The Santa Barbara Music Club presents a program of beautiful classical music. Renowned artists David Singer, clarinet, Nicole McKenzie, violin, and Betty Oberacker, piano, will interpret three exquisite and melodious works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): the spirited, effervescent Sonata in C major, K. 296 for Violin and Piano, the tenderly poignant Sonata in A minor, K. 310 for Piano, and the elegantly vivacious Trio in E-flat major, K. 498 (“Kegelstatt”) for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano. Admission is free.
The great Mozart interpreter Edwin Fischer has written, “From every note of Mozart speaks an extremely sensitive and delicate, loving and at the same time powerful character. That is why it is so difficult to play Mozart’s music, as it often expresses the deepest significance and passion with the minimum of means. Technical mastery alone is not enough, there must also be the ability of the heart to feel and create music as a form of genuine, loving communication with fellow human beings.”
Fischer added, “The spontaneity and apparent lightness of Mozart’s works has led generations of music lovers to believe that Mozart composed without effort, ‘like a bird sings.’ In reality, behind his creations lies an infinitely arduous, tireless process of learning and working. Mozart studied numerous works by older and contemporary masters and constantly worked on his own sense of perfection. The result was this combination of enormous in-born talent and diligently acquired mastery.”
Nicole McKenzie, violinist, has concertized widely as soloist and chamber musician, and her performances of classical, contemporary, and ethnic repertoire, including klezmer, jazz, and folk music, have earned her lavish critical praise. The Santa Barbara Independent declared, “McKenzie made a splash in the luscious and exciting music – she performed with gorgeous musicality.” Winner of the Sutton Chamber Music Award, she graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy, earned her BM Degree from Oberlin Conservatory, her MM Degree from Florida State University, and studied with Dr. Gary Kosloski at the Music Academy of the West. She is currently First Violinist of the Condor String Quartet www.condorquartet.com; with a background in dance, she teaches the course, Music for Dancers, as a UCSB faculty member. Founding member of the Nicole McKenzie Improv Group, an improvising group of dancers and musicians, she is Concertmaster of the Folk Orchestra of Santa Barbara, coaches chamber music for Santa Barbara Strings, and maintains a private violin and viola studio. Ms. McKenzie’s violin was created for her by Michel Eggimann of Rome, Italy.
Betty Oberacker, pianist, has toured throughout Europe, Israel, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and the U.S., including concerts at Carnegie Hall, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, and the Vienna Musikverein. She has been Artist-in-Residence at 55 universities, conservatories and music festivals worldwide, and many distinguished composers have dedicated their works to her. Rome’s Corriere della Sera hailed her as “An artist of the highest order! Her playing, imbued with an intense lyricism yet fervent and impassioned, earned for her a glowing success,” and Berlin’s Der Spiegel observed, “She performs with profound comprehension of the music’s essence and with intuitive certainty of its effect, with conquering energy and sensuously sonorous interpretations.” She has recorded for Century, Klavier, MIT Great Performances Archives, MMC, Orion and VMM Records, with a discography ranging from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier to Emma Lou Diemer’s Piano Concerto. A distinguished Artist-Teacher and UCSB Professor Emeritus, Dr. Oberacker enjoys an active performance, teaching and chamber music coaching career.
David Singer, clarinetist, has been praised by The New York Times: “To describe Singer’s playing would be to enumerate a catalogue of virtues.” Principal clarinetist, Emeritus, of the Grammy Award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, his performances include the White House for Presidents Carter and Clinton, guest artist with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, and chamber music concerts with Yehudi Menuhin, Yo-Yo Ma, Rudolf Serkin, and members of the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets. Gramophone Magazine affirmed, “His playing is exceptional … sensitive and expressive, technically brilliant.” “Singer’s Copland performance is one of the finest accounts around.” The Max Reger Institute in Karlsruhe, Germany selected Singer’s recording with pianist Rudolf Serkin of Reger’s Clarinet Sonata Op. 107 to be reissued internationally in 2023, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth. In March, 2024, Palmetto Publishing (Charleston, SC) is releasing a memoir of David Singer, entitled From Cab Driver to Carnegie Hall, which will be available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most anywhere good books are sold.