Sebastian Lang-Lessing

Tobin Center

The San Antonio Symphony is marking a big landmark. Its first concert was 75 years ago this month.

Despite its age, the strapping, robust symphony has perhaps never looked stronger. Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing talks about the symphony’s first concert 75 years ago.

“It was actually June 12, the concert that Max Reiter did," said Lang-Lessing. Reiter was the San Antonio Symphony’s first conductor.

San Antonio Symphony

The San Antonio Symphony’s winter/spring season is winding down and June 6 & 7 marks two important performances.

“We’re presenting Mahler [Fifth Symphony] to finish the season, and Marguerite McCormick is leaving the Children’s Chorus,” said symphony Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing. Longtime Artistic Director McCormick’s last performances with the chorus will be at these two nights.

Andrew Eccles / Decca

I talked to the San Antonio Symphony's Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing today and asked what many in the arts community are wondering: who will be the focus of next year’s music festival?

“Richard Strauss,” revealed Lang-Lessing.

“For me it was just a natural way to celebrate the 75th anniversary with a Strauss festival," he said.

It's the San Antonio Symphony’s 75th year of playing and to get that anniversary started right, he had another big announcement.

“We open with Renee Fleming, so I’m very thrilled that this works out,” Lang-Lessing said.

San Antonio Symphony

The San Antonio Dvořák Festival is done and I checked in with San Antonio Symphony Music Director  Sebastian Lang-Lessing to see how it went.

“The objectives were basically we were able to enlarge our partner groups, including opera."

Lang-Lessing noted that Dvořák provides a good continuity from last year’s Brahms Festival.

"And third it is touching a composer who is from Europe but changed the American music history dramatically in a very good and inspiring way," he said.

KLRN

The last weekend of the San Antonio Symphony's Dvořák Festival is coming, but to begin we look back at last weekend’s "Rusalka."

“I was really proud and really happy with the result, and I think our understanding of Dvořák really changed with this piece," said symphony Music Director Lang-Lessing. "We really learned about Dvořák.”

Headlining this weekend are Dvořák’s Fifth and Ninth Symphonies, but as Lang-Lessing explained, before playing them the symphony tackles a contemporary piece by American Jennifer Higdon.  

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