July 12: Bach to Beethoven
At 2:30 p.m., instead of gathering together in person, the first prerecorded Festival premieres on FACP’s YouTube channel (YouTube.com/FineArtsChamberPlayers).
Click below for the “Bach to Beethoven” program book.
At 2:30 p.m., instead of gathering together in person, the first prerecorded Festival premieres on FACP’s YouTube channel (YouTube.com/FineArtsChamberPlayers).
Click below for the “Bach to Beethoven” program book.
Fine Arts Chamber Players announces its flagship series, Basically Beethoven Festival, will not be staged live in July 2020. This year, FACP will record and share Festival performances for the Basically Beethoven Festival-in-Place. Musicians will be recorded in a concert setting and the footage will premiere on FACP’s YouTube channel at the scheduled concert times: July 12, July 19, and July 26 at 2:30 p.m.
“Because of public health concerns, the logistics to conduct public concerts this summer were daunting if not insurmountable for an organization of our size,” explained FACP Executive Director Emily Guthrie. “I will miss greeting our long-time supporters and new audience members in person. Typically, Festival concerts have an audience of over 500 people. That’s just not possible this summer.”
“A silver lining to moving online,” FACP Board President Anne Witherspoon added, “is that now our performances can be shared with family and friends outside of North Texas. And patrons will have the ability to watch the concerts at their convenience and visit the performances for repeated viewings. FACP is excited to share our vision with our audience, even if the circumstances have changed.”
“In a time where we are reeling from a pandemic, arts events have been cancelled out of necessity,” Basically Beethoven Festival Director Alex McDonald said. “And with the things that trouble us that go even deeper: from sickness to systemic racism, from lost jobs to chronic fear, this is a difficult time to have a festival. However, we at Fine Arts Chamber Players feel that music matters as much as ever. We hope that the first-ever Festival-in-Place does its part to restore and soothe us.”
He continued, “Festival programming centers around Beethoven’s composition Heiliger Dankgesang which loosely translates as ‘song of Thanksgiving…for recovery from a recent illness.’ Since 2020 is also the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, we wanted to organize our concerts according to styles that preceded Beethoven, a celebration of Beethoven himself, and an exploration of music after Beethoven.”
Each Festival concert begins with a Rising Star Recital highlighting exceptional student musicians from the area, and continues with a Feature Performance, showcasing professionals of the highest caliber. FACP never charges admission for its programs. Donations can be made online: www.fineartschamberplayers.org/donate
July 12: Bach to Beethoven
Rising Star Regina Lin, piano, performs works by Joseph Haydn, Beethoven’s teacher; and Franz Liszt, a composer who felt Beethoven paved the way for future musicians. For the Feature Performance, cellists Andrés Díaz (SMU Professor of Cello) and Joseph Kuipers with Karen Abrahamson-Thomas (Waco Symphony Principal Harp) move from the Baroque to Beethoven’s era through the works of Bach, Boccherini, Maria Theresia von Paradis, and Paganini.
July 19: Beethoven, Basically
For the Rising Star Recital, violinist Nikki Nagavi will be joined by pianist Kyle Orth for Beethoven’s sublime “Spring” sonata, op. 24. Then, featured artists Lucas Aleman (Dallas Symphony violin), Theodore Harvey (DSO Associate Principal Cello), and Festival Director Alex McDonald, piano, will present the “Archduke” trio, op. 97. The concert concludes with Aleman and Harvey joining Grace Kang Wollett (Dallas Opera violin) and Rachel Li McDonald, viola, to perform the sublime middle movement of quartet op. 132, Heiliger Dankgesang (“Holy Song of Thanksgiving for recovery from a recent illness”).
July 26: Beethoven and Beyond!
Rising Stars Bryan Han, cello, and Ashley Tauhert, piano, present the final two movements of Rachmaninoff’s cello sonata; then, Featured Performers take the stage to explore works after Beethoven by composers influenced by the artist.
FACP is introducing a new series to help brighten your week: Plus One at 1! Each Friday at 1:00, we will share duets from FACP performers on our social media channels. This week features flutist Ebonee Thomas, who performed on our October 2019 Hallam Family Concert: French Impressions. She is joined by FACP Artistic Director Emily Levin in an excerpt of Gabriel Fauré‘s Fantasie.
Look closely and you will see these two artists recorded their segments separately, while sheltering in place at their homes!
