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

San Antonio Symphony Announces 2016-17 Season, Mozart Fest

Nathan Cone

After six seasons of Winter Festivals, the San Antonio Symphony is finally getting around to Mozart. Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing, speaking to a crowd at the Tobin Center on Wednesday evening before a rehearsal of the latest Las Américas Festival concert, noted that the orchestra was waiting for the more finely tuned acoustics of the Tobin Center to handle the “intimate” sound of Mozart, as compared to their old home, the Majestic Theatre.

Five of the San Antonio Symphony’s classical concerts next season will feature Mozart in a big way, including symphonies, concerti, and a surprisingly rare live performance of “Eine kleine Nachtmusik.” Lang-Lessing said with some surprise, audiences almost never hear the piece on stage, despite its familiarity. At select Mozart Festival concerts, the work of the Austrian master will be paired with complementary music, including Gabriel Fauré’s beautiful “Requiem,” which Lang-Lessing said has a “lightness and transparency in its texture that is very Mozartian.”

The season opens on September 16 & 17 with Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” most recently performed by Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) to a sold out house in May, 2015. Lang-Lessing said he likes the idea of opening each season with music that brings as many musicians as possible on stage.

Credit Courtesy photo
Christina and Michelle Naughton will play Poulenc for two pianos.

Other highlights during the 2016-17 season include a return appearance by drummer Stewart Copeland, who’ll perform his “Concerto for Trapset and Orchestra,” the beautiful voice of soprano Mane Galoyan, whom Lang-Lessing described as “the next Anna Netrebko,” and a two-piano concerto by Francis Poulenc featuring twin soloists Christina and Michelle Naughton as soloists. “Playing two pianos [during one concerto] is one of the most difficult things in the world,” Lang-Lessing said. Referencing the sister soloists, he then joked, “If you don’t have the same birth mother, don’t do it.” 

In all, there are 14 concerts scheduled in the Valero Classics Series, plus a special gala appearance by violinist Gil Shaham, promised to bring a meaty, Romantic work to the stage. Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto will lead the orchestra at that event on March 4, 2017.

Fujimoto also returns as the conductor for four of the San Antonio Symphony’s H-E-B Pops Series concerts, including the annual traditions, Fiesta Pops and Holiday Pops. A special concert featuring the soulful voice of Capathia Jenkins will be a highlight of the city’s MLK celebrations in January, 2017, and YOSA conductor Troy Peters leads the orchestra in music of John Williams and other popular movie composers on Memorial Day weekend 2017.

Season tickets for the 2016-17 season are already available by calling 210-223-8624.

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.