“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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.