Author Archives: Andrew Sigler

Sounds Heard: George Heathco and Misha Penton—Ravens and Radishes

Ravens and Radishes cover WEB

The product of a collaboration between composer/guitarist George Heathco and soprano/lyricist Misha Penton, Ravens and Radishes is a song cycle for guitar, cello, and voice that takes inspiration from classic fairy tales and, unlike the recent film Maleficent, recasts them in a new and interesting light instead of, say, ruining them.

Sounds Heard: Akropolis Reed Quintet—Unraveled

Akropolis Reed Quintet - Unraveled

Unraveled features works written for the group through their ongoing commissioning project. The album is filled from stem to stern with tight writing by young composers, and the spectacular playing engages both intellect and emotion throughout.

Houston: River Oaks Chamber Orchestra

River Oaks Chamber Orchestra

Based in Houston and drawing on some of the finest players in town and from around the nation, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra is gearing up for their tenth season. Founder Alecia Lawyer talks with Andrew Sigler about how this perception-challenging ensemble got started and where it’s headed.

Austin: Mozart Requiem–Undead

Requiem WEB

Mozart Requiem: Undead is the brainchild of Graham Reynolds, Peter Stopchinski, and Brent Baldwin. The trio commissioned Glenn Kotche, Caroline Shaw, DJ Spooky, Adrian Quesada, Kate Moore, Todd Reynolds, Petra Hayden, and Justin Sherburn to “finish” the Requiem based on a computer analysis of the original manuscript.

Austin: Fast Fo(u)rward

Tatsuya Nakatani

Fast Forward Austin is run by three Austin ex-pats who know what the town is all about and who keep that in mind when putting this annual circus together.

Austin: Conspirare’s Moving Light

Craig Hella Johnson

Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett have been honored as the Official Texas State Musician of the Year in the past, but last year’s honoree was Conspirare founder and artistic director Craig Hella Johnson. There’s a very good reason for that.

Brooklyn in Austin’s House

Brooklyn Rider

Providing great performances and cultural snapshots of Austin then and now, Copland and Mexico and Brooklyn Rider gave us an inside look into where we’ve been and where we’re going.

SXNY – The Big Apple heads to Austin

Emily Manzo and Jace Clayton

Two Big Apple bookends operating outside of the SXSW machine served to salvage an otherwise lost Spring Break. Jace Clayton was joined by narrator/singer Arooj Aftab and pianists David Friend and Emily Manzo to perform The Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner, while Brooklyn Rider played the first of two shows of their ten-day residency with Texas Performing Arts.

Inspired Collaboration: No Idea Festival 2014

Tucker threads the needle - photo by Gudinni Cortina

The No Idea Festival started its second decade of improvisation with six shows over a four-day period in Austin and San Antonio. Founder Chris Cogburn assembled another amazing collection of performers this year, drawn from across the country as well as Mexico.