San Antonio Symphony

Chance James

If you're reading this you've probably heard his work, but his voice? Probably not. Hit "Listen" to hear the story.

"I recently began officially with the orchestra," said Eric Gratz, the San Antonio Symphony’s new concertmaster, who said his love of music came from his musical family.

What does a concertmaster do?

The Tobin Center
Jack Morgan / TPR Arts

The new Tobin Center for the Performing Arts is scheduled to open in September and will be the new home venue for the San Antonio Symphony, Ballet San Antonio and other arts companies. The high-tech performance venue is said to be one of the must-have parts of making the city world class in the arts. As Tobin Foundation Chair Bruce Bugg notes, the Tobin started with the voters.

"Bexar county voters overwhelmingly by a 65 percent vote supported the Bond Election," Bugg said.

Wikimedia Commons

As you likely know, the city-wide Dvořák Festival finds several classical music assets doing live concerts of the composer’s music. The yearly one-composer focus was begun by the San Antonio Symphony, and this is its fourth year.

"This week is the only week where we have two different programs on Friday and Saturday so you have to come twice this weekend if you want to hear the entire Dvořák cycle," said Symphony Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing.

Acclaimed soloist Michel Dalberto performs with the symphony first.

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio

Many classical music organizations are participating in the city-wide Dvořák Festival, and the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio are doing so too. YOSA Music Director Troy Peters has the lowdown.

"We are working with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio and also with musicians from the San Antonio Symphony" he explained. "So we’ll have a string orchestra of students and professionals playing together, playing the great Dvořák 'Serenade for Strings.' And then we’re also going to do a nice little set of choral music with the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio."

San Antonio Symphony

Next Friday the San Antonio Symphony’s month-long Dvořák Festival begins. An enthusiastic Maestro Sebastian Lang-Lessing describes Dvořák’s cello concerto as an outstanding one, and "probably also is the most popular cello concerto ever written."

For the Dvořák debut, the symphony is bringing back Chinese cellist Jian Wang.

"He’s looking forward to coming back to San Antonio this season, and we are looking forward to kick off the festival with him," Lang Lessing said.

It all starts with the spirited "Carnival Overture."

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