In keeping with the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines, our next Hallam Family Concert, Musica on March 28, has been cancelled. Our host, the Dallas Museum of Art, has cancelled all special events and activities through April 3.
We are disappointed to miss the opportunity to share with you the considerable talent of Elmer Churampi, DSO trumpet; Pepe Valdez, guitar; and Augusto Longas Garcia, percussion. However, we understand the DMA’s decision and care about the health and safety of our audience.
Click here for the CDC’s recommendations. The DMA’s statement can be found here. We will keep you informed about any future changes to our season. If you are on social media, please follow Fine Arts Chamber Players on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.
If you have attended a performance at the Dallas Symphony, you have heard Erin Hannigan: if not a solo line within a major work, then at the very least you have heard the clarion call of her oboe sailing above the din calling the players to tune. Join us for an afternoon of oboe-centric works by British composers on Saturday, February 29 at English Sentiment, a Hallam Family Concert.
What piece on the program are you most excited about? What should we listen for? I’m really excited to perform the Bliss Oboe Quintet for the first time! All of the pieces on the program are major staples of the oboe repertoire, but the Bliss seems to be performed less often than the Bax or the Britten. The Bliss is full of memorable tunes: everything from the most beautiful and lyrical theme to an Irish jig!
Is chamber music for oboe a big part of the repertoire? The oboe has been around historically since Bach’s time, the 1600s, so there is a LOT of music written for it. I always consider myself lucky to have repertoire that spans the ages, both orchestral and chamber!
How old were you when you started playing oboe? Why did you choose it? I started playing the oboe when I was 7 years old; just before third grade. I later found out that this its highly unusual to start on the oboe, and that playing it too soon disrupts brain development due to back pressure! I seem to have turned out ok, I think…When I was trying to decide which instrument to play my dad mentioned his love of the oboe, so I looked it up in the dictionary. It looked like a challenge, so I decided that was what I would do!
What’s it like having a professional music career in Dallas? Dallas is an amazing place to have a career in the Arts. I have felt embraced through my Symphony position, but I have also felt so much support behind my community outreach initiative. Dallas is such a creative and artistic city! Another angle to my professional life is that I’ve been able to maintain a high-powered oboe studio at SMU. Finding a place where one can have truly top-level performing AND teaching is rare. My work here keeps me exceptionally busy, but I’ve been afforded the ability to accept playing opportunities in other places, such as the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and others. It’s good to travel to other cities and engage with other orchestras and artists. It keeps me aware and in sync with the artistic world at large!
What type of music did you listen growing up? What do you listen to now? Growing up I listened only to classical, but now I have a far broader appreciation for all types of music. I can be found listening to everything from Bach to Christina Perri!
Who’s your favorite composer to listen to? To play? Johann Sebastian Bach is my all-around favorite to listen to and to play!
What advice would you give 14-year-old Erin? If I could rewind time, I would tell myself to worry less and enjoy the process more. That doesn’t mean to work less hard because I feel that’s a necessity, but to stop more often and enjoy the journey.
What advice would you give a high schooler who wants to pursue music in college? I tell my high school students who express an interest in majoring in music that they need to make sure that they truly love music and the art of playing the oboe. Pursuing music performance is challenging and extremely competitive and everyone, no matter who, will face challenges and disappointments. The love of it is what will carry them through.
What’s your favorite sound? Ocean waves Your least favorite sound? Nails on a chalkboard
When you leave this world and reach the pearly gates, what celestial concert do you hope to hear? Bach B Minor Mass
Dr. Laura Bennett Cameron – performer, teacher, authority on French composer Roger Boutry. Read on to learn more about the musician and her special connection with the pieces on Saturday’s program, WOOD MUSIC.
What piece on the program are you most excited about? What should we listen for? Oh! That’s a tough one. For me, I think I’m the most excited to play the Poulenc. It’s a standard chamber work for the bassoon, but this will be my first time to play it! I think the Glinka will also be interesting; it’s usually performed with violin or clarinet, so we’re breaking the mold a little using the oboe — but listening to the piece, it’s a natural and beautiful fit. I’m Paris right now, and just put the finishing touches on Rencontres with the sound engineer, and so I’ve got a renewed excitement for that piece, too. This concert will be the work’s Dallas premiere!
You recorded a CD of Roger Boutry’s music WITH Roger Boutry also performing. How did that come about? What was that experience like? Absolutely sublime. Boutry was a big name in French music for most of the 20th century, and we recorded in France. It was like a dream come true to work with a musician of his caliber, with his finesse and technical skill. It could have been terrifying to record a composer’s works with the composer, but he was kind, flexible, and appreciative. The week we recorded that CD will always be one of the high points in my life: making beautiful music, working with a living composer, and enjoying the food and culture of Paris with Parisians.
