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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.

SA Symphony Concertmaster On Samuel Barber, New Album

The Tobin Center will ring with music this weekend as the Las Americas Festival continues. 

"Friday and Saturday I'll be performing Barber's Violin Concerto with the Symphony," said San Antonio Symphony Concert Master Eric Gratz. "A very eclectic mix this year. The festival features many composers--Bernstein, Copeland, Piazzolla--and so this is Barber, the All-American Concerto."

The concerto isn't exactly easy to play. Gratz laughed.

"Incredibly difficult. It's a perpetual motion. 1/92 to the quarter note and it's a perpetual whirlwind."

"What does that mean--1/92 to the quarter note?" I asked.

"So it's gonna be... It's pretty fast; it gets a good cook."

I asked how intimidating it is to be a featured performer in front of a symphony playing a particularly difficult piece. Gratz is a confident young man, and smiled.

"With Sebastian [Lang-Lessing] on the podium it's going to be no problem. It's going to be a thrill."

Gratz's busy week contains another accomplishment: he's releasing an album of Romantic-era favorites for violin.


"I'm excited to see what will happen with it.  I definitely want to have other young artists have the opportunity to record."

His words suggested there were more recordings to come, including perhaps collaborations with friends of his from all over the world. 

"Yes, there are. I can't disclose anything yet but, let's just say that there will be a follow-up."

The Las Americas Festival continues starting Friday at the Tobin Center. For more on this concert, go here.

For more on Eric Gratz go here.