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

International Music Festival to bring the world's music to San Antonio

Anya Grokhovski
Natalie Sun
Anya Grokhovski

It comes around about this time every year, and for a week, San Antonio is filled with international music. It’s called The International Music Festival, and for that week, the universal language of music seems to elevate the city. Musical Bridges Around the World’s CEO Anya Grokhovski says it starts on March 23 and the first two nights are at the Empire Theater.

“We're going to open [the] festival with [a] program titled Gracias a la Vida. We're bringing incomparable, my favorite star, Magos Herrera. She's a Mexican jazz singer,” Grokhovski said.

Magos Herrera, Brooklyn Rider - Niña

“Magos Herrera will be joined by Victor Prieto, accordionist from Spain, and our local pride, Aaron Prado Jazz Trio,” she said.

That’s on Wednesday, March 23. Then on Thursday is a concert called Melting Pot.

“Sam Reider and the Human Hands. It's a band which plays music from really all the roots of the world and puts them in all one Melting Pot,” Grokhovski said.

Sam Reider and the Human Hands play "Del Boca Vista"

On Friday, the festival moves to San Fernando Cathedral for chamber music.

“The Miro Quartetbased in Austin. It's the first time we're inviting them, a really famous Chamber Music Group, and they will be joined by a bassoon player,” she said. “It's going to be a really beautiful program for classical music lovers."

Then on Saturday they’re bringing back an audience favorite, pianists Duo Amal.

“Duo Amal is Israeli-Palestinian piano duo of two pianists playing classical program. This is their second performance for Musical Bridges, as they were here about eight years ago,” Grokhovski said. “Then the final concert of the festival is going to be [a] baroque performance by Austin Renaissance Ensemble.”

The Austin Renaissance Ensemble doesn’t just sound the part. They look the part.

Aaron Prado
Josh Huskin
Aaron Prado

“They dress in their period costumes and they play period instruments, and that just sounds fabulous at the cathedral,” she said.

This year’s festival has a brand new family feature to it.

“We're going to present 15 minutes vignettes of musicians from different cultures, and there will be representatives of these cultures in the Main Plaza with some activities for children,” Grokhovski said.

The Main Plaza event will be at 3:30 Sunday afternoon, before the Austin Renaissance Ensemble concert inside the San Fernando Cathedral.

“We're ready to say goodbye to [the] pandemic and all of us need some mood lifter right now, and that's what music does,” she said.

The entire festival is free and open to the public.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

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