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Thu February 13, 2014
With Dvorak Festival Finished, Lang-Lessing Talks About How It Went, What's Next
The San Antonio Dvořák Festival is done and I checked in with San Antonio Symphony Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing to see how it went.
“The objectives were basically we were able to enlarge our partner groups, including opera."
Lang-Lessing noted that Dvořák provides a good continuity from last year’s Brahms Festival.
"And third it is touching a composer who is from Europe but changed the American music history dramatically in a very good and inspiring way," he said.
When we finished with Dvořák, I asked him who the next composer will be for a festival and Lang-Lessing had a hard time answering.
"We’re having a press conference this week," he said.
So he didn’t reveal next year’s composer, but he did reveal a change in the festival format.
"It won’t be a one-composer only festival," Lang-Lessing said. "It’s a one-composer focus, but not a one composer only."
Lang-Lessing hopes to show relationships between composers who were influenced by or who influenced the festival composer. He said the festival format is evolving.
"You know, the festival idea is in a metamorphosis, in a very good way," he said.
I asked him what his next project was and got this surprise.
"First of all I’m going to meet with Renee Fleming again for a concert in Naples, which I’m really looking forward to," Lang-Lessing said.
Fleming is one of the world’s top singers right now, effortlessly crossing genres and styles, and sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl a couple weeks ago. Lang-Lessing conducted the music for her hit CD "Guilty Pleasures."
"I’m always amazed. She’s so curious," he said.
Finally, I asked for an update on the Tobin Center, and he says they’re still on time, still under budget.
"I think we’re planning on doing something in June, just rehearsing in the space," Lang-Lessing said.
The Tobin is scheduled to open to the public in 204 days, according to their web site.