Musicians of city's dissolved symphony reform as San Antonio Philharmonic, launch new season

The nonprofit orchestra will present 10 classical and three pops concerts, starting its season on Sept. 16.

click to enlarge Sebastian Lang-Lessing conducts the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony (MOSAS) at First Baptist Church. - Courtesy Photo / MOSAS Performance Fund
Courtesy Photo / MOSAS Performance Fund
Sebastian Lang-Lessing conducts the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony (MOSAS) at First Baptist Church.
After the San Antonio Symphony's stalled labor talks ended in June with the orchestra's dissolution, its musicians are kicking off a 13-concert season, which they'll perform as the San Antonio Philharmonic.

The nonprofit orchestra will present 10 classical and three pops concerts, starting its season Sept. 16 and continuing through May. The performances will take place at the First Baptist Church of San Antonio, where the musicians staged several concerts during their months-long labor dispute with the organization's board.

The Symphony Society of San Antonio disbanded the 83-year-old orchestra in June, saying it saw no way to resolve a nine-month strike by the musicians. The players staged a walkout in September 2021, saying the board's plans to slash pay, benefits and the size of the orchestra to cut costs would kill the financially strapped symphony.

Concerts staged as part of the reborn orchestra's season will feature guest conductors such as Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Ken-David Masur and Christopher Wilkins — all of whom have ties to the San Antonio Symphony.

The performances also will include guest artists such as pianists Jon Kimura Parker and William Wolfram as well as soprano Vanessa Becerra. The philharmonic is also scheduled to perform two concerts with the San Antonio Mastersingers choral ensemble.

The philharmonic's first performance, conducted by Masur — a former resident conductor of the San Antonio Symphony — will include works by Brahms, Prokofiev, Ravel and Wickman.

In addition to the 13 concerts, the San Antonio Philharmonic will continue the symphony's educational legacy by staging 36 young people's performances at nine local high schools.

The philharmonic will hold two receptions this week, allowing patrons to mingle with the musicians and purchase tickets. Those will run 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 and 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Maverick Carter House, 110 Taylor St.

Tickets for the concert season and individual performances are also available at the orchestra's new website.

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