Category: Music Scene

  • Lewis Delivers Masterful Violin Concerto

    Lewis Delivers Masterful Violin Concerto

    It is not easy to compete with a Mozart symphony, which was also on the programme for the Austin Symphony concert last night, but Geneva Lewis’ performance of a violin concerto raised it to a level where they saw eye to eye. I use the word competition because Lewis, who has already several major awards, […]

  • Barber of Seville makes the cut in Austin

    Barber of Seville makes the cut in Austin

    While hearing rarely-performed operas is always a treat, watching a famous opera is akin to comfort food. Austin Opera is serving up heaps of comfort food this week with two more performances of The Barber of Seville by Rossini, an old chestnut from 1816. It is in the Bel canto opera style, which literally means […]

  • The Wreckers: Opera in Houston

    The Wreckers: Opera in Houston

    A very rarely-performed English opera from 1906, The Wreckers is making a real splash now At Houston Grand Opera. I use the word ‘splash’ as a pun, as the opera deals with a small coastal community in Cornwall, England, whose sole source of sustenance and income derives from taking advantage of shipwrecks. Thus, the name […]

  • A Surprising Violin Concerto

    A Surprising Violin Concerto

    The latest outing by our Austin Symphony Orchestra featured the violinist Elisabeth Kufferath. It was an inspired choice to celebrate the music of Albert Dietrich (1829-1908), a little-known German composer whose main claim to fame was his relationship with Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Compositions by all three were included in the concert, an all-German […]

  • Judy Garland at 100

    Judy Garland at 100

    June 10 this year marked the 100th birthday of Judy Garland, who died in 1969. The singer attained iconic status with the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, and for the remaining 30 years of her life Garland was arguably the most famous female singer in the world. The Austin Symphony Orchestra hosted a 100th […]

  • Tchaikovsky and Ravel at Austin Symphony

    Tchaikovsky and Ravel at Austin Symphony

    The Austin Symphony Orchestra opened its 112th season with a superlative programme this past weekend. Acclaimed pianist Benedetto Lupo gave the audience a marvellously nuanced interpretation of Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, first performed in 1932. It opens in quite a sprightly manner – first with the crack of a whip, then a perky […]

  • Chamber Music in Stockholm

    Chamber Music in Stockholm

    I attended the Grande Finale of the Classical Chamber Music Festival in Stockholm on July 30. In attendance was a friend who drove from Tierp (some 80 miles north of Stockholm) for the concert. He found the trip well worthwhile, and his expert analysis of the concert is included here  in quotes. The programme featured […]

  • World Premiere by Quinn Mason

    World Premiere by Quinn Mason

    The Draylen Mason Composer-in-Residence program honors the memory of Draylen Mason, a promising young Austin musician killed in 2018 by the Austin package bomber. The first and current holder of that residency is Quinn Mason, based in Dallas. His orchestral music has received performances in the US by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony […]

  • American Landscapes

    American Landscapes

    The concluding Masterworks concert by our local treasure, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, featured works that musically depict the landscapes of America. Guest soloist John Novacek was key to making this happen. As a pianist, he has won international competitions, and as a composer his works have been performed by the New York Philharmonic, West Texas […]

  • Tchaikovsky’s Problematic Concerto

    Tchaikovsky’s Problematic Concerto

    The latest concert by Austin Symphony Orchestra featured pianist Olga Kern performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concert No. 1. It was first performed in 1874, by the composer himself. In attendance was his mentor, the great Nikolai Rubenstein (1835-1881), widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of his time. In addition to being a pianist, Rubenstein […]