piano

Courtesy Fernando Herrera

On November 21, 1963, in Houston, Texas, President John F.Kennedy and his wife Jackie, along with Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, were entertained by San Antonio musicians. Fernando Herrera and other musicians gave the distinguished visitors a taste of Texas at the Crystal Ballroom in the Rice Hotel.

Herrera remembers the night well, and he had a great deal of interchange with the president himself.

"Much to my surprise, Kennedy was familiar with all the music because those Kennedys traveled all over the world. He knew my outfit," Herrera said.

The Steinway piano company has a new owner. This fall, the investment firm Paulson & Co. — led by billionaire John Paulson — spent about $500 million and bought all of Steinway & Sons, the venerated piano maker.

The deal includes a foundry in Springfield, Ohio, where the Steinway pianos are born in fire.

The O.S. Kelly Foundry has been making Steinway's plates since 1938. The plate is the cast-iron heart of a piano: It holds the steel wire strings with 40,000 pounds of tension, the company says. It allows vibrations to arise in a concert hall as music.

San Antonio Symphony

This week’s San Antonio Symphony performance at the Majestic Theater features the second Sergei Rachmaninoff piece of the new symphony season, Piano Concerto No. 2.

"At least in the top five of the most famous of piano concertos, or the most popular ever written," Lang-Lessing said.

The featured soloist is a highly regarded pianist originally from the Philippines.

"We are very, very lucky to have the wonderful Cecile Licad playing with us this weekend, and she’s really a wonderful artist," Lang-Lessing said.

Jack Morgan / TPR Arts

Internationally-known pianist Martina Filjak is performing in San Antonio tomorrow at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

San Antonians have seen Filjak before -- she has performed with the San Antonio symphony -- but now she's back and this time she's going solo.

"I'm going to perform a range of works that are encompassing some [Antonio] Soler, but also Bach and Liszt, but also in the second part of the concert some Schumann piano sonatas," she said.

Courtesy of the artist

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.

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