James Baker

Producer, Host: Classics a la Carte

James first introduced himself to KPAC listeners at midnight on April 8, 1993, presenting Dvorak's 7th Symphony played by the Cleveland Orchestra. Soon after, he became the regular overnight announcer on KPAC.

If pressed to describe himself, James will say he is a musician who hosted classical music.  For over 40 years, he has worked as a professional French horn player, holding posts in the Austin Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico, Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, and Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, the oldest orchestra in Mexico. 

James also is an avid marathoner.  Look for him running the streets of San Antonio with his three rescued border collies.

Ways to Connect

Briscoe Western Art Museum

Define the American West. It all depends on who is doing the talking. Long ago, as the European pioneers were setting out from the East Coast, the West was anything beyond the Appalachians. In that case, perhaps the question should be rephrased such that American West is replaced by frontier. On the other hand, there is little doubt that as the frontier pushed further and further west, to the Mississippi and beyond, as the Great Plains stepped ever higher in elevation, that frontier seemed no longer adequate. Was this the beginning of the American West?

David Amram

Ask a dozen people "where does the American West begin?" and you are apt to get a dozen different answers. Ask four people that same question, as I recently did, and you might get a half dozen opinions (or more), as I did. Voodoo math? I don't think so. It's more to do with the complexity of the question and the (perhaps) impossibility of an answer. Nevertheless, it's interesting.

James Baker

Let's Rodeo, San Antonio! It's time to saddle up and head out to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. If you've never been, there's no time like the present. The Rodeo starts on Thursday, February 11 and runs through Sunday, February 28. All shows are at the AT&T Center. If you think you know that venue, as in seeing the Spurs play basketball there, you're in for quite a surprise. Check it out!

Los Angeles Times

 

It was my good fortune to cultivate a friendship with the composer Daniel Catán. I knew Daniel primarily through his music, having first encountered it in 1982 while I was working as an orchestra musician in Mexico City. It was a freelance gig, known in Mexico as a hueso, and involved performance of a skillfully made pastorela, a Christmas pageant. I was impressed by what he had written, though when I reminded him of it years later he dismissed it as an early work, not yet matured. Daniel was like that, a man with high expectations while at the same time all too aware of the vagaries of the music business.

Clarice Assad

I have anticipated the premiere of Clarice Assad's song cycle, "Elementos," since Soli Chamber Ensemble first announced their 2015-16 concert season. I have watched with interest the evolution of Clarice as a composer since I first heard her "Violin Concerto" over a decade ago.

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