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2014-01-16

SA Symphony showcases works by Dvoøák

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The San Antonio Symphony presents its annual winter festival, beginning in January, dedicated to the romantic music of Czech composer Antonín Dvoøák.
The Dvoøák Festival will include five of his best-loved symphonies, including the New World Symphony, and three of his major concertos. The festival will also feature a special presentation of Dvoøák's opera masterpiece, Rusalka in a special collaboration with The Opera San Antonio and five world-renowned vocalists starring soprano Joyce El-Khoury, who plays the title role of Rusalka.
This is the fourth consecutive season the SA Symphony has presented a music festival. Brahms was featured in 2013, Beethoven was featured in 2012 and Tchaikovsky was featured in 2011. San Antonio Symphony Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing serves as the festival's curator.
On Jan. 17, the symphony welcomes Michel Dalberto, pianist, for Dvoøák's Piano Concerto, along with his Sixth Symphony. As Dvoøák's first symphony to be heard outside his own country, it established him as an internationally renowned composer.
On Jan. 18, San Antonio native and violinist Nancy Zhou will return home to perform Dvoøák's Violin Concerto, which features gorgeous Czech melodies and Dvoøák's unique harmonic style.
From Jan. 31 to Feb. 1, Maestro Lang-Lessing will lead a special concert version of Dvoøák's opera masterpiece, Rusalka in a co-presentation with The Opera San Antonio and the San Antonio Symphony. The opera will feature Joyce El-Khoury, soprano, Rusalka; Brian Jagde, tenor, Prince; Christine Goerke, soprano, Princess; Alan Held, bass-baritone, Water Sprite; Kristen Chávez, mezzo-soprano, Jezibaba and James Robinson, one of the most inventive and sought-after stage directors, along with the San Antonio Mastersingers directed by Dr. John Silantien.
The symphony continues their performances on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 with Dvoøák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World," a unique blend of Old World style and New World sounds. This piece captures the great Czech composer's influence of the sights and sounds he experienced during a prolonged visit to America.
On Feb. 9, the symphony's Discover concert is dedicated to Dvoøák's New World Symphony, and is designed to introduce classical music to new audiences of all ages who want to get a deeper understanding of the piece. Lang-Lessing explains and gives musical examples from this masterpiece prior to a full performance, as video close-ups of the orchestra and conductor are projected on screen.
During these five weeks of concerts, local artistic groups such as Alamo Arts Ballet Theater, Camerata San Antonio, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Children's Chorus of San Antonio, Musical Bridges Around the World, Musical Offerings, Opera Guild of San Antonio, Opera Piccola, San Antonio International Piano Competition, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio Mastersingers, The Argenta Trio, UTSA Lyric Theatre and Youth Orchestras of San Antonio will join the Symphony to celebrate some of Dvoøák's famous repertoire.
Chamber music, choral music and string orchestra music will take place at various venues around the city. Venues include the Majestic Theatre, San Fernando Cathedral, Christ Episcopal Church, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Thiry Auditorium at Our Lady of the Lake University and the San Antonio Museum of Art.