Nir Kabaretti, Protopapas was named General Director of Opera Santa Barbara in December 2017, after two-and-a-half seasons as Artistic Director. During his time as Artistic Director and principal conductor, he brought a unified vision to OSB’s musical and production values, strengthening the orchestra and chorus, engaging some of the country’s most promising young directors and singers, building a high-performing production team, and increasing focus on contemporary American opera. Before coming to Santa Barbara, Protopapas was the Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera since 2008. He previously was an Assistant Conductor with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera, and Santa Fe Opera. At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he also served as Assistant Chorus Master under Donald Palumbo for two seasons.

This longtime New Year’s Eve tradition for the Symphony will feature the music of Gershwin and other celebratory symphonic favorites, on Friday, December 31 from 8:30 pm-10:00 pm at the Granada Theatre. As always, the Symphony is implementing all required health and safety measures for this performance. For details and to purchase tickets for the New Year’s Eve concert visit TheSymphony.org.

About The Santa Barbara Symphony

A professional orchestra founded in 1953 on the belief that a special city deserves a special orchestra, the Santa Barbara Symphony is consistently lauded for its innovation, artistic excellence, commitment to delivering dynamic music education programs, and is widely recognized as one of the region’s premier cultural institutions. Under the artistic leadership of charismatic Israeli conductor and Santa Barbara resident, Nir Kabaretti, since his appointment in 2006, the Symphony is one of the few orchestras in the nation who found ways to bring the orchestra together for a full season of live broadcasts.  Its mission of bringing joy, engagement and connection to the community was amplified during the pandemic, when it was needed the most. As the only music education program tied to a Symphony orchestra in the region, its award-winning programs serve more than 10,000 students throughout Santa Barbara County each year. For additional information, visit TheSymphony.org.

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