Most classical music organizations are on summer hiatus now, which means concert offerings in Dallas this month are slimmer than usual. That being said, there are a handful of concerts coming up over the next few weeks that feature an interesting break from the norm and a chance to explore music off the beaten path of the downtown arts district. Here's your rundown:
June 2: Legendary Pianist André Watts In Recital Maybe you first encountered him on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood or maybe you've caught one of his many performances with the Dallas Symphony over the years, but wherever you first saw André Watts play the piano, it was likely a memorable experience. This veteran pianist has been performing professionally since he was just 16 and he looks as comfortable sitting at the keyboard as you do on your couch in front of the TV. On Monday night, presented as part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center's recital series, Watts will play a smattering of keyboard works that span the classical canon. The first half of his concert takes us from Scarlatti to Beethoven. After intermission, you'll get to hear the mesmerizing sounds of Debussy's Estampes and romantic staples by Chopin and Liszt. For tickets and more information, visit the AT&T Performing Arts Center's website.
June 4, 5, 10 and 11: The Dallas Symphony Orchestra Comes to a Park Near You Every summer the Dallas Symphony Orchestra puts on a series of relaxed, family friendly concerts in parks across the city. This week and next they'll be visiting Campbell Green, Klyde Warren and Kidd Springs parks as well as the campus of Paul Quinn College. At Klyde Warren Park on Thursday, June 5th, DSO principal pops conductor Jeff Tyzik will lead the orchestra in a ragtime-themed program. Bring the kids. Bring the dog. Let the sounds of live classical music accompany your picnic. This is a great way to spend a warm summer night in Texas. For more information, visit the orchestra's website.
June 7: Composer Simon Sargon Previews His New Opera You may recognize Simon Sargon's name. The composer has spent much of his career in Dallas both as the director of music at Temple Emanu-El and as a professor of music at Southern Methodist University. Sargon's Old Testament-inspired new opera, Saul has been in the making for some two decades. On June 7, audiences will get a chance to preview excerpts from the work, with title roles sung by an impressive cast (baritone Donnie Ray Albert as Saul, tenor Clifton Forbis as David and bass-baritone Stephen Morscheck as Samuel). The performance takes places at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center. More info here.
June 9-14: The Lev Aronson Legacy Festival Celebrates All Things CelloIs there a more beautiful instrument than the cello? Rich and warm and capable of a huge range of sounds, the cello is the focus of the Lev Aronson Legacy Festival at Southern Methodist University. Founded by Brian Thornton, the festival celebrates the life and teachings of former Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Lev Aronson, a Holocaust survivor and remarkable musician and teacher who left a musical mark on our city and his students. Throughout the week, cellists from around the country including Norman Fischer and Andres Diaz will present masterclasses and recitals. The festival's website has all the details.
June 14: The Dallas Symphony Orchestra Teen Council Presents A Midsummer's Night Dream This summer concert has been curated by a group of talented students. In addition to a performance by the DSO of Mendelssohn's fanciful A Midsummer's Night Dream, Christine Wu, the winner of this year's Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition will perform a movement of Sibelius' Violin Concerto. There's an after-party, too. Check the DSO's website for tickets and info.