Keith Womer

A pair of musicians is coming to San Antonio, and the music they create will probably sound different from anything you’d expect. They’re part of an Austin ensemble called La Follia Austin Baroque

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

Fredericksburg will soon host a rare music performance. Austin Baroque Orchestra Music Director Billy Traylor described them this way:

“We’re a period instrument orchestra so we perform music from the 17th and 18th century on replicas of instruments from that time," Traylor said.

This comes from a time before metal strings and before wind instruments had valves. If you listen to the audio package above, you can hear the Austin Baroque Orchestra, and it is different. 

I asked Traylor about their upcoming concert in Fredericksburg.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

The San Fernando Cathedral is one of San Antonio’s most iconic and most storied buildings and when the San Antonio Symphony matched a special event to the building, a hit was created.

"It was so popular last year, especially in the San Fernando Cathedral, where the music matches the building," said San Antonio Symphony Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto.

"The cathedral was built during the Baroque period in the mid 18th century," she said.

The music the pared-down symphony of about 22 players will be playing is all baroque, as Fujimoto details.

Courtesy of the artist

If you like Classical music and history, there’s something coming to San Antonio that you’ll probably want to see: The Austin Baroque Orchestra.