Sebastian Lang-Lessing

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.

San Antonio Symphony

The San Antonio Symphony debuted its new season last weekend and Musical Director and sometimes Conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing predicts a lot of sizzle for their Friday and Saturday night performances at the Majestic.

"It’s going to be a very exciting performance for me," he said. "Schumann is something  that’s very personal for me. I’m very close to his music. I’ve recorded all of his symphonies and always feature him when I can."

Lang-Lessing is also looking forward to playing Rachmaninoff’s "Symphonic Dances."

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