On Stoltzman, Composers and a Passion for Music

Richard Stoltzman playing his clarinetYOSA’s Gold Series Concert, “Stoltzman’s America,” is a unique chance to sample the breadth and depth of American music, including sounds of jazz, Broadway, and classical music. No one is more qualified to preview the first concert of the season than Music Director Troy Peters. Here are his thoughts on the November 5 concert at the Majestic Theatre.

“The first half of the program focuses on two of our most beloved composers: Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin, including music from the classic musicals Porgy and Bess, Candide, and West Side Story,” says Peters.  “The second half features two Pulitzer Prize winning composers, Jennifer Higdon and Howard Hanson. Higdon and Hanson are both romantic, expressive composers, whose music is full of beautiful melodies and inspiring crescendos.”

“The real magic, though, comes from seeing San Antonio’s best young musicians bring this music to life,” says Peters. “There’s nothing like the energy that rolls off the stage when young musicians are sharing their newly discovered passion for a great piece of music.”

Clarinetist Richard Stoltzman is such a dynamic performer that the Boston Globe hailed him as “the most exciting clarinetist in the world” and the San Francisco Chronicle called him “a national treasure.”

“Stoltzman moves seamlessly between classical and jazz styles, and our audience will hear him improvising and embellishing on familiar tunes by Bernstein and Gershwin,” says Peters. “He is one of the most charismatic and engaging performers I have ever seen play live, so I know our audience is in for a treat.”

Jennifer Higdon’s blue cathedral has a personal connection for Peters.

“Jennifer Higdon is not only one of the most widely hailed composers of her generation, but also an old friend of mine. Jennifer and I went to college together at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music in the late 1980s, and later we were co-directors of a concert series called Perpetuum Mobile,” says Peters.

“After catching up with Jennifer over coffee in Philadelphia last week, I was able to bring back new insights into her beautiful orchestral work, blue cathedral,” according to Peters. “This piece is a sensation, by the way, having performed by more than 400 orchestras over the last dozen years. Jennifer memorialized her younger brother in this beautiful music, a radiant vision of heaven.”

No music lover will want to miss this exciting performance.

Tickets to the November 5 concert at the Majestic Theatre are on sale now at Ticketmaster.

Tune in to Classical Spotlight on Texas Public Radio’s KPAC on Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. to hear John Clare interview Richard Stoltzman.  http://www.tpr.org/programs/classicalspotlight.html.

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