Is chamber music for bassoon a big part of the repertoire? It really is. I love playing chamber music for the same reasons many musicians do: the intimacy, sharing creative control over the artistic direction, and the blend of timbres. But being bassoonist who plays chamber music is especially great: the bassoon can play very high, very low, and everywhere in between. So that means we’re equally at home as the supportive bass line, a flexible inner voice, or as the soloist or melody. Chamber music really allows bassoonists to showcase what a unique instrument we play.
How old were you when you started playing bassoon? Why did you choose it? Did you learn other instruments? I actually started on the saxophone! My band director said, “Laura, we have too many saxes. We need more bassoons.” I said, “OK.” I remembered my mom, listening to WRR, saying, “Oh, do you hear that beautiful bassoon?” several times, so I thought it might make her happy. I started in eighth grade. Within just a few months, the bassoon became a part of my body. I was much better at the bassoon than I ever was at the saxophone; I simply fell in love with the instrument. When my sister, a college music major, came home for Christmas that year, I asked her how a person could make a living playing bassoon. She said, “Do you want to play or teach?” I said, “Both!” So she told me to get a doctorate and practice a lot. As a matter of fact, I met Emily Levin playing chamber music during my doctorate!
What type of music did you listen growing up? As I mentioned earlier, my mother had great taste in classical music, so I got to hear a lot of WRR. For an amateur singer, my mother had a surprising amount of baroque period instrument recordings, so I heard a lot of Bach and Mozart growing up. I didn’t realize until much later how fortunate I was to have those excellent recordings in my ear from a young age.
What do you listen to now? I’m ashamed to admit that I listen to a lot of pop. Like, Top 40, usually-not-that-creative pop. :-\ Heaven help the person who hears me in my car or the shower!
Who’s your favorite composer to listen to? To play? Such thought-provoking questions! To listen, perhaps Beethoven or Stravinsky. They’re very different but engage the listener with equally complex music. I think to play, it’s probably Mozart. His music requires technique, but even more finesse. It’s playful and sophisticated, and at times fraught with more emotion than most classical music. Mozart and really comes alive with the right interpretation, and I love creating that interpretation with others.
What advice would you give 14-year-old Laura? Listen to more –and better–bassoon recordings! There’s more repertoire out there than you think. Hang on every word your bassoon teacher says. And you should practice with a metronome more.
What advice would you give a high schooler who wants to pursue music in college? (1) Find someone who does what you want to do when you graduate. Ask them how they got there. (2) Know what you want to sound like, and truly listen to yourself when you practice. You’ll never make worthwhile changes to your playing because someone tells you to: you will only improve when you’re not satisfied with the distance between yourself and your goal.
What’s your favorite sound (musical or non-musical), and your least favorite sound (musical or non-musical)? My favorite sound is either my husband’s voice (sappy, I know), or the sound of my dog running to greet me at the door.
When you leave this world and reach the pearly gates, what celestial concert do you hope to hear? Hmm…I want to hear Brahms tell me he’s written a sonata for bassoon and piano, and I’m just in time to hear the heavenly premiere.
My time as a FACP scholarship student helped immensely in my journey to become a composer…Quinn Mason
Dallas-based composer Quinn Mason enjoyed the World Premiere of Inner City Rhapsody last night as part of the Meyerson Symphony Center’s 30th Anniversary Concert. Commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Association, the piece was performed by the excellent musicians of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. FACP leadership watched proudly as the accomplished 23-year-old composer stepped onto the Meyerson stage to acknowledge the rousing applause and standing ovation following the premiere. Scott Cantrell wrote in his Dallas Morning News review: “What’s impressive about Inner City Rhapsody is Mason’s command of complex orchestral textures…[he] is a most impressive talent, and I look forward to hearing more from him.” Quinn has been supported as a scholarship student through FACP’s free music education programs since he was in the fifth grade.
Rogene Russell, FACP Co-Founder, first met Quinn when she was performing during Career Day at Dallas ISD’s Onesimo Hernandez Elementary School. Focused on the performance, Quinn identified every piece performed. His school counselor, who often attended FACP’s free chamber music concerts and was aware of FACP’s music education initiative, asked if FACP could help Quinn learn to play the cello. FACP was pleased to help!
