San Diego Symphony’s Garbutt wears two hats

Posted on: July 2, 2010

In Sunday’s (6/27) San Diego Union-Tribune, Roxana Popescu writes, “The year of Matthew Garbutt’s first epiphany was 1956, maybe 1957, and the setting was the KTLA television studios in Los Angeles. … What he remembers: the huge, gleaming tuba and the musician from ‘Polka Parade,’ his favorite TV program, suddenly inviting him to reach out and grasp it. It was so big and so shiny, Garbutt, 59, said recently in an interview. He approached the instrument, and the musician let him blow on it and push the buttons. ‘That was the first time I actually touched and blew and played a tuba!’ … That was the beginning of a lifelong passion for classical music that has taken him to Vienna, Indiana, the Israel Philharmonic and back to Southern California, where he has made his career as principal tubist with the San Diego Symphony since 1977. But San Diegans may be more familiar with Garbutt in his other role as conductor of the Summer Pops, sponsored by Bridgepoint Education. … That switch keeps him energized, and his unique position as a symphony insider translates, he believes, into greater trust and better communication when he’s conducting.”

Posted July 2, 2010