Classical Attitude Spring fling

News and notes from San Antonio's other music scene

Spring is in the air, the classical music season is winding down, musicians are gearing up for summer festivals and tours, and next season's programs are being set. Most ensembles and orchestras follow a September to May season, so there are still a few excellent performances to catch before the season is out.

The San Antonio Symphony will perform Holst's popular orchestral suite The Planets April 8-10. The music has been set to a film of images from NASA's unmanned spacecrafts and the Hubble Space Telescope, which will be projected over the stage. Resident Conductor David In-Jae Cho will conduct, with narration by astronaut John Blaha. Call 554-1010 for ticket information.

On April 9 at 7:30 p.m., Austin-based Conspirare will perform at Trinity University's Parker Chapel. One of only a few professional choruses in the country, Conspirare is a 30-voice choir under the artistic direction of nationally recognized conductor Craig Hella Johnson. They'll perform two major works, including the world premiere of Austin composer Donald Grantham's latest piece based on a text by Pablo Neruda. The other is the Stabat Mater by Frank Ferko. Ferko intersperses modern verses (solo voice) between the stanzas of the traditional liturgical text (choral), which have been described as "mini motets" in a variety of styles. The setting extends the traditional references to the lamentation of Mary at the crucifixion to the loss of any child, whether through accident, disease, or war. Based on the scale of this a cappella work and the impeccable reputations of everyone involved, this should be a powerful performance. For venue info call Trinity at 999-8406. For more info on Conspirare, call 512-476-5775 or visit

On April 10 at 3:15 p.m., the San Antonio Chamber Music Society hosts its final season performance featuring the Ying and St. Lawrence quartets at Temple Beth-El. Call 408-1558 for tickets. There will be a free performance at San Fernando Cathedral organized by Musical Bridges Around the World on Sunday, April 17, featuring sacred music from several composers. Call 698-8707 or see for details.

With spring break out of the way, now is also the time to check academic schedules for ensemble and senior recitals at the local universities and colleges. Trinity, UTSA, Our Lady of the Lake, and the some of the ACCD campuses all have fairly active music departments with frequent, often impressive, performances by students, faculty, and guest artists, with occasional master classes open to the public. Also, keep an eye out for performances at RADIUS, a new performing arts center and home to the Alamo City Men's Chorale, Children's Chorus, Dance Umbrella, Youth Orchestra, and the Bexar County Arts & Cultural Fund. The grand opening is 7 p.m., April 2, at 106 Auditorium Circle.

Compiled by Diana Lyn Roberts

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