One way to convey Friday night’s San Antonio Symphony program would be to report its mixture of French and Russian music, but the better description would be about all the fun that happened. The concert was American, too, featuring a twin-sister piano duo from New York City performing one of the French pieces, Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos. Piano duets rank as among the most challenging in all of repertory, mainly for getting the timing together. Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing has joked that it happens best when both players have the same mother.
Known for its 15-mile River Walk, the city offers a version of Texas that mixes traditional with innovative. By expanding the River Walk from three to 15 miles in 2013, and linking it to five Spanish colonial missions, San Antonio remains a jump ahead of the imitators. With the expansion of the River Walk, which runs in front of it, the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts grew, too. Now a metallic honeycomb addition conceals two additional theaters appended to a 1920s-vintage auditorium.
The is warming up, and that means the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts will be hosting another season of free, fun events on the Will Naylor Smith River Walk Plaza.
The music for Friday night’s San Antonio Symphony classical series concert may have all been composed in the 20th century, but the beautiful, fierce melodies and the rich orchestrations all screamed 1800s Romanticism. The best example was Igor Stravinsky’s Suite from “The Firebird” in its 1945 version that is longer than two earlier arrangements. Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing led a razor-sharp, electrifying performance as he guided the orchestra through tricky rhythms, mood swings and quick-switching tempo changes and a keen eye for details.
Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music were always hard to categorize. Ferry was boxed in by his devilish good looks; the band, by its undeniable glam image and attitude, which often overshadowed the musical brilliance. Ferry was often described as a rock crooner. The sexy album covers were to die for. But to focus on the glam exterior was to miss the elements of danger and menace Roxy Music possessed, and which Ferry commanded. The music was dense, not teenybopper pop.
Evin Nicole Eubanks, whose resume includes four years as executive director of the Chicago Dancing Festival, has been named executive director of Ballet San Antonio. She succeeds Jenniann Colon, who began her turn as executive director in December 2015 alongside Artistic Director Willy Shives. Shives remains with the company in that position. Eubanks' most recent post was with Cushman & Wakefield San Antonio Commercial Advisors. She has a bachelor's degree in theater arts from Texas Tech University.
The San Antonio Symphony graced The Tobin Center's stage in gowns and tails for a gala concert on March 4th, 2017, under the baton of Akiko Fujimoto. The evening featured guest-soloist Gil Shaham in a performance of Johannes Brahms’s Concerto in D Major for Violin and Orchestra, Op.
For much of his young life, Dan Schumacher has looked up to classical guitarist David Russell. So the 21-year-old jumped at the chance to take part in a master class with the Scotsman earlier this month. The master classes — broken into two two-hour sessions — were part of Russell’s visit for a sold-out performance presented by Arts San Antonio. The organization is one of several San Antonio arts groups — including the Carver Community Cultural Center and the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts — that regularly offer master classes as part of their programming.
The concert started with a “little night music” but expanded into a grand amount of genius. The San Antonio Symphony concluded its part of the Mozart Festival on Friday night with two, really three, of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s late, brilliant masterpieces. The concert’s first half finished with the first of three extraordinary symphonies, No. 39, that Mozart composed in the summer of 1788. The orchestra revved up nicely for the brisk, contrapuntal finale. All of above, though, seemed to wash away when the orchestra jumped into Symphony No.
When people hear Sleeping Beauty, they think of the classic 1959 Walt Disney movie. But what many don’t know is that French author Charles Perrault originally wrote the story in 1697, and that the Brothers Grimm later popularized it. The subject of countless films, musical interpretations, plays, and artwork, this classic fairy tale and love story provides the ideal framework for a full-length classical ballet. Originally choreographed by the legendary Marius Petipa to the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the ballet’s premiere took place at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on Jan.
During the years Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived in Salzburg, Austria, he made his living largely by composing piano concertos and then selling tickets to the concerts with himself at the keyboard. The San Antonio Symphony lovingly made that time as visible as possible Friday night with widely recorded New York pianist Jeremy Denk standing in for Mozart. The orchestra and Denk performed not one, but two popular Mozart concertos, Nos. 19 and 23.
Walking into Ballet San Antonio’s (BSA) company studio, you cannot help but notice the precision in a dancer’s footwork as preparations are underway for a memorable performance. Next month, BSA presents the spectacular full-length classical ballet, “Sleeping Beauty,” taking place Feb. 17 – 19 at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Artistic director Willy Shives masterfully choreographs the dramatic dialogue in every step. “The new choreography has many great feet in itself.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 261st birthday happily fell on the San Antonio Symphony’s Mozart Festival concert Friday night. The orchestra didn’t play “Happy Birthday,” but it did something better by starting the concert for an audience of nearly 1,250 people at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts with the composer’s celebratory Posthorn Symphony. Guest conducting was Gerard Schwarz, a director widely recorded with some of classical music’s top stars and ensembles.
On a rainy Monday morning in September, more than 200 people turned up at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts to watch a special performance by Parsons Dance. The first indication that the show, which was designed specifically for those with sensitivity to light and sound, wasn’t a standard-issue offering might have been the program. Rather than the expected dancer biographies and descriptions of each piece of choreography, it offered a “social narrative,” a guide to everything the audience could expect to encounter.
A Gustav Mahler classic, a visiting string quartet, Carl Orff’s towering masterpiece and a popular opera combined to highlight the classical music year in San Antonio. In common, they all were staged at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, accentuated by outstanding acoustics. Symphonic music Mahler: The San Antonio Symphony has a knack for concluding seasons with soaring, transcendental music.