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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

The Dark Side Of Ryo: Mozart's D Minor Concerto

This weekend wraps up the third annual Mozart Festival Texas. A solo recital takes place Friday night with Rick Rowley. Saturday an orchestral concert rounds out the festival with two masterpieces: the 'Jupiter' Symphony and the Piano Concerto No. 20. Terry Frazor will conduct and feature piano soloist Ryo Yanagitani, a former Gold Medalist with the San Antonio International Piano Competition.

The d minor concerto is special in Mozart's catalogue. It is the first of only two minor key concerti that Mozart wrote (out of 27!). Mozart's dad, Leopold wrote to Mozart's sister after hearing the work, "I heard an excellent new piano concerto by Wolfgang, on which the copyist was still at work when we got there, and your brother didn't even have time to play through the rondo because he had to oversee the copying operation."

While Yanagitani has played several Mozart concerti, this is the first time he is playing the d minor. "They [Mozart's concerti] are crafted so extremely well to do any sort of 'extra stuff' just distracts from it," says Ryo. "For me, to play Mozart, it's been difficult to try not to put too much of myself in the music but really adhere closely to the score, and make sure that Mozart as a composer sings through this piece."


Concerts start at 8pm both Friday and Saturday, in Our Lady's Chapel on the campus of the University of Incarnate Word.

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.