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

Genre-Defying Janoska Ensemble Set For Musical Bridges Performance

Janoska Ensemble
Julia Wesely
Janoska Ensemble

Musical Bridges Around the World has endured some painful changes during the pandemic. They’re known for bringing eclectic international talents to San Fernando Cathedral for free concerts. The coronavirus outbreak shut down the traditional performances before an audience, but according to MBAW’s Suhail Arastu, there’s been an upside to not being able to gather in one place.

“In many ways our audiences have expanded because they’re not just limited to just people who can come into the concert hall,” Arastu said. “Now we can tap into people across the state, country, and globe thanks to virtual programming.”

That virtual programming is via videos posted on the group's website. This Sunday’s concert is a return engagement by a heavyweight group that wowed attendees the last time they were here.

“It’s the renowned Janoska Ensemble, and they’re coming to us from Vienna, Austria,” he said. “It’s three brothers and a brother-in-law, many of whom are part of the Vienna Philharmonic, but they perform together as a family with the ‘Janoska style.’”

Janoska Style is what they call their tendency to swerve from classical music into classically styled pop. Their versions of the "Mission Impossible" theme, as well as many Beatles songs, are crowd favorites. And their videos express the joy they apparently find in making music.

“And it’s contagious in everything they do, whether performing on record, in person or virtual as you’ll see Sunday,” he said.

Janoska Ensemble
Julia Wesely
Janoska Ensemble

Their 7 p.m. Sunday performance also features a special guest.

“And that’s Director Emeritus from the San Antonio Symphony Sebastian Lang-Lessing, from Seoul, South Korea, and he’s there this month representing San Antonio,” Arastu said.

Lang-Lessing is currently conducting "La Boheme" with the National Opera in Seoul. Those interested in seeing the Janoska Ensemble are encouraged to pre-register at MBAW.org, and they will get an email on Sunday reminding them to tune in for the free concert.

“It will be a really dynamic, exciting concert, and we hope to see our audiences back in person someday soon,” he said.

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