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Berlioz and beyond: Sebastian Lang-Lessing returns to the podium

San Antonio Symphony
Sebastian Lang-Lessing

After a busy summer that included concerts in Italy, South Africa, New Zealand, and a recording with Renee Fleming, Sebastian Lang-Lessing leads his first concert of the season.

"It's the most exciting concert!" said Lang-Lessing. "Of course, I'm going to say that about every concert."

The varied program includes violinist Baiba Skride in Robert Schumann's Concerto in d minor.

"Baiba and I were to have performed several times, and it has just never worked out, so I am very excited to have her solo in San Antonio, in one of the most dramatic works."

The program will start with American composer Tobias Picker's Old and Lost Rivers, depicting a Texas scene; and rounding out the concert is Hector Berlioz's monumental Symphonie Fantastique.

According to Lang-Lessing, "It really was ahead of its time. It could have been written 50 or 100 years later and still be groundbreaking."

Performances are at the Majestic Theatre Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m.

Watch a demonstration about the bells in Berlioz this weekend:

John Clare is comfortable behind a microphone, streaming video or playing violin. A former broadcaster for NPR, John has previously worked with Voice of America, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation and stations in Kansas, Nevada, California, and Pennsylvania.