Great popular music of America, from Broadway to Hollywood, is featured Saturday night in Kerrville.
Typically, the Symphony of the Hills plays Thursday evenings. Nine times out of ten, they are also playing standard repertory, from baroque to modern masterpieces, but for their first concert of 2013, Symphony Director Jay Dunahoo had a new idea.
"Let's just try some different kinds of music, do it early in the year, and hopefully attract some people who might not normally come to a Symphony of the Hills concert."
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 10:50 am
While the new year is still fresh, let's take a look in the rearview mirror at some of the noteworthy happenings in the classical music world. Were you listening last year? See if you remember the big, and not-so-big, stories from 2012 in our quiz.
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Jeff Garza solos with the symphony this weekend in Mozart's Fourth Horn Concerto
You often see Jeff Garza at the back of the orchestra, leading the San Antonio Symphony horn section, but this weekend, you'll have the chance to hear Jeff also shine in a concerto, out in front of the orchestra!
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 4:15 pm
Violinist Leonidas Kavakos is something of a musician's musician in the classical world. He's a favorite among his collaborators: He's the artist in residence this season at the Berlin Philharmonic, and as a soloist/conductor, he's worked with ensembles ranging from the Boston Symphony to the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
Nicola Benedetti is one of the brightest young violinists performing today. She is also, at age 25, maybe one of the most recorded musicians, averaging one new release every year, not counting singles or compilations! Her latest release is called The Silver Violin - Hollywood scores for violin. Benedetti says "The entire disc originated from the wish to record Korngold's Violin Concerto.
Sunday Bloody Sunday is one of those films that lets you into the lives of believable, complicated characters. A handsome, self-centered young artist played by the actor/rock singer Murray Head is having simultaneous affairs with both an older woman (played with infinitely nuanced self-irony by Glenda Jackson) and an older man, a Jewish doctor (the touching Peter Finch), two intelligent adults who have mutual friends and even know each other slightly.
It was 10 years ago that I met the remarkable Mexican soprano Olivia Gorra, at the 2003 Festival Internacional de Cervantino. She had just made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Turandot, with more performances to come.
The pride of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Olivia performed an outdoor program at Guanajuato's Alhondiga which was capped off by a rousing set with her fellow Veracruzanos, the folkloric ensemble Tlen Huicani. Despite her numerous opera house successes, I doubt she has ever had them dancing in the aisles at the Met.
In pop music, pieces featuring the "original artists" are usually big sellers. These are the performances we heard first and are used to -- not the cover songs performed by other artists years later. Some pieces are so familiar that we mentally hear the scratches and pops on the 45's that we had at home back in the day.
With a mixture of trepidation and excitement, Hector Berlioz, the composer, critic and conductor, stood poised to lay aside many of the usual tasks and distractions of his life and give himself up to the dream of a lifetime: The composition of an epic on antique themes inspired by Virgil's "Aeneid," Les Troyens.