Texas Music Festival To Celebrate 30th Anniversary Season
The Immanuel and Helen Olshan TEXAS MUSIC FESTIVAL (TMF) will mount its landmark 30th Anniversary Season June 1-29, celebrating the successes of nearly 3,000 of classical music's rising stars over the past three decades. For this musical milestone, three former TMF Fellows will return to the University of Houston (UH) Moores Opera House (MOH) stage as guest artists:
Opening Night piano soloist Kenny Broberg, the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Silver Medalist (TMF 2015,16); French hornist Ernesto Tovar Torres of The Philadelphia Orchestra (TMF 2012); and Manhattan School of Music Precollege faculty member, violinist and Opening Night Concertmaster Xiao Wang, (TMF 2012). Maestro Franz Anton Krager, TMF Music Director & Chief Conductor, will conduct the TMF Season Opener, a tradition since he joined the Festival in 1993. Guest conductors will be Carl St. Clair, who first conducted the TMF Orchestra in 1998, Rossen Milanov, and Josep Caballé-Domenech.
"Our founders, Immanuel and Helen Olshan, loved attending the Aspen and Tanglewood summer music festivals and thought, why not present a summer music festival with the resources we have right here in our own back yard?" noted Alan Austin, TMF General and Artistic Director. Austin, then a UH music school student, participated in the inaugural Texas Music Festival orchestrated by David Tomatz, the Festival's first director, at UH in 1990. "Like our Orchestra Fellows, we've really blossomed over the decades from a local start-up Festival to one that's highly competitive on the international stage. Our alums have established careers in the concert, symphony and chamber music arenas, music education and arts administration all over the world." *
In that tradition, the TMF 2019 Orchestra Series concerts, set for the four Saturday nights of June, will showcase the talents of 93 pre-professional orchestral musicians selected for an exclusive one-month music residency to study and perform with world-class conductors, soloists and faculty artists. Houston's largest classical presenter in June with nearly
TMF - Page 2
30 performances, the Festival is made possible by a gift from the Immanuel and Helen B. Olshan Foundation and support from UH Moores School of Music (MSM), a part of the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts.
TMF Orchestra Series Week 1 "30th Anniversary Season Opener" launches with Aaron Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man, one of 18 fanfares written to promote a patriotic response to America's entry into World War II, and the only one still performed regularly. A counter balance will be Joan Tower: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, commissioned by the Houston Symphony in 1986 to honor women in the classical music world. Next, TMF Alum Kenny Broberg will take to the Steinway for Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini. The Van Cliburn Silver Medalist, a protégé of UH MSM faculty member Nancy Weems, is preparing for the prestigious 2019 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow June 18-27, 2019. The evening concludes with Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, an evocative piece that channels Sinbad and other tales of the Arabian Nights. TMF will welcome back violin virtuoso Xiao Wang, winner of its 2012 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition, as guest concertmaster for the only TMF Orchestral Series concert presented twice: Friday, June 7, 8 p.m. at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands (Free), and Saturday, June 8, 7:30 p.m. at Moores Opera House.
"Cinematic Splendor", a nod to the music featured in Walt Disney's epic film, Fantasia, is the theme for TMF Week 2, Saturday, June 15, with Ernesto Tovar Torres making his Texas Music Festival solo debut with R. Strauss: Concerto for Horn No. 1. Tovar credits his TMF experience as pivotal to his becoming a professional symphony musician. "(TMF Faculty Member) Bill VerMeulen is a huge part of everything I've accomplished in my career. I'm so thankful I could work with Mr. VerMeulen at TMF. His coaching is priceless," said Tovar, who, at 26, is a French hornist with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Filling out the bill will be Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice; Bach/Stokowski: Toccata and Fugue in D minor; Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries; and R Strauss: Die Frau ohne Schatten Fantasie. Rossen Milanov, Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Spain, will be making his third TMF appearance.
The TMF Week 3 repertoire will be "Simply Fantastic!" Saturday, June 22 under the baton of seven-time TMF Maestro Carl St. Clair. As a 30th Anniversary Festival tribute, St. Clair will reprise his 2005 TMF performance of David Heuser's overture, A Screaming Comes Across the Sky, a TMF-commissioned work that debuted at the Festival July 3, 2005. The program also will feature Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, and the work performed by the Orchestra Fellow selected as the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition first place winner and guest soloist.
St. Clair, Music Director for Pacific Symphony for 29 years and Artistic Leader and Principal Conductor of the University of Southern California Thornton Orchestras, is known for his passion for music education and his commitment to outstanding educational programs and innovative programming.
The Festival will close with TMF Week 4 "Grand Finale" June 29, with the epic Mahler: Symphony 6, also known as "Tragic." Josep Caballé-Domenech, who last graced the TMF podium in 2014, will conduct the dramatic four-movement work. The maestro currently serves as Music Director of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bogotá and General Music Director of the Opera and Staatskapelle Halle (Germany).
Pre-concert activities for each TMF Orchestra Series performance include performances by members of Virtuosi of Houston and Settling the Score, a lecture series by music theorist Dr. Andrew Davis, Dean of the UH Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts.