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Hear a concerto celebrating the legacy of Spanish music and oboe performance

Jillian Kouzel performs with the Heart of Texas Concert Band on April 25, 2021.
Caesar Bernal
Jillian Kouzel performs with the Heart of Texas Concert Band on April 25, 2021.

Years ago, Jillian Kouzel was just a member of the oboe section in the Heart of Texas Concert Band, but in 2021 she returned to San Antonio to perform with the group again.

“I wouldn’t have ever guessed in high school that eight years later, I would be a featured soloist,” she marveled during a recent phone call from her current home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she’s completing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Michigan.

Kouzel performed “Legacy,” by the Spanish composer Óscar Navarro, at this concert recorded on April 25, 2021 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

Oboe player Jillian Kouzel carries her instrument while walking down the street.
Andrew Port
Jillian Kouzel

“It’s a very technically demanding piece,” she explained, adding with a chuckle, “But I also decided to memorize it as well, which took quite a bit of time to do!”

The piece fits in with the concert’s theme, which was to explore the Spanish heritage of San Antonio. “Legacy” also looks at the history of the oboe itself.

“Compositionally speaking, it entails a lot of different styles from periods of music, from baroque to classical, to now modern,” said Kouzel. “The oboe has been an instrument that has survived in all of those eras of music. And so the composer… ties the compositional style and the use of the oboe through the different periods of music to the legacy of oboists who have developed the virtuosity and the technical facilities on the oboe throughout the centuries.”

This broadcast of “Performance Saturday” isn’t the first time Kouzel’s been on Texas Public Radio. In 2013, she was a part of Camp KPAC, a week-long summer camp at TPR where a half-dozen high school kids learned radio, recording, and interviewing techniques.

“I did not know back then that I was going to actually still be doing music… I’m still using the tools that we worked on during the camp! That was such a fun camp, and a great experience.”

Visit Jillian Kouzel online at her website: https://www.jilliankouzel.com/