After 40 years of doing his program, he’s become, kind of, the grand old man of public radio. Meet Garrison Keillor, the person behind the legend. TPR’s Arts and Culture Reporter Jack Morgan reached him by phone Friday.
Prairie Home Companion is a public radio staple. But it sure didn’t start out as the powerhouse it now is.
“No, it was just, just having fun with radio. I had put in my time doing news and announcing classical music.”
Keillor started his broadcast career at Minnesota Public Radio.
The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opened to the public Thursday. People pushed vacuums, roaring over the new carpets as I entered the H-E-B Performance Hall. I spoke to San Antonio Symphony General Manager David Gross.
“All right, it’s come down to this, what do you think?” I said.
“We're very, very excited," Gross replied. "This is a game-changing moment for the arts in San Antonio.”
The McNay Museum’s William Chiego agreed.
“The colors and the shape and the amount of space is just beautiful,” Chiego said.
The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts continues to roll out events. At mid-month it’s featuring Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. Here’s YOSA’s Music Director Troy Peters with the program's layout.
“A performance of "Peter and the Wolf," featuring YOSA and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio. And we’ll surround that beloved family classic with a bunch of music exploring the cultural heritage of San Antonio,” he said.
Peters explained the reason for the wide program schedule in addition to "Peter and the Wolf."
Sebastian Lang-Lessing is gearing up for Thursday night’s opening of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Thursday I was at the last Ballet San Antonio rehearsal before the move into the Tobin and Lang-Lessing had acoustics on his mind.
“There are two aspects to acoustics: There is the one, hearing on stage, but then there is the more important issue, how is the listening experience for the audience," he said. "And there are a lot of halls that are difficult onstage and wonderful in the hall. And there are other halls that are great onstage and bad in the hall.”
The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opens in grand style next Thursday but this Thursday I spoke to to Sarah Pautz, principle dancer for Ballet San Antonio, who has a lot on the line that night.
As you’d expect, she’s a slight, delicate-looking person. But that look is deceptive. She’s muscular, determined and focused. The opening program on Thursday is a series of excerpts from popular productions, such as "Swan Lake."
The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts opens on September 4, and San Antonio Symphony Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing described the new home for the symphony.
“I have to say it’s very chic. And it’s very stylish and modern, and yet amazingly intimate,” he said.
Lang-Lessing has been involved in the development in the Tobin for years. He said he thinks the Tobin will be the place for performing arts in the city, but he wanted to make this important distinction.