Music Academy of the West launches its 75th anniversary festivities with a London Symphony Orchestra residency in Santa Barbara celebrating a multi-year intercontinental partnership
Three unique concerts will be led by Music Director Sir Simon Rattle
Music Academy alumni Keston Music Academy Exchange (MAX) fellows will perform with the London Symphony Orchestra in joint “All-Star” community concert
The strength and warmth with which Santa Barbara has welcomed the Orchestra is palpable. At the concerts I attended, cheers erupted after each piece with an enthusiasm rarely witnessed in London. The Orchestra has gone to great lengths to ensure it’s playing something for everyone… at the family-friendly concert, children in the audience were transfixed.”
— Lucy Thraves, Classical Music Magazine
Thursday, September 9 – The Music Academy of the West welcomes the return of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) to Santa Barbara for a residency that serves as the pinnacle of a five-year partnership. Three unique concerts led by Music Director Sir Simon Rattle will kick off the Music Academy’s 75th anniversary festivities in March 2022.
Music Academy of the West and the LSO formed an unprecedented collaboration to bring the LSO, its family of conductors, and individual musicians to Santa Barbara. Music Academy alumni traveled to London for intensive training and performance with the LSO in the Keston Music Academy Exchange program (Keston MAX), which will continue in 2022.
The first concert will feature the LSO exclusively and is co-presented by Santa Barbara-based Community Arts Music Association (CAMA) at the Granada Theatre on Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 pm. The second program is a specially designed LSO Family Concert, an event that is the perfect opportunity to introduce young people to the thrilling sound of a symphony orchestra in a setting welcoming for families with children. The matinee concert is on Saturday, March 26 (time TBA) in the Granada Theatre.
The culminating event of the Santa Barbara residency held Sunday evening, March 27 (venue and time TBA) will be a joint 75th Anniversary Community Concert including up to 48 Keston MAX fellow “All-Stars” from 2018-2021, all alumni of the Music Academy’s Summer School and Festival who earned their participation through auditions reviewed by LSO musicians. Each piece on the program will place the “All-Stars” on stage with the LSO for a once-in-a-lifetime alliance featuring more than 150 musicians.
We are proud to offer our community a first-time residency in Santa Barbara by Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO to launch our milestone 75th anniversary. Through this international exchange, we have offered our fellows impactful training and performance opportunities and unparalleled concerts on two continents.
— Scott Reed, Music Academy of the West President & CEO
Ever since the LSO was in Santa Barbara in 2019, we have been eagerly anticipating our return. We always look forward to our collaboration with their talented fellows.
— Kathryn McDowell, LSO Managing Director
In June 1947, the Music Academy welcomed the first students to attend its inaugural Summer Festival. Scholarships were funded by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, Jascha Heifetz, and Hollywood studio mogul Daryl F. Zanuck, among others. Music Academy of the West has developed into a full-scholarship performance-based training center and incubator that empowers musicians to positively impact society. The Academy welcomes everyone from across all generations, cultures, and backgrounds to experience the transformative power of music.
The London Symphony Orchestra was established in 1904 as one of the first orchestras shaped by its musicians. Since then, generations of remarkable talents have built the LSO’s reputation for uncompromising quality, and inspirational repertoire. The London Symphony Orchestra is built on the belief that extraordinary music should be available to everyone, everywhere.
A good partnership requires solid foundations, and mutual investment from all sides. You get the impression that this one has both: from the involvement and enthusiasm of the local community, to the LSO’s genuine passion for education, to the diligence of the Academy Fellows.
— Lucy Thraves, Classical Music Magazine
Note: Subscription tickets for the Thursday, March 24 concert go on sale via CAMA (camasb.org). Subscription renewals begin in September.
Individual tickets for the Thursday, March 24 concert will be $75 as a nod to the 75th anniversary. 100 $10 Community Access tickets will be available. 7-17s are free when accompanied by ticketed adults.
For the Saturday, March 26 Family Concert, adult tickets are $10; children attend free. Tickets for the Sunday, March 27 75th Anniversary Community Concert will all be $10, and 7-17s are free.
Individual tickets for all three concerts will be available on
Tuesday, January 18 at Noon.
The London Symphony Orchestra’s 2022 North American Tour is made possible through an intercontinental partnership with the Music Academy of the West.