“My time as a FACP scholarship student helped immensely in my journey to become a composer,” Quinn said. “The years of free lessons have been invaluable to my development and my ambition to inspire the next generation. The support from FACP is something I will always cherish not only in my career but in my life as well.”
Immediately, Quinn demonstrated an incredible ability to identify – solely by hearing – pitches, intervals, melody, chords, and rhythms. Coupled with his thirst to learn about classical music, Quinn showed remarkable promise. FACP stepped forward to provide free cello lessons to the youngster, and eventually composition lessons and a computer with composition software for Quinn to develop his undeniable talent.
In 2017, Quinn was one of the first two FACP alumni to receive an award from the Rogene Russell Scholarship Fund. Started by long-time FACP and arts supporters Norma and Don Stone (pictured above), the Fund supports promising DISD musicians and honors the legacy of Rogene Russell as an artist and educator. The 2017 scholarship award is recapped HERE.
Thank you, Dallas Symphony, for your support of young talent. Keep your eye and ear on Quinn Mason – he has something to say with his music!
Funds raised through North Texas Giving Day help support FACP Music Education programs in DISD and an East Dallas charter school.
North Texas Giving Day: Thursday, September 19
Scheduled Giving starts Monday, September 9
Or give to FACP today!
DALLAS (August 28, 2019) – Fine Arts Chamber Players (FACP) unveils the 2019–2020 season of its free Hallam Family Concert Series at the Dallas Museum of Art: seven virtuosic programs featuring Dallas’s top professional musicians. Emily Levin, Principal Harp of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, serves as Artistic Director of the series. Ms. Levin was appointed in March 2019 after Rogene Russell, FACP’s Co-Founder and Artistic Director, had announced her retirement and an executive search was held.
“In my first season as Artistic Director of the series, I wanted to craft programs that highlight the incredible talent here in Dallas, and feature music that connects to the art, culture, and writing of its time,” Ms. Levin explains. “At each concert, the audience will be able to hear great music performed by great musicians and will also be invited to explore the broader world surrounding each piece.”
The season is varied in instrumentation and musical character. The Hallam Family Concert season, outlined below, features known and obscure works for the harp, oboe, bassoon, trumpet paired with guitar, and groupings of string musicians. FACP is honored to have several preeminent members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and other local ensembles featured throughout the series.
Hallam Family Concerts, 2019-2020 Season
October 5, 2019: FRENCH IMPRESSIONS
Hallam Concerts Artistic Director Emily Levin is joined by flutist Ebonee Thomas and violist Sarah Kienle in a program of stunningly colorful trios that pay homage to the French Impressionist era of Monet, Debussy, Renoir, and Ravel. The afternoon also includes music by Toru Takemitsu. Of note, the DMA recently re-opened its European art galleries with a reinstallation of treasurers, including masterworks of French Impressionism gifted to the museum by Margaret and Eugene McDermott. FACP’s program will reference the DMA’s collection.
November 2, 2019: WOOD MUSIC
In this concert featuring “wood” instruments, Poulenc’s trio, a quintessential piece for oboe, bassoon, and piano, is paired with two other works for these instruments by Francaix and living French composer Roger Boutry.
January 25, 2020: TALES OF THE MACABRE
The great American writer Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809. Come celebrate his 210th birthday with an afternoon of his most chilling short stories, dramatically told through music for harp and string quartet alongside Schubert’s eerie masterpiece “Death and the Maiden.” Emily Levin will perform with PLUS Quartet, a string ensemble whose members come from the DSO.
February 29, 2020: ENGLISH SENTIMENT
Experience the lush harmony and beautiful colors of three extraordinary British composers in a musical journey across the pond that showcases the Dallas Symphony’s Principal Oboist, Erin Hannigan, and members of the DSO strings.
March 28, 2020: MUSICA
Trumpet wunderkind Elmer Churampi is featured in an incredible afternoon of virtuosic and vibrant trumpet and guitar music from his native Peru. Mr. Churampi appears courtesy of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where he is a member of the trumpet section.
April 25, 2020: A TRAGIC GENIUS
Tchaikovsky’s epic masterpiece for violin, cello, and piano takes center stage this month, in a touching tribute to the teachers of Jolyon Pegis, DSO Associate Principal Cello; and DSO violinist Shu Lee, who performed this same work when they were college students.
