San Antonio Symphony cuts ties with Music Director Emeritus Sebastian Lang-Lessing

Lang-Lessing's plan to conduct performances by the striking symphony musicians appears to have prompted the board's move.

click to enlarge Sebastian Lang-Lessing is slated to conduct two concerts performed by MOSAS at First Baptist Church in May. - COURTESY OF MOSAS
Courtesy of MOSAS
Sebastian Lang-Lessing is slated to conduct two concerts performed by MOSAS at First Baptist Church in May.
The San Antonio Symphony, still locked in a months-long strike, has ended its relationship with Music Director Emeritus Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Texas Public Radio reports.

According to TPR, the symphony board alleged Friday in a public statement that Lang-Lessing violated stipulations in his contract, including the following: “Artists shall neither make nor announce any appearances in San Antonio, Texas within 60 days prior to or following the performance dates of the concerts.”

At issue is Lang-Lessing's plan to conduct two performances by the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony (MOSAS) at First Baptist Church in May, the radio station reports.

The striking Symphony musicians began performing at the venue in March, and recently announced a slate of performances to run from April through June. The concerts are presented by the MOSAS Performance Fund and are unaffiliated with symphony management.

In a statement supplied to TPR, Symphony Executive Director Corey Cowart said the announcement of the concerts prompted the board's vote to cut ties with Lang-Lessing.

Lang-Lessing served as the Symphony's music director from 2010 to 2020, after which he assumed the emeritus position. He returned each season to conduct a pair of concerts. The symphony's statement Friday appears to terminate that relationship.

TPR requested further comment from Cowart, who sent back the original statement in response, as well as from Lang-Lessing, who said he would speak on the matter in the coming days.

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