Arts & Culture

Classical Music
11:42 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Organist Christopher Houlihan, "Conducting A Great Orchestra"

Christopher Houlihan at the organ in Trinity University's Parker Chapel.
Don Hessenflow

“When I was 10, I saw a pipe organ in church for the first time. I was with my fourth grade class, and we were walking into the church for Mass, and I turned around and looked up at the organ, and I was just in awe. I was mesmerized by the sight and sound of it,” said Christopher Houlihan, now 26, and one of the best young organists of his generation.

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Arts & Culture
3:41 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Quartetto Di Cremona: From Halfway Around The World To San Antonio

Credit Courtesy photo

They’re coming from nearly halfway around the world to perform in San Antonio. I reached one of them in Italy.

Quartetto di Cremona. They play chamber music and their first violin is Cristiano Gualco.

“We were born as a quartet in Cremona, that is the city.”

The small northern Italian city of Cremona, with a fine musical tradition, brought together Quartetto.  “The violin makers Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati, the three great violin makers, they were born there, they worked in Cremona.”

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Arts & Culture
3:30 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Does Your Child Have The Write Stuff?

Last Year's Contest Winners
Courtesy San Antonio Book Festival

There’s a contest for your teens where they don’t have to sing, play an instrument or spell difficult words. But there is something they're expected to do: they’re expected to write.

“We have a contest for kids between [the] seventh and 12th grades.”

Shannon Stephens is with the San Antonio Public Library Foundation.

“We’re asking them to submit an essay about the theme ‘A Chest in the Attic.’”

I asked "So there’s a Chest in the Attic, they go to look and what do they find? It’s up to them to determine what they find?"

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Arts & Culture
9:06 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

The Sounds Of Silence, Invincibly Yours

Invincible Czars
Suzi Spies

A classic silent film will soon be playing in San Antonio, but this version will have a twist. The twist was provided by the band the Invincible Czars.

(To hear Invincible Czars, hit "listen” above)

So what makes them so invincible?

“Ha! Good question," says founder Josh Robbins. "Well, we seem to keep going no matter what gets thrown at us. The band has existed for 12 years.”

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Arts & Culture
2:29 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

The World is Going to Pot--They Hope

Pottery Demonstration
Andy Bally

The San Antonio Potter’s Guild is about to hold their annual Clay Festival.  First, in case you don’t know who they are, here’s Linda Perez to explain.

“The Potter’s Guild is a group of ceramic enthusiasts who mostly are potters, or, ceramic artists in the greater San Antonio area.”

They have an event coming up — the Clay Festival.

“We do! It will be held Nov. 22, in conjunction with the San Antonio Museum of Art. Museum members, and children 12 and under, are free, and non-members will pay $5.”

Admission to the Clay Festival also gets you into the museum.

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Arts & Culture
1:05 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Youth Orchestra Turns Up The Heat With Competition

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio
Courtesy YOSA

The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio has an interesting concert scheduled for this weekend. I spoke recently to YOSA Music Director Troy Peters.

“This Saturday, YOSA’s going to be holding our annual concerto competition. We’ve got 10 of our most advanced musicians, who are going to be playing at two o’clock on Saturday afternoon, at St. David’s Episcopal Church. And then, one of them will be named a winner, and will appear as a soloist with the San Antonio Symphony.”

This is a competition, albeit a friendly one.

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Arts & Culture
12:53 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Austin Baroque Orchestra Takes Mission Concepcion Back in Time

Austin Baroque Orchestra
Austin Baroque Orchestra

An atypical type of orchestra is bringing their sound to San Antonio. I caught up recently with their Artistic Director.

“We’re going to be doing our yearly Latin American Early Music concert.”

That’s Billy Traylor on the Austin Baroque Orchestra.

“Every year we come to San Antonio to Mission Concepcion; we’ve done this the past two or three years now. And it’s particularly special because we’re playing music from colonial Latin America in a colonial Spanish Church. So it’s as close as you can come to hearing this music in its original setting.

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Arts & Culture
6:25 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Eclectic And Erudite, The ‘Encyclopedia Of Trouble’ Author Is Here To Enlighten Us

Rebecca Solnit's current book cover

A highly acclaimed author is coming to San Antonio on Wednesday to speak at Trinity University and I  spoke to her last Friday. When you’re talking to Rebecca Solnit, it doesn’t take long to realize she’s probably the smartest person around in most rooms she enters.

“What happens in disasters is highly variable and it depends a lot on our social structures and our belief systems and solidarity.”

She’s been to the site of many disasters, studies what goes on there and has written about them, as well as a wide expanse of other topics.

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Arts & Culture
5:55 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Carried Away On Flames; Virtuoso Violinist Comes To Town

Rick Henderson and his Sarod
Jack Morgan

It’s a concert that’s small in size but huge in scope. That distinctive sound of classical Hindustani (north Indian) music immediately takes you to a dreamy place.

“The gentleman named Indradeep Ghosh, a master violinist from north India, will be joining us for a concert Nov. 14.”

That’s Rick Henderson, who is producing the concert and playing the sarod, a lute-like instrument associated with classical Indian music. They will be playing what are called “duets.”

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Arts & Culture
3:18 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

One Of The City's Biggest Art Installations Is Under Foot

Part of the mosaic at night
Fran Trachta

While San Antonio is filled with public art, it’s easy sometimes to miss a lot of what’s right before our eyes. Not long ago, my wife and I were near the end of a 10K walk when we found ourselves walking across a huge mosaic. I didn’t have time to investigate, but promised myself to come back to find out what was going on there. I finally did that.

“We’re here at the intersection of Santa Rosa and Nueva at the Public Safety headquarters.”

Jimmy LeFlore is Public Art Manager with the city of San Antonio.

“We’re looking at the Unity Plaza.”

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