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

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 TheSymphony.org.

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