This weekend kicks off the first of two concerts for the Olmos Ensemble. Led by oboist Mark Ackerman, the nineteen year old chamber group, will feature "Sizzlin' Latin American/Spanish Music" this Sunday at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in San Antonio.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 4:32 pm
In 2007, I was interviewed by a journalist over lunch a day before the premiere of my Violin Concerto. One of his first questions was, "So why do you write in these old forms, the symphony, the concerto ... ?" I told him that these were simply titles which imply nothing about the form, which was another thing entirely. But it led me to ask myself: What is a symphony these days? If it no longer comprises a four-movement structure with an energetic first movement, a slow movement, a scherzo, and some kind of quick rondo, then what exactly characterizes it?
A virginal is a spinet harpsichord, normally without legs. The name is obscure even by Oxford English Dictionary standards, but one hint is that the name came from the young and chaste virginal girls that would spend hours and hours practicing their music in cold and drafty castles and mansions.
It was an unusual time for music in Britain.
There were battles over whether or not music belonged in the church and the only people that had music before the printed note were musicians and those with enough money to outfit their splendid homes with music rooms.
With only a few exceptions, the “best” days of Communism (and I say that with plenty of sarcasm) are long gone. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 (with the final destruction in 1990), the Round Table talks in Warsaw in 1989, and the brutal execution of Nicolae Ceausescu in December of 1989 explain the often heard term Revolutions of 1989 as synonymous with the Fall of Communism.
At the center of "A Late Quartet" is Beethoven's String Quartet #14, Opus 131. Throughout the drama, the sublime sounds of the work are played by the Brentano String Quartet. Onscreen are Catherine Keener, Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Mark Ivanir as the "Fugue String Quartet."
There’s been another shake-up at the San Antonio Symphony. Jack Downey is leaving his post as President and CEO after being in place for only three months. When Downey was named head of the San Antonio Symphony in May, the former Air Force Officer had established a track record of leading local non-profits including the San Antonio Children’s Shelter. Downey explained while as a guest the KSTX’s "The Source" that his plan was to build the San Antonio Symphony’s supporter base.
This weekend wraps up the third annual Mozart Festival Texas. A solo recital takes place Friday night with Rick Rowley. Saturday an orchestral concert rounds out the festival with two masterpieces: the 'Jupiter' Symphony and the Piano Concerto No. 20. Terry Frazor will conduct and feature piano soloist Ryo Yanagitani, a former Gold Medalist with the San Antonio International Piano Competition.
Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 7:48 am
To say that you're writing a symphony today is a statement, especially for a young composer like me. The challenge is to find just the right way to commandeer the age-old form, to render it fresh and vital once again within an American context.