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History to be made when Austin Symphony adds Beethoven festival, midday concerts to next season

Michael Barnes – Austin American-Statesman “Austin360”

April 26, 2019

We’ve been waiting for Austin Symphony to step outside its programming footprint since we moved to town in 1984. For the first time, the ensemble has added a summer Beethoven festival as well as much-needed midday concerts to its next season.

Additionally, Music Director Peter Bay will team up again with Craig Hella Johnson and the Conspirare Symphonic Choir to perform Beethoven’s majestic Ninth Symphony.

We love matinees. Less traffic. Earlier bedtimes. Lighter social obligations. When a major Austin arts group offers a matinee option, we often take it.

The Austin Symphony joins the matinee club — tentatively — with two 2 p.m. concerts in the spring that will present hour-long versions of their evening Masterworks shows.

Also, most significant American orchestras put on some sort of summer fare, sometimes in a cool, sylvan setting. Well, Texas doesn’t really offer that kind of ideal outdoor opportunity, although many a brave soul will take to hillside stages for cultural treats in the hot months.

Instead, the Austin Symphony will celebrate Beethoven’s 250 birthday comfortably indoors at Dell Hall with a two-day-long festival in June that will include performances of all five Beethoven piano concertos by Austin concert keyboard star Anton Nel.

I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

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