Austin Baroque Orchestra

Luminaria

Lights, cameras and something a little different in downtown San Antonio this weekend.

First for the lights--Luminaria is back.  Kathy Armstrong heads Luminaria.

"Friday night we are going to transform the San Antonio Museum of Art's campus. We are also going to have musicians and performances and visual art displayed all around the museum. We will also be in the auditorium with some film and poetry," she said.

Justin Cole Photography

An Austin-based orchestra and chorus manage to get to San Antonio two or three times a year for a performance. TPR’s Arts and Culture Reporter Jack Morgan spoke to its Artistic Director.

It’s the Austin Baroque Orchestra and Chorus, and he’s Billy Traylor. What he’s bringing Sunday is a big show.

“There are 16 singers.  And the orchestra has about twenty.”

And there’s something else that sets this group apart.

Austin Baroque Orchestra

An atypical type of orchestra is bringing their sound to San Antonio. I caught up recently with their Artistic Director.

“We’re going to be doing our yearly Latin American Early Music concert.”

That’s Billy Traylor on the Austin Baroque Orchestra.

“Every year we come to San Antonio to Mission Concepcion; we’ve done this the past two or three years now. And it’s particularly special because we’re playing music from colonial Latin America in a colonial Spanish Church. So it’s as close as you can come to hearing this music in its original setting.

Justin Cole Photography

The Austin Baroque Orchestra comes to San Antonio two or three times a year. I spoke to their artistic director to find out what sets them apart; mostly it’s the instruments they use to make the music they play. Like this one: a theorbo.

"Theorbo: it’s a really large lute with really large bass strings on it,” said Billy Traylor.

“It usually sticks up a good three or four feet above the head of the person playing it. It’s a very long-necked instrument.”

Some of instruments are unfamiliar, but the music they make doesn’t sound so different.

Justin Cole Photography

Musical sounds from centuries long ago are coming to San Antonio in the form of the
Austin Baroque Orchestra Chamber Players, though you may remember them having come to San Antonio last fall as Settecento.

“We’ll be playing at St. John’s Lutheran Church downtown on Sunday at 3 p.m. and we’ll be playing classical-era chamber music," said Billy Traylor, Austin Baroque Orchestra’s artistic director.

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