Symphonic Shakespeare In Kerrville

Feb 23, 2016

A Kerrville concert pays tribute to a titan of literature. I spoke to Symphony of the Hills Artistic Director and Conductor Gene Dowdy who explained what was going on with Shakespeare Fest

"We're going to pay tribute to the Bard. The Bard of Avon."

But why should a master of the written word be heralded in music?  

"Probably one of the greatest playwrights of all time and certainly a landmark of western civilization, so he's certainly worthy of being honored. But what's amazing even more is how much great music was written influenced and inspired by his writing."

As to precisely how the confluence of arts plays out, Dowdy lays it out.

"We're going to open the concert with Midsummer Night's Dream by Felix Mendelssohn, just a beautiful setting," he said. "We're also going to have some readings--Jeffrey Brown, who's the executive director of Playhouse 2000 in the Cailloux Theater--those guys are going to have some dramatic readings before each one of these.

The second piece we're going to feature is Vaughn  Williams' Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis. It's a gorgeous works for multiple string orchestras.  Then after the intermission we're going to come back with Romeo and Juliet, but Serge Prokofiev's ballet music. It's just spectacular! One of the centerpieces of the program is by Saint-Saens and it's called Morceau de Concert.  And then what's cool is we're going to end it up with wonderful music from Kiss Me Kate, which is not a William Shakespeare play but it's loosely based on Taming of The Shrew, and Cole Porter's music is just fabulous."

The night starts at 6:30 Thursday, Feb. 24, with a wine reception, followed by the concert at Kerrville's Katherine Cailloux Theater.

For more on this event, go here

For more on the Symphony of the Hills, go here