Maestro Donald Barra
With nine CDs to his credit, Barra has garnered two Grammy nominations and helped win a third for producer Michael Fine. The following CDs were recorded with Koch International Classics Recording Company.
Seven International discs with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra
Two International discs with the Moscow Philharmonic

Three Grammy Nominations:

      1) “Best Classical Recording of the Year” (SDCO disc #7)

      2) “Best Classical Producer of the Year” (SDCO disc #3)

      3) “Best Chamber Orchestra Recording of the Year” (SDCO disc #3)

One Grammy Award:  “Michael Fine; Best Classical Producer of the Year”

Recording Reviews

“The virtuosity of the San Diego musicians provides a sterling performance that’s easily the finest disc available today…”     Heuwell Tircuit, In Tune Magazine

“In terms of performance and recording quality, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra has given the big boys an admirable standard to shoot for.”     Kenneth Herman, Los Angles Times

“Donald Barra and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra give the best performances available…Barra and his musicians really bring out the salient details in these pieces….This is one of those rare discs I will often return to…”     Elliott Hurwitz, Fanfare Magazine

This is the most enjoyable recording I have heard in some time…”     David Bond, American Record Guide

“Possibly the happiest discovery was the outstanding quality of the San Diego Chamber Orchestra and its stylish conductor, Donald Barra.”     Byron Belt, Nationally Syndicated Reviewer

“Easily the best chamber orchestra recording of 1993.”     Boston Globe

Performance Reviews

"A rousing performance… (the orchestra) endowed it with all the energy and excitement one could ask"       San Diego Magazine

"A splendid interpretation…Barra drew some of the best playing I've heard from this orchestra in a ravishing account of Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances…"       Charleston Gazette

"…his concept of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony was insightful, spacious and vigorous…"       Los Angeles Times

"Barra and his orchestra gave a highly polished, infectious performance that resonated with the composer's wit and sardonic invention"       Los Angeles Times

"Donald Barra exerts a strong will over the ensemble. An analytical listener can hear the results of Barra's careful drilling in every bar. Phrases are thoughtfully shaped, musical hushes and swellings are lovingly sculpted."       San Diego Union-Tribune

"Barra led the ASO with an exacting hand, maintaining firm control of pace and dynamics in a text-book example of how to support a soloist. The audience, along with this reviewer, was overwhelmed by the results."       Annapolis, "The Capital"

"Barra is technically on top of things, for he is surely responsible for his orchestra's remarkable discipline, the precise attacks, and the pervasive shapeliness of their phrasing."       San Diego Reader

"The San Diego Chamber Orchestra rocketed to excellence last night, reaching new musical heights a La Jolla's Sherwood Auditorium.       San Diego Union

"Dramatic and profound, (Mozart's Requiem) displayed an admirable mix of power and subtlety, forcefulness and restraint… This 'Mozart Celebration' was often extremely good!       Valerie Schere, San Diego Union Tribune

"(The SDCO is) among the top chamber orchestras in the US."       American Symphony Orchestra League

"The San Diego Chamber Orchestra is often more fun to listen to than a great visiting orchestra like the Cleveland."       San Diego Magazine

"The San Diego Chamber Orchestra is resplendent, powerful, dynamic… Barra uses his baton deftly, as an experienced painter would wield a brush - some flecks of sound here, a broad, dramatic sweep there. The orchestra bursts to life, charging the air with impetuous, scintillating, wonderful music. No wonder the group has been hailed with critical acclaim!       KPBS On Air Magazine

"'Brilliant' is the word for the performance…Dr. Barra and the orchestra brought it all off with tremendous style and virtuosity. I thought I was in Philadelphia's Academy of Music or Chicago's Orchestra Hall."       Johnstown Tribune-Democrat

"Barra and the orchestra worked together with excellent rapport… the orchestra and Barra joined forces in an exciting and nerve-tingling performance (to produce) the kind of recognition he deserved - a standing ovation and shouts of 'Bravo!'"       Santa Barbara News-Press

"The first selection brought furious, vibrant excitement and then measures of delicacy… Immediately the mature and distinguished handling of the music by Barra was evident as was the quick responsiveness of the orchestra to his vital and commanding direction."       Amarillo Daily News

"The orchestra turned out one of their cleanest, smoothest performances ever…Dr. Barra and orchestra achieved a oneness with the music as perhaps they never have before. It was a comfortable, natural cohesion, free of doubt or hesitation. This is implies that they were well-rehearsed and played well, but it went beyond technical proficiency. It was magic, and the audience knew it."       Johnstown Tribune-Democrat

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