Danish String Quartet

Danish String Quartet, photo by Caroline Bittencourt.

Danish String Quartet, photo by Caroline Bittencourt.

The Danish String Quartet returns to Santa Barbara this week for two beautiful nights of music presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures.

First up, a salon-style program of Nordic folk on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. at Rockwood. Then on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. they will perform a classical program of Haydn, Abrahamsen and Nielsen at UCSB Campbell Hall.

Nominated for a 2019 Grammy Award, the Danish String Quartet—Frederik Øland (Violin); Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen (Violin); Asbjørn Nørgaard (Viola); Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin (Cello)—is an internationally acclaimed chamber music group. As the Boston Globe reports, “Do not lose track of this group. Even by today’s high standards, it offers something very special.” 

Danish String Quartet, photo by Caroline Bittencourt.

Danish String Quartet, photo by Caroline Bittencourt.

“The quartet’s crystalline sound conjures a magical atmosphere and nods to the strident tone of Nordic fiddle playing,” writes The Strad (U.K.).  

These four Nordic lads have played together since childhood and possess “warmth, wit, a beautiful tone and technical prowess second to none” (NPR).

Violinists Frederik Øland and Rune Tonsgaard Sørenson and Viola player Asbjorn Norgaard met as children at a music summer camp where they played soccer and made music together. As teenagers, they began the study of classical chamber music and were mentored by Tim Frederiksen of Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Academy of Music. In 2008, the three Danes were joined by Norwegian cellist Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin.

For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or purchase online at ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 11, 2019.

Wild Up at SBMA: GRADIENT

The modern music collective wild Upan adventurous chamber orchestra committed to creating visceral, thought-provoking happenings—comes to Santa Barbara Museum of Art on September 27 with a program inspired by Nam June Paik’s TV Clock. Featuring  Violinist Andrew McIntosh, the performance is  about space, light, and the passing of time.

Nam June Paik, TV Clock, 1963/1989. Twenty-four fixed-image color television monitors mounted on 24 pedestals. SBMA, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Grace Jones Richardson Trust, Lillian and Jon B. Lovelace, Leatrice and Eli Luria and the Luria Foundation, Zora and Les Charles and the Cheeryble Foundation, Wendy and Elliot Friedman, and Lord and Lady Ridley-Tree.

Nam June Paik, TV Clock, 1963/1989. Twenty-four fixed-image color television monitors mounted on 24 pedestals. SBMA, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Grace Jones Richardson Trust, Lillian and Jon B. Lovelace, Leatrice and Eli Luria and the Luria Foundation, Zora and Les Charles and the Cheeryble Foundation, Wendy and Elliot Friedman, and Lord and Lady Ridley-Tree.

Situated in front of Paik’s work, four wild Up violinists perform elegant and visceral works by Anahita Abbasi, John Cage, Tashi Wada, and Steve Reich. The event is free, but reservations are required as seating is limited.

wild Up has been called “Best in Classical Music 2015” and “…a raucous, grungy, irresistibly exuberant…fun-loving, exceptionally virtuosic family” by Zachary Woolfe of The New York Times, “Searing. Penetrating. And thrilling” by Fred Child of Performance Today and “Magnificent” by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times. Over the last eight years, wild Up has collaborated with orchestras, rock bands and cultural institutions around the world.

The performance takes place on Thursday, September 27, from 6 – 7 p.m. at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1130 State St., Santa Barbara. It is free but please reserve tickets at the Museum Visitor Services desk, or online at tickets.sbma.net.

Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on September 25, 2018.

Squirrel Nut Zippers

Squirrel Nut Zippers, photo by Paul Familetti.

Squirrel Nut Zippers, photo by Paul Familetti.

Alternative band The Squirrel Nut Zippers comes to UCSB Campbell Hall on Thursday, March 1 at 8 p.m. in a UCSB Arts & Lectures presentation.

Described as ‘combining high-energy showmanship with elements of gypsy jazz, honky-tonk blues and witty swing overtones,” The Squirrel Nut Zippers’ most celebrated and commer­cially successful album, Hot, top-charting fast-and-loose ode to hot jazz, sold more than 1.3 million copies.

In honor of the album’s 20th anniversary of Hot, SNZ’s creator Jimbo Mathus and founding drummer Chris Phillips have enlisted leading musicians from New Orleans to serve up the band’s unique musical flavor, which owes its roots to that city. A newly-remastered version of Hot–along with a bonus track: “The Puffer”–returned to stores in 2016 on Hollywood Records. Long out of print on vinyl, the album has now made its glorious return to wax on 180-gram vinyl

The band is on tour after an almost seven-year hiatus and Beasts of Burgundy, their first studio album in 18 years, is due out March 23.

For tickets and information, call 805/893-3535, or visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.

Leslie Dinaberg  

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on February 27, 2018.

José González with Special Guest Bedouine

Jose Gonzalez, courtesy UCSB Arts & Lectures.

Jose Gonzalez, courtesy UCSB Arts & Lectures.

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents José González with special guest Bedouine on Wed., Jan. 31, at 8 p.m. at UCSB Campbell Hall.

 A soulful songwriter with a deep, quiet power, González quickly gained a loyal following worldwide, wooing his audience with probing lyrics, intricate guitar melodies and a “beautiful yet haunting voice” (Spin.com). Born in Sweden to Argentinian parents, González seamlessly integrates the sounds of his Latin American roots with sublime introspective folk punctuated by rock panache. “A spellbinding talent” (The Telegraph, U.K.), González returns by popular demand with special guest Bedouine, whose ‘60s folk meets ‘70s country-funk with a glimmer of bossa nova cool.

Watch the trailer for José González’s most recent album, Vestiges and Claws

Watch the video for Bedouine’s “Solitary Daughter

For tickets and more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805/893-3535 or visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu. 

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on January 29, 2018.

Summer Editor’s Pick: Music Academy of the West’s Summer Music Festival

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, courtesy Music Academy of the West.

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, courtesy Music Academy of the West.

Music Academy of the West’s Summer Music Festival brings eight weeks of world-class classical music making to town Jun. 13–Aug. 6.

Highlights include recitals by pianist Jeremy Denk (Jul. 18, 21), flutist Emmanuel Pahud (Jul. 20), Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony conducted by New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert (Jul. 16), a west coast opera premiere by Matthew Aucoin (Jun. 28), a new production of Smetana’s The Bartered Bride (Jul. 18), two community concerts starring superstar pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet (Jul. 2–3) and much, much more (musicacademy.org).

—Leslie Dinaberg

This story originally appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.