San Antonio Symphony shines in superb Tobin Center

By Scott Cantrell
Classical Music Critic

The city of the Alamo and the River Walk has a dandy new attraction. At least for symphonic music, the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, opened in September, may be the finest such venue since Dallas’ 25-year-old Meyerson Symphony Center.

Judging by a Jan. 24 concert, the San Antonio Symphony is in excellent shape, too, under its German music director, Sebastian Lang-Lessing.

Give the orchestra credit, too, for some programming imagination. The Jan. 24 concert was part of a month-and-a-half festival featuring music of Richard Strauss and also involving the city’s opera company and other musical and ballet organizations. This concert included Strauss’ familiar Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks as well as the rarely performed Josephslegende Symphonic Fragment. The Violin Concerto of Erich Korngold, a composer much influenced by Strauss, was performed by British violinist Daniel Hope. An unrelated I’m Sorry Texas, a San Antonio Symphony commission by Doug Balliett, opened the two-hour, 20-minute concert. Read more.

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