The five-year contract extension signing by San Antonio Symphony Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing almost seemed like an athletic superstar event. Notables like the Tobin Center’s Bruce Bugg and Judge Nelson Wolff offered their thanks to the conductor, but the new Symphony GM David Gross really set the tone.
"I know how Coach Pop felt the day that Tim Duncan committed to the long term with the Spurs," Gross said.
A chamber group and a brass quartet gave the gathering on the river banks at the downtown IBC Plaza a classic vibe. Dozens of symphony players, mastersingers, ballet, other arts groups, his wife Britta, and other San Antonians attended the event.
What was it that allured him to stay here?
“First of all, and it’s the most important thing, it’s our orchestra -- it’s the musicians of the orchestra that are really fun to work with," Lang-Lessing said. "Second, it’s an audience that’s really curious -- the way the audience really sits through a performance and listens gives me the reason to believe that we really have a fantastic audience in this city. And the city of San Antonio, which is a city that really is on the go, on the move, that isn’t a stagnant city."
Now that he’s here for the next half decade, Lang-Lessing shared his plan for spawning a whole new crop of symphony players.
"My dream is developing a music school or a music academy that covers all levels, from the beginners to the pre-K, all the way to someone coming back from Julliard to do a year with the symphony training process to go into the professional world," he said.
Speaking to all gathered, he hinted at far more to come.
"Do I have a vision for the city? Yes of course," Lang-Lessing said. "Do I have a vision to continue? Yes, there are a lot of projects I would like to push and to continue."
Now with more time at the helm, he will have the chance to see them take root.
- Learn more about the symphony and the new season at: www.sasymphony.org