They’re coming from nearly halfway around the world to perform in San Antonio. I reached one of them in Italy.
Quartetto di Cremona. They play chamber music and their first violin is Cristiano Gualco.
“We were born as a quartet in Cremona, that is the city.”
The small northern Italian city of Cremona, with a fine musical tradition, brought together Quartetto. “The violin makers Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati, the three great violin makers, they were born there, they worked in Cremona.”
The Youth Orchestras of San Antonio has an interesting concert scheduled for this weekend. I spoke recently to YOSA Music Director Troy Peters.
“This Saturday, YOSA’s going to be holding our annual concerto competition. We’ve got 10 of our most advanced musicians, who are going to be playing at two o’clock on Saturday afternoon, at St. David’s Episcopal Church. And then, one of them will be named a winner, and will appear as a soloist with the San Antonio Symphony.”
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.
Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 8:44 am
Robert Lee Watt fell in love with the French horn at an early age. He met a lot of resistance from people who thought his background and his race made a career with the instrument unlikely — but he went on to become the first African-American French hornist hired by a major symphony in the United States.
He became the assistant first French horn for the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1970, and stayed with the orchestra for 37 years. His memoir, The Black Horn, tells how he got there.
Musicians and management at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra have reached agreement on a new labor contract after months of negotiations and a lockout, setting the stage for the ensemble's 70th anniversary season to start on Thursday. Appropriately enough, the first concert will feature Beethoven's "Ode to Joy."
Six months ago, we brought you the story of the Edna Karr High School marching band in New Orleans. Two members of the band in particular, snare drummer Charles Williams and tuba player Nicholas Nooks, or Big Nick as his friends call him, earned scholarships to Jackson State University in Mississippi — their dream.
The marching band at Jackson State is known as the Sonic Boom of the South. Band camp began in August with 164 freshmen. But after weeks of late nights and early mornings, musical training and also push-ups, 24 had quit.
Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 2:59 pm
On this day in 1854, legendary marching band composer John Philip Sousa was born in Washington, D.C.
Today also happens to be the birthday of Here & Now‘s Robin Young, so to celebrate the dual occasion we listened to some Sousa favorites with longtime Sousa lover Keith Brion, founder and director of the New Sousa Band. He also happens to live next door to Robin Young in Cambridge, Mass.
Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 12:23 pm
It's rare to be able to celebrate a person who invented a popular musical instrument. Mostly, from the guitar to the violin to the flute, musical instruments have evolved over time: There is no Mr. Flute or Ms. Trumpet. But there is a Mr. Sax — or, rather, a Monsieur Sax.
Adolphe Sax was born in Belgium 200 years ago Thursday. As a young man, Sax worked for his father, also an instrument maker. The younger Sax made improvements to the bass clarinet and invented a family of instruments called saxhorns before creating his eponymous "phone" in the early 1840s.