The Austin Symphony

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Now in their 105th season, the Austin Symphony performs at Dell Hall in The Long Center. The orchestra performs classical programs about one weekend per month from September through June. Their season includes three other concerts (The Messiah, Halloween, and Young Composers) as well as four Pops performances (most recently, Lights, Camera…the Oscars!). They also play free concerts on July 4th and on Sunday evenings in the summer. Peter Bay has directed the Austin Symphony for 18 years.

JC20160227_1018I try to attend a few Symphony concerts each year. Single seats are usually available—even at the last minute—and occasionally someone just hands me an extra ticket that they can’t use. I like to arrive early for the pre-concert talks, Concert Conversations, usually led by Bob Garcia-Buckalew, a UT Journalism professor and classical music aficionado. Last week’s talk included two local composers who spoke about their pieces: Donald Grantham, a UT (music) Composition professor, and UT grad student, Steven Serpa. (I must add that the above photograph is somewhat misleading. Several hundred people were actually sitting behind me for the pre-concert talk.)

JC20160227_1020Last weekend’s concert had an Austin theme. In addition to the pieces by the two local composers, another UT professor, Anton Nel, performed Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Major, Op. 103, Egyptian by Camille Saint-Saens. The program ended with a rousing Rodeo by Aaron Copland. All were fine performances and I was quite pleased with my excellent single seat. (Wondering about the Austin connection to Rodeo? Rodeo Austin starts here next week.)

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