Santa Barbara Symphony’s Historic Pandemic Season Culminates in Triumphant Finale

“Without missing a beat the Santa Barbara Symphony continued to bring hope and connection to the community through symphonic music in incredible new ways we never could have imagined before,” Music & Artistic Director, Nir Kabaretti.
  • Award-winning piano virtuoso Awadagin Pratt has played at the White House and Carnegie Hall, on “Sesame Street” and with nearly every major orchestra in the U.S. 
  • Youth Symphony Concerto Competition winner, thirteen-year old guitarist Joseph Malvinni performs with the orchestra
  • Season finale “Triumph” honors the strength, beauty, perseverance, hope, creativity, and community of Santa Barbara

(April 27, 2021) Santa Barbara, CA – The Santa Barbara Symphony performs its season finale, “Triumph,” a celebration of the organization’s most innovative, inspirational and creative season ever in its six-decade history. Audiences are invited to tune in on Saturday, May 15 at 7:00 pm, and Sunday, May 16 at 3:00 pm, and a pre-show starting thirty minutes prior to each broadcast, recorded live at the Granada Theatre. As one of the only performing arts organizations in the country to create an innovative and safe path forward without cancelling performances or music education programs, this is the Symphony’s final performance of this unforgettable pandemic season. 

“Without missing a beat the Santa Barbara Symphony continued to bring hope and connection to the community through symphonic music in incredible new ways we never could have imagined before,” shared Symphony Music & Artistic Director, Nir Kabaretti. “This season has required so much more of everyone in our Symphony family – from our musicians, to our incredible staff, and the technical team that all have had to think outside the box to help us realize our vision. We’re proud to bring our audiences  a big, triumphant, finale – with  both memories of what we all shared together this season virtually and excitement about coming together in person next season.”

Kabaretti returns to the podium in a program that will feel familiar in its format with the full orchestra assembled together on stage at the Granada Theatre, made possible with the recent announcement of Santa Barbara County entering the orange tier, and a large stage extension to ensure social distancing. This will likely be the Symphony’s last performance with no in-person audience. Joining the Symphony is critically-acclaimed guest pianist Awadagin Pratt. Pratt launched onto the global classical music stage in 1992 when he became the first African-American pianist to win the prestigious Naumburg International Piano Competition. Since then, Pratt has played at the White House and Carnegie Hall, on “Sesame Street” and with nearly every major orchestra in the U.S. Pratt has toured the world as a soloist and collaborated with Joshua Bell, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and Terence Blanchard (among many others) on recordings and performances. Pratt will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 in A Major.

This concert also features Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, and Benjamin Britten’s Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury. In addition, the Symphony is proud to welcome thirteen-year old Joseph Malvinni, one of the four winners of the expanded 2021 Santa Barbara Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, to perform a movement of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Concerto for Guitar in D major.

“We did it! Our final performance of the 2020-21 Season is going to be a celebration of our team and community,” shared Symphony President & CEO Kathryn R. Martin. “It is a moment where we are simultaneously reflecting back in gratitude and amazement at what we’ve achieved together, and at the same time excitement for the future as we announce next season and look forward to being together in person again. We are deeply grateful to our supporters and community partners for making this unprecedented season possible!”

This season has shone a spotlight on the musicians of the Symphony; both on and off the stage. In the final broadcast, audiences will hear from some of the team who were an integral part of making sure the music played on throughout this challenging season, navigating the complex and ever-changing requirements that Covid precautions required.

Virtual tickets for Triumph are available for both the live broadcast and on-demand viewing after the weekend premiere, purchase online here. The entire Santa Barbara Symphony 2020/21 Digital Season is still available for on-demand viewing. Click here for details about ticket packages and viewing options.

The Santa Barbara Symphony is grateful for the support of the community, including 2020-21 Season Sponsors and Video and Technology Sponsors, Sarah and Roger Chrisman, 2020-21 Corporate Season Sponsor Montecito Bank & Trust, and Grand Venue Sponsor, The Granada Theatre. For this concert, the Symphony also acknowledges the support of Principle Concert Sponsor Daniel and Mandy Hochman, Artist Sponsor Christine A. Green, and Selection Sponsors Eve Bernstein and the Lehrer Family Charitable Fund, Seymour and Shirley Lehrer, and Ellen Lehrer Orlando and Tom Orlando.

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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