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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

San Antonio Symphony's Strauss Festival Ends This Weekend

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Chance James
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Eric Gratz

The San Antonio Symphony’s Strauss Festival has been their focus for the past month, but on Saturday night it comes to an end.

“This weekend is our final part to our Strauss Festival.”

The Strauss Festival that Concertmaster Eric Gratz is talking about the symphony’s yearly focus on a single composer.

“It’s sort of your one last chance to get the whole spectrum of Strauss’s music.”

I asked “Is it a particularly challenging part for you—you’ve got solos throughout, right?”

“It is. It’s incredibly challenging to the very end. Strauss gave very specific directions on how this solo should be played. It’s representing Strauss’s wife.”

Very specific instructions sounded not the norm to me. “Isn’t that kind of unusual?” I asked.

“It is very unusual. In a solo violin part It’s pretty much unheard of. There is a depth of emotion he was trying to achieve and I think he did achieve very well.”

I asked him how long had it been since he joined the San Antonio Symphony.

“It’s been a year.”

“How’s it going?”

“It’s going well. Things are very busy all the time. Fortunately I’ve been enjoying it every step of the way. We have projects coming up: I have chamber music and some solo baroque performances with the orchestra later this month. It never stops. But it’s been so enjoyable for me so far.”

We’ve more on this performance here.

For more on Gratz, go here.