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

Austin Baroque Bringing It To San Antonio

There's a concert Sunday afternoon that's classical music but you may not know about the instruments -- they're a little different than what we hear and see today.

Austin Baroque Orchestra's music director Billy Traylor says, "We're a period instrument orchestra so we play on copies of instruments from anywhere from the 16th century up through the early 19th century."

He points out some of the differences in instruments.

"The easiest way to spot what's different is the winds. The flute is wooden, not metal," he explained. "The oboes only have eight keys as opposed to the many keys you find on a modern oboe and the horns have no valves; they're just a natural horn. And the piano we're going to use is a copy of a late 18th century piano, so it looks nothing like a Steinway."

The concert itself is called Friends and Family, and here's why.

"So often we often think of these guys and just dead guys or people in paintings or busts on a piano, and we forget that these people were alive like we are and they had all the feelings and emotions we have, but they also had families, and a lot of time music ran in the family," Traylor says.

He's stacked the concert with family musical pairings in mind.

"And so we'll have Wolfgang Mozart and his father Leopold, and Joseph Haydn and his younger brother Michael. And then Mozart's supposed arch-nemesis Salieri and then the youngest of all of Bach's sons, Johann Christian Bach."

If you're thinking of going to the 3 p.m. concert, instead, go a half-hour earlier.

"And there's also a free informal pre-concert talk that I give 30 minutes before the program just to kind of talk about the instruments and what we're playing and answer any questions that people might have," he says.  

It all goes down in a good place for music -- UTSA's Recital Hall.

"Yeah, the concert is Sunday at 3 p.m. at the UTSA Recital Hall."

If you live on a tight budget, here's something you'll want to hear: it's free.  

Find more on this concert here

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