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Olmos Ensemble Prepares For 'Techno Parade' Chamber Concert This Week

The Olmos Ensemble, a local chamber music group is gearing up for two performances this week. 

"This is our twenty-third season, and now it's a nationally-recognized group," executive director Renia Shterenberg says.

The instruments the San Antonio Symphony principal players have mastered include the flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and the French horn. The Concertmaster is violinist Eric Gratz, the focus of the Thursday performance.

"He is going to be performing with Euntaek Kim on piano," Shterenberg says about the 7 p.m. performance.

Both performances take place at Laurel Heights United Methodist Church. The 3 p.m. Sunday performance is called "Techno Parade," which may sound modern for chamber music. Oboist Paul Lueders says not so, at least with this ensemble.

"Well, I think of Olmos Ensemble as a pretty young group," he says. "Both the principal flutist and I are, and the violinist, are in our twenties And also, even those who aren't in our twenties are very, very young at heart."

And this is where we discover something particularly interesting.

"We have two pieces here; the Saint-Saens was actually written for my great, great grand-teacher, who was the grandfather of American oboe playing. And then we have this piece Techno Parade, which is what this program was written after," he says.

If you've never heard the term Great Grand Teacher, you're not alone. Here's what that means.

"So my Great Grand Teacher was George Gillet. He's a huge name in the Oboe world. And he was the teacher of Marcel Tabuteau, who was the oboist who brought over the French Conservatoires to the United States, who taught my teacher's teacher – Delancie – who's a huge name who was a principal oboist in the Philadelphia orchestra for many years," Lueders explains.

With that explanation, the term makes sense. Shterenberg thinks this will be a great introduction, if you've never been.

"It won't be boring and it'll probably be pretty fancy," she says.

Find more on the Olmos Ensemble here.

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