Italian cellist Francesco Mastromatteo is something of an undiscovered treasure in the Central Texas classical music scene. After studying in Italy, he moved to texas to complete his master’s degree from Southern Methodist University, and his doctorate from the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas. Francesco has been working for years on one of the most quintessential pieces in the cello repertoire, J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites. These pieces can take a lifetime to understand, but Francesco has found something in them that is unique, his interpretation simultaneously pays homage to the master and forges it’s own path. Francesco Mastromatteo will perform all six of the suites this weekend, but he stopped by Studio 1A to give us a little preview first
– James Parker
4/21, 7:00 – Bach Cello Suites 1-4, Oak Hill United Methodist Curch
4/22, 4:00 – Bach Cello Suites 5-6, Oak Hill United Methodist Curch
It’s said that every year, around this time, young accordion virtuosi emerge from their practice spaces, like bears appearing from their hibernation caves at the first sign of spring, to throw their hats into the ring for a chance to be crowned king/queen of the Big Squeeze Accordion Contest. The history of accordion music is strong in Texas, it was originally brought to the region by German immigrants in the 1800s (aka 19th century Polka fanatics), but accordion quickly became an important part of the music of the border culture via Mexican immigrant laborers brought in to build railroads in Texas. It then made it’s way east and blended with the french inflected music of the bayous of Louisiana to create Zydeco, and thus the accordion trifecta of Texas was born: Polka, Conjunto, and Cajun/Zydeco, all of which are represented in the Big Squeeze Contest, which takes place on Saturday, April 22nd, at the Bob Bullock Museum’s Lone Star Plaza from 1-5pm. Accordionist Josh Baca and Guitarist Esteban Jordan III stopped by Studio 1A to get us in the mood and teach us a little bit about this historic instrument.
– James Parker
The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday’s last performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers are interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music. Pull up a chair, order a delicious cocktail, and turn back the hands of time in our swanky nightclub for an intimate evening with the jazz legend. “God Bless the Child”, “Don’t Explain,” and “My Man” are among the unforgettable hits you will savor from the lady who sings the blues. She’s got a life to sing.
Starring CHANEL and directed by Michael Rader
Recommendation: High school and above. Adult language and situations.
Run Time: Approximately 2 hours including one intermission.
Classical pianist Michelle Schumann has made the rounds. And when I say that, I mean she’s performed all over the world at some very prestigious festivals and has had some very notable teachers (ever heard of Emanuel Ax?). Schumann is perhaps most notable for her relationship to contemporary music, she goes out of her way to program new music by up and coming composers, putting them back to back with the classics. Even though she’s stylistically very eclectic, she always plays with elegance and sensitivity, even during the more fire moments in the music. Michelle Schumann stopped by Studio 1A to tickle the ivories for us, listen below!
If you’re not familiar with the Golden Hornet Composer Laboratory, you might be more familiar with the organization’s leaders and figureheads, notable Austin composers Graham Reynolds and Peter Stopschinski. The group’s mission is to promote the small but vibrant contemporary classical music scene here in Austin. Part of that work is promoting the work of high school age composers, which they do through their annual Young Composer Concert. The pieces will be performed by Hear No Evil, the Austin-bred chamber ensemble known for bringing new music to a wider audience. Graham and Hear No Evil were in Studio 1A to give us a preview of the concert this afternoon, check out the session below!
– James Parker
3/26 – 2nd Annual Young Composers Concert, The North Door, 2pm
Hear No Evil: