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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.

Symphony Opens Season With Rach & Roll

Phil Houseal
Gene Dowdy

Symphony of the Hills' new season begins with an unexpected bang. That bang will be provided by the style of music: Rach & Roll.

The first concert is themed Rach & Roll. Of course that's R-A-C-H Rach.

Gene Dowdy conducts.

"Rachmaninoff was a sort of rock star for his time, being a fantastic pianist and composer."

Dowdy says he really doesn't like it when music is too compartmentalized and judged.

"You know the whole thing with genres--I'm just having more and more trouble with that the older I get," he says.

So, he's constructed a concert to try and tear down some of those walls.

"The very first tune we're going to open with, our overture, is actually called The Rock. This is written by Pete Townshend, the great guitarist from The Who. We're also going to play Haydn's Symphony #103 in e flat. This has a cool subtitle, also called the Drumroll Symphony. It also starts with a mysterious roll in the timpanis.

There's an intermission, then they conclude with a piece from the namesake for the Rach-n-Roll concert.

"After an intermission we're going to feature the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2 in C Minor.  And we are going to bring our own rock star to the stage, Don Crandall is going to play for that. He's going to play the piano solo on this piece and it's just going to be fantastic," he says.

The Kathleen Cailloux Theatre just refurbished a great big Steinway grand piano, which is what they'll use for the concert.

"Come early because as you know, they have a wine reception at 6:30, so you don't want to miss that for sure."

Find more on this concert here.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii