SANTA BARBARA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
The Santa Barbara Symphony is recognized as a leading regional orchestra, serving a community where cross-cultural Hispanic influence is evidenced in its geographical, architectural and demographic character. The orchestra has drawn national and international attention, on account of the excellence of its performances, outstanding contributions to the community and highly acclaimed recordings and festivals. Gisèle Ben-Dor’s triumphant début concerts in 1994 won the unanimous support of the musicians, board, audience, and staff and she was appointed to the position of Music Director. Under her leadership, the orchestra grew in every respect and she is currently its Conductor Laureate. Her tenure was marked by an exploration of music of all the Americas, with an emphasis on Latin American composers, such as Villa-Lobos, Revueltas, Piazzolla and Luis Bacalov. The orchestra was one of only three ensembles to receive an Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was voted Best Classical Ensemble by The Santa Barbara Independent.