SOLI Chamber Ensemble’s season begins this week right here in San Antonio.
"SOLI Chamber Ensemble is the only contemporary classical music ensemble in San Antonio, and we present works from 20th and 21st Century composers," says Artistic Director Ertan Torgul. "Most of our work is actually with living composers. We have commissioned 46 new works, and gave premieres of those works in San Antonio for over 20 years.”
Torgul reminds us that even composers who are classics of the classical world--Beethoven, for instance--was new music at one time.
"You know, Beethoven’s Grosse Fugue was hated so much that people were booing. And today it’s one of the most highly-sought piece for every string quartet that’s in existence.”
In other words, today's edginess may well be tomorrow's classic. As to the contents of the San Antonio show, Torgul says composer Carl Schimmel drew his inspiration from something he saw on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow.
“He found five toys that he could imagine his daughter playing with, and wrote the piece based around those toys.”
They’ll also be doing several additional pieces by other Texas-based composers, including Rice University faculty members Anthony Brandt and Karim Al-Zand, whose piece "Swimmy," based on a children's book by Leo Lionni, will be narrated by TPR's Nathan Cone.
“There’s really no binding theme, other than the binding aspect of Texas.”
Before moving on to Houston for performances in what they've labeled The Texas Roadshow, SOLI has two performances in San Antonio this week.
They are performing Monday night at the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater, at Tobin Center and Tuesday night at Ruth Taylor Recital Hall at Trinity University.