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Symphony At The Tobin, Classics In A Dive, Fascinating Doc: Your Weekend Is Here

San Antonio Symphony
Pianist Olga Kern

Two familiar faces come back to the San Antonio Symphony. Also, listen to a string quartet in a dive bar. And then take a cinematic journey with cowboys at the Briscoe Museum. Your weekend is here, and it's definitely interesting!


The San Antonio Symphony's Jenna Jernigan says a pair of crowd favorites return Friday and Saturday night.

"Maestro Sebastian Lang-Lessing, who is our music director, will be returning, along with Olga Kern on our piano, who actually was our artist in residence in the 2017-2018 season,” she said. “We're really excited to have both of them back."

The symphony will perform some classics.

Credit San Antonio Symphony
Sebastian Lang-Lessing with the San Antonio Symphony

"Some selections from The Gadfly by Shostokovich, as well as Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1, as well as Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy," Jernigan said.

The concerts are Friday and Saturday night at the Tobin. But symphony musicians also have some little pop-up concerts you might want to go to.

"Musicians from the symphony are out and about. They play at public libraries,” she said. “We started January 11th and go all the way through May, but this weekend they will be at the Maverick Library, the Las Palmas and the Cortez."

While the performances are geared to the young, the not-so-young should enjoy them as well because they can participate in a Q&A with artists. 

"How does the instrument work? How did you learn how to play the instrument? We're happy to answer and get to know our musicians," she said.

IF YOU GO WHAT: San Antonio Symphony WHERE: Tobin Center WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday COST: $15 to $100

Then on Saturday night, Alvaro Del Norte cites perhaps the most unusual event of the weekend.

"It's an event that brings together two different worlds. One is classical music, and the other is Dive Bars," he said.

Credit Jack Morgan / Texas Public Radio
Richie Brown, Alvaro Del Norte, Regino Lopez

Alvaro is known for pairing unlike musics with his band.

“My band Piñata Protest brings together punk rock and Tex Mex,” he said. “That kinda started the way this event started, which is my love of two different worlds, and I thought, 'Hey, why not bring 'em together and see what happens?'”

As to how the four-set event will play out at Hi-Tones, Del Norte lays it out.

"We're going to include a string quartet to start off the event. We're going to have a great friend of mine, Jaime Ramirez playing piano,” he said. “He's going to be playing stuff by Rachmaninoff, Debussey, Beethoven. And then he's going to be joined by a cellist. We're also going to have a classical guitarist perform a set. And we're going to end the night with an opera singer."

How should you dress?

"A suit and tie, if they want, top hat even. Or they can come in shorts and t-shirt. That doesn't matter," he said.

IF YOU GO WHAT: Brews and Beethoven WHERE: Hi-Tones WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday COST: $7

Then on Sunday, 'Meredith Balzen says you should head to the Briscoe Western Art Museum for a fascinating film.

"The documentary is called Cowboys: A Documentary Portrait," she said.

There aren't too many cowboy documentaries because by definition cowboys work in the middle of nowhere, where there are few cameras.


"John Langmore actually spent six years at some of these most remote ranches,” Balzen said. “This particular project he was on eight of the largest ranches in America, in some of the most remote locations. And that's over 10 states."

She hasn't seen the documentary yet, but the trailer really stuck with her.

"How tough you have to be in order to sustain that lifestyle is really what hits home when you just see the trailer. The young guns get out there and really want to make it as a cowboy but they can't, because the life's so rugged," she said.

There's a $10 charge to get into the film, but that gets you into the museum as well, with both old and new exhibitions.

"We just opened our Women of the West gallery. It's a great gallery; I would highly recommend it," she said.

IF YOU GO WHAT: Cowboys: A Documentary Portrait WHERE: Briscoe Western Art Museum WHEN: 2 p.m. Saturday COST: $10

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