Classical

Texas Public Radio Classical Music blog and other stories.

The storied New York City Ballet is getting a new music director, and it’s a choice that’s catching attention. The ballet’s artistic director Peter Martins has chosen a world-renowned orchestra leader who doesn’t have much experience conducting for dancers.

Eric Green

In time for Valentine’s weekend, a pair of local arts institutions are performing perhaps the greatest love story of all time. We stopped by Ballet San Antonio’s practice space to speak with San Antonio Symphony’s Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto.

“The symphony will be performing with Ballet San Antonio Prokofiev’s great ballet Romeo and Juliet.   Prokofiev has a great way of depicting both romance and tragedy, which are the two key ingredients of the story of Romeo and Juliet.”

She says the composer has interesting ways of taking hold of your emotions.

Five years ago, Opera San Antonio hired Tobias Picker as their inaugural Artistic Director. As of January 31st, he’s no longer with the company. Picker, who’s also a composer, knew from the start his time in San Antonio would be limited.

“He essentially put various commissions that he had working on hold and the time arose where he felt as though he was compelled really, to go back and tend to those responsibilities,” said Mel Weingart, Opera San Antonio Board Chair.

I asked, “Given that it came at the end of a 5-year contract it probably wasn’t that big a surprise?”

Chance James

The San Antonio Symphony’s Strauss Festival has been their focus for the past month, but on Saturday night it comes to an end.

“This weekend is our final part to our Strauss Festival.”

The Strauss Festival that Concertmaster Eric Gratz is talking about the symphony’s yearly focus on a single composer.

“It’s sort of your one last chance to get the whole spectrum of Strauss’s music.”

I asked “Is it a particularly challenging part for you—you’ve got solos throughout, right?”

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