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San Antonio Arts Organization Builds 'Musical Bridges Around the World' With Annual Festival


About this time each year, local arts organizations Musical Bridges Around the World puts on its music festival, featuring musicians from the world over. Again this year, they’re still operating with caution, meaning it will again be a virtual festival.

Suhail Arastu said they’ve pretty well packed it with both music and discussion.

“We’ll talk to artists including our former conductor and current Music Director Emeritus from the San Antonio Symphony, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, and many other Musical Bridges' favorite artists from around the world to talk about their time during the pandemic,” Arastu said.

Most have been at home, writing and practicing, but not yet performing in public. So for this festival, Musical Bridges will feature video performances from years past.

“We’ve got Kenan Azmeh and Kevork Merad, a Syrian Clarinetist and an Armenian visual artist and we’re highlighting one of their programs entitled ‘Home Within,’” he said.

“[We have] Indian, Romani and Gypsy musician Oliver Rajamani, as well as Mane Galoyan, and incredible Armenian Soprano that used to be in Texas at the Houston Grand Opera studio, and now is moving on to Berlin,” he said.

“We’ve got one of our favorites that does our art engagement program, Barynya from Russia, as well as well as JP Jofre, an incredible Argentine Bandoneon player that not only plays with Musical Bridges, but also the San Antonio Symphony,” Arastu said.

The premise for Musical Bridges Around the World proves that while the vast differences in our cultures and arts underscore how we’re not alike, they also inspire in us all a shared love for music.

“The appreciation of music is certainly universal but the way music is created is so different depending on what part of the world you’re in, but it is that universal language that everyone can understand and comprehend and appreciate,” he said.

Pre-registration is required, though, as is usually the case with Musical Bridges. The program, which will be from noon to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21, is free.

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Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii