San Antonio Symphony’s Schubert, Mahler reach to the sky

04/01/2017 - 5:15pm

This city has heard the San Antonio Symphony perform Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 before. But this city has never heard those works like the San Antonio Symphony played them Friday night at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. The high level of performance coupled with the responsive Tobin Center acoustics elevated these pieces to new concert heights. To hear both on the same program magnified the beauty of each, given the similar rich harmonic languages and the shared deep philosophical waters.

San Antonio Symphony’s 2017-18 Season Shaped by History

03/27/2017 - 11:15am

If audiences bring knowledge of world history to the San Antonio Symphony‘s newly announced classical season, they may hear familiar selections in new contexts. “I designed a season that is very much constructed around historical markers,” Symphony Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing told the Rivard Report. “We have a lot of anniversaries in ’17-’18 to celebrate.” The season will open with Grammy Award-winning pianist Emanuel Ax, performing an all-Beethoven concert as a one-night-only event on Sept. 16 at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.

San Antonio Symphony turns up the fun

03/27/2017 - 11:00am

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.

36 Hours in San Antonio

03/23/2017 - 10:15am

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.

San Antonio Symphony presents blazing “Firebird”

03/20/2017 - 12:15pm

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 concert will be an emotional experience

03/17/2017 - 4:45pm

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.

Ballet San Antonio names new executive director

03/16/2017 - 2:15pm

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.

Gil Shaham Adds To The Glitter Of Symphony Gala

03/15/2017 - 11:30am

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.

San Antonio students learn from their idols in master classes

02/16/2017 - 2:00pm

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.

Mozart’s brilliance rises in concert

02/13/2017 - 2:45pm

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.

Ballet SA to Awaken the Tobin with The Sleeping Beauty

02/07/2017 - 1:15pm

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.

Pianist Denk sparkles with Mozart concertos

02/06/2017 - 10:45am

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.

Ballet San Antonio awakens the dream of ‘Sleeping Beauty’

01/30/2017 - 11:00am

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.

Renowned conductor leads San Antonio Symphony

01/30/2017 - 10:30am

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.