The lead sponsors of the London Symphony Orchestra and Music Academy partnership are Linda and Michael Keston and Mary Lynn and Warren Staley. Additional support has been provided in remembrance of Léni Fé Bland.
About Music Academy of the West
Music Academy of the West is a performance-based training center and incubator that empowers musicians to positively impact society. The Academy welcomes everyone from across all generations, cultures, and backgrounds to experience the transformative power of music. Based in Santa Barbara, California, the Academy presents the preeminent full-scholarship Summer School and Festival for classically trained fellows ages 18 to 34. They study and perform with more than 50 exceptional faculty and teaching artists, while forging close connections with the community. The Academy’s commitment to long-term collaborations and exchanges with leading orchestras and opera companies results in unparalleled mentorship and career-advancing prospects. The Innovation Institute spearheads entrepreneurial training and ventures through seminars, residencies, and the Alumni Enterprise Awards, substantial grants given annually for a wide range of creative projects. Launched in 2018, Sing!, a free, after-school choral program for local elementary students inspires personal growth and expression. For more information, please visit musicacademy.org.
About the London Symphony Orchestra
The London Symphony Orchestra is built on the belief that extraordinary music should be available to everyone, everywhere. From orchestral fans in the concert hall to first-time listeners across the UK, Europe and the world.
The London Symphony Orchestra was established in 1904, as one of the first orchestras shaped by its musicians. Since then, generations of remarkable talents have built the LSO’s reputation for uncompromising quality, and inspirational repertoires.
Today, the LSO is ranked among the world’s top orchestras, with a family of artists that includes Music Director Sir Simon Rattle, Principal Guest Conductors Gianandrea Noseda and François-Xavier Roth, and Conductor Laureate Michael Tilson Thomas. In March 2021 it was announced that Sir Antonio Pappano will take up the role of Chief Conductor of the LSO from September 2024. For more information, please visit lso.co.uk.
About Sir Simon Rattle
Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Academy of Music. From 1980 to 1998, Sir Simon was Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and was appointed Music Director in 1990. In 2002 he took up the position of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic where he remained until the end of the 2017-18 season. Sir Simon took up the position of Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra in September 2017. He is a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Founding Patron of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
Sir Simon has made over 70 recordings for EMI record label (now Warner Classics) and has received numerous prestigious international awards for his recordings on various labels. Releases on EMI include Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms (which received a Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance) Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Mahler’s Symphony No 2, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Rachmaninoff’s The Bells and Symphonic Dances, all recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic. Simon’s most recent recordings include Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, Helen Grime’s Woven Space, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Turnage’s Remembering, and Beethoven’s Christ on the Mount of Olives, which were all released by the London Symphony Orchestra’s own record label, LSO Live.
Sir Simon regularly tours within Europe and Asia and has strong longstanding relationships with the world’s leading orchestras. He regularly conducts the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Staatskapelle Berlin, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Czech Philharmonic. Recent operatic highlights include Parsifal with the Berlin Philharmonic at the Baden-Baden Osterfestspiele; Der Rosenkavalier with the Metropolitan Opera, New York; a semi-staged production of The Cunning Little Vixen with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre; and Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie with the Staatsoper Berlin.
Music education is of supreme importance to Sir Simon, and his partnership with the Berlin Philharmonic broke new ground with the education programme [email protected], earning him the Comenius Prize, the Schiller Special Prize from the city of Mannheim, the Golden Camera and the Urania Medal. He and the Berlin Philharmonic were also appointed International UNICEF Ambassadors in 2007 – the first time this honor has been conferred on an artistic ensemble. In 2019 Simon announced the creation of the LSO East London Academy, developed by the London Symphony Orchestra in partnership with 10 East London boroughs. This free program aims to identify and develop the potential of young East Londoners between the ages of 11 and 18 who show exceptional musical talent, irrespective of their background or financial circumstance.
Sir Simon has also been awarded several prestigious personal honors: he was knighted in 1994, received the Order of Merit from Her Majesty the Queen in 2014, and had the Order of Merit of Berlin bestowed upon him in 2018. In 2019, Sir Simon was given the Freedom of the City of London.
Released: September 9, 2021
Kate Oberjat (she/her/hers)
Director of Marketing & Communications
Music Academy of the West
805‐695-7908 / [email protected]