Sebastian Lang-Lessing On Symphony's 75th Birthday

Jun 12, 2014

The San Antonio Symphony is marking a big landmark. Its first concert was 75 years ago this month.

Despite its age, the strapping, robust symphony has perhaps never looked stronger. Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing talks about the symphony’s first concert 75 years ago.

“It was actually June 12, the concert that Max Reiter did," said Lang-Lessing. Reiter was the San Antonio Symphony’s first conductor.

“It was actually at the Sunken Gardens at the time, but for various reasons we decided to leave it (this performance) at the Majestic," said Lang-Lessing. "The program itself, for the most part of it, is a replica of that first concert. We have one of the most famous violinists, Joshua Bell, joining us.”

I asked Lang-Lessing if, given that this is the last regular performance at the Majestic, is is it pretty emotional for him.

“Oh, of course! Of course it is," Lang-Lessing said. "Apart from the excitement to move into a new hall -- I think it is a hall we like, we love, and it’s quite amazing -- every time a new soloist comes to town and sees the Majestic for the first time, he’s quite impressed. They always fall in love with this hall, and they fall in love with it because it has a majestic quality to it. It’s quite extraordinary architecture."

For those of you worrying you’ll never see the symphony at the Majestic again, worry not.

"It’s not going to be a complete farewell," Lang-Lessing said. "We actually will establish a movie series at the Majestic, which of course is very appropriate for a 1920s movie theater, so we will go back to the Majestic for a few concerts each season."

The 75th anniversary concerts are this Friday and Saturday nights.