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

Young violinist set to solo with San Antonio Philharmonic this weekend

Kuapo Kikkas.jpeg
Kuapo Kikkas
Randall Goosby in New York City

The San Antonio Philharmonic performances this weekend will feature soloist Randal Goosby.

“I am a 26 year old violinist based in New York City, and I'm down here in San Antonio for my very first time playing the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Philharmonic this weekend,” Goosby said.

That Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto is incredibly difficult to play.

“It's up there. I'd say there's probably between three and five … we'll call them Mount Rushmore concertos,” he said. “And I think Tchaikovsky is the definitely a shoo-in for that list.”

His experience with the concerto goes back nearly two decades.

“Probably the first time I heard that piece, I was maybe eight years old, and I learned it for the first time when I was in high school,” he said.

Randall Goosby and his violin
Kuapo Kikkas
Randall Goosby and his violin

Overcoming its inherent difficulty won't be his only achievement.

“The only thing I haven't done is actually gotten on stage and played it with an orchestra,” Goosby said. “So we're going to check that off the off the off the list this weekend!”

As a teenager, he took violin lessons from Itzhak Perlman.

“I started studying with him when I was 14 years old,” he said. “He very quickly just knocked down all of the walls that I sort of put out for myself.”

As renowned and serious a musician as Perlman is, Goosby said he saw another side to the man.

“For lack of a better word, he's a little bit of a goofball, which is very comforting, especially for younger students who are just starting out with him. Just an incredibly honest and genuine person,” he said.

Goosby offered a preview of what the audience should expect to see.

“I'm expecting a good amount of sweat, a good amount of laughter, a good amount of smiling, and hopefully the audience really enjoys it as much as I think I will,” he said.

The Philharmonic plays that and two other pieces both nights at the First Baptist Church downtown.

Ticket information and more about Goosby and the Philharmonic is available here.

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