Sebastian Lang-Lessing

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."

San Antonio Symphony

The San Antonio Symphony’s new season starts Friday night at the Majestic Theater. Now in his fourth year as the music director for the symphony, Sebastian Lang-Lessing talked about what's coming this season.

"We open the season with a very Russian/French program," he said. "Two big Mussorgsky pieces. 'The Night on Bald Mountain,' orchestrated by Rimsky-Korsakov  and then we finish the concert with 'Pictures at an Exhibition.'"

Lang-Lessing’s enthusiasm for a soloist from last year has him bringing her back for an encore.

John Clare / TPR Arts

The San Antonio Symphony rounds out the 2012-13 season with the epic Third Symphony by Gustav Mahler. Joining them are the women of the San Antonio Mastersingers, the Children's Chorus of San Antonio, and mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller.

Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing discusses the work in the video below, in which he reminds us this symphony is perhaps the longest in the standard repertoire. There is also a last minute substitution, Vance Woolf will play the posthorn solo, as principal trumpeter John Carroll is ill.

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