Sebastian Lang-Lessing

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.  

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."

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

The five-year contract extension signing by San Antonio Symphony Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing almost seemed like an athletic superstar event. Notables like the Tobin Center’s Bruce Bugg and Judge Nelson Wolff offered their thanks to the conductor, but the new Symphony GM David Gross really set the tone.

"I know how Coach Pop felt the day that Tim Duncan committed to the long term with the Spurs," Gross said.

San Antonio Symphony

It’s rare that there’s breaking news in the classical music realm locally, but today’s news that Sebastian Lang-Lessing will extend his contract with the San Antonio Symphony definitely qualifies.

It's a new five-year extension brought on, in part, by an increased financial commitment on the part of major donors such as H-E-B and Valero.

Lang-Lessing is originally from Germany, and is a very popular conductor there, in Europe and as far away as Tokyo and Tasmania, where he conducted concurrently with San Antonio until 2012.

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