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The Santa Barbara Symphony has a rich legacy of providing quality classical music performance and music education to the community of Santa Barbara since 1953.

Originally formed by volunteer musicians associated with UCSB, the Symphony has grown into a first-rate regional orchestra recognized for its adventurous concert programming and its dedication to youth education and outreach.

At its inception, the Symphony's mission, was "to bring fine symphonic music of the highest artistic quality to the adults and children of the greater Santa Barbara area." The Symphony today presents a seven-concert subscription series which offers a diversity of repertoire from the much-loved standards to world premieres, internationally renowned soloists, and its own players ... the best that Southern California offers. Many of the entertainment industry's greats have graced the stage with the Santa Barbara Symphony: Harpo Marx, Benny Goodman, Sarah Vaughan, Itzhak Perlman, Andre Watts, Leontyne Price, Jessye Norman, Van Cliburn, Leon Fleisher, Hilary Hahn, Dave Brubeck, Sarah Brightman, Arturo Sandoval, and this season, Yefim Bronfman, and the legendary Mstislav Rostropovich, to name a few.

Under Music Director Giséle Ben-Dor, the orchestra now has a discography on the Koch International label of projects specializing in Latin American classical repertoire. The orchestra will be recording again this year with tenor Placido Domingo in works of Alberto Ginastera.

With the assistance of the Symphony League (with its nearly 200 volunteer members), the Symphony continues to excel in its contributions to the community, to the service of those not able to attend its regular concert programs and to the development of tomorrow's audiences.

In 1989, the Santa Barbara Symphony was chosen as one of only three orchestras in the nation to receive an Advancement Grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. With such accolades, and the continued passionate support of its subscribers, volunteers and donors, the Symphony confidently looks ahead to the celebration of its 50th Anniversary Season in 2002-2003.
On a more personal note: I've been to 4 spectacular performances by this symphony... it's magical.

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