May 9, 2020: STARS OF TOMORROW, the Charles Barr Memorial
The Charles Barr Memorial Concert showcases the best and brightest of Dallas young musicians. Don’t miss the next generation of musical virtuosi.
Overview – Fine Arts Chamber Players
FACP was founded in 1981 with the FREE Basically Beethoven Festival, which quickly became Dallas’ premier summer chamber music festival. In 1984, FACP began the Bancroft Family Concert series performing in the Horchow Auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art. Starting with the 2019-2020 season, that series has been renamed the Hallam Family Concert series under its new sponsorship. FACP also maintains educational programs via musical residencies in select Dallas schools, masterclasses, and a troupe who creates original educational material for school performances. To date, FACP has served more than 250,000 children with education programs and performed quality classical music for over half a million North Texas citizens – all completely free of charge.
Fine Arts Chamber Players (FACP) proudly announces Texas Capital Bank is the Title Sponsor of the final concert of FACP’s 39th annual Basically Beethoven Festival. The program, titled “Paris Connections,” features chamber music for flute and strings, with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and French composers François Devienne, Maurice Ravel, and Claude Debussy. The performance is Sunday, July 28, at 2:30 p.m. in Moody Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District.
“Texas Capital Bank is such a fine community partner and business leader,” says FACP Executive Director Emily Guthrie. “We admire their outreach to underserved communities and feel a kinship between that and our work to break down barriers that prevent North Texans from experiencing and enjoying classical music. Texas Capital Bank’s sponsorship again this year has allowed us to improve the Festival for our audience and our musicians. We love producing concerts that are free for all to attend, and we are thankful for Texas Capital Bank’s vision in helping us do just that.”
Every Festival program starts with a Rising Star Recital at 2:30 p.m. followed by a Feature Performance at 3 p.m. Rising Star Recitals present local, gifted young musicians; Feature Performances showcase professional musicians from the area. The July 28 Rising Star Recital features two student musicians: Anais Feller, violin, and Ella Tran, piano performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 8, op. 30 no. 3.
The Feature Performance musicians, Margaret Fischer, flute; Lucas Aleman, violin; Lauren Menard, viola; and Una Gong, cello; come together for performances of music related to the artistic hub and inspirational oasis of Paris:
The Basically Beethoven Festival is made possible in part by Texas Capital Bank, The John Baptiste “Tad” Adoue III Fund of the Dallas Foundation, Moody Fund for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, TACA, Ben E. Keith, VisitDallas, and DART. Since 1981, FACP has presented free classical music programs open to the public. In addition to the Basically Beethoven Festival, FACP presents free, monthly Hallam Family Concerts October through May at the Dallas Museum of Art. Since its inception, FACP has served over 250,000 children and performed for over a half-million residents of North Texas.
About Texas Capital Bank Texas Capital Bank, N.A. is a commercial bank that delivers highly personalized financial services to businesses and entrepreneurs. We are headquartered in Texas working with clients throughout the state and across the country. Texas Capital Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ®: TCBI) and is recognized as a Forbes Best Banks in America and the Dallas Morning News’ Top 100 Places To Work company. For more information, visit www.texascapitalbank.com. Member FDIC.
The 39th annual Basically Beethoven Festival concludes this Sunday, July 28, with an afternoon of music for flute and strings. Local artist Margaret Fischer is a featured performer and she’s participated in this interview for our audience to get an insider’s look at the concert.
When did you start playing the flute? Why did you choose the instrument? Did you learn other instruments? I started playing the flute when I was 10 in my elementary school’s 5th grade music elective class. The woman who ran the program became my private flute instructor from 6th grade until I started college. Unlike here in Texas, where the kids get to try out instruments under the watchful eye of pros to determine what they’re suited for (I think of it as the “instrument petting zoo”), I was just told to pick one of a bunch of instruments on a table. The flute was the shiniest, so that’s what I chose! Luckily for me, I took to it well. Piano was my first instrument but I only took lessons for less than a year – it was evident that I was never going to be a pianist! I haven’t had any formal training on other instruments but I can play basic guitar chords.
When did you decide to become a professional musician? I think I was around 15 years old when I decided that I wanted to pursue music as a career. There was no one magic moment or lightning bolt where everything changed – I just woke up one day and realized that I couldn’t imagine spending my life doing anything else.
Does being a classical musician influence what music you listen to for fun? Because I’m exposed to so much music for work reasons, sometimes I fall in love with pieces that I never would have encountered any other way, and I will crave listening to it even when the performance is long over. I listen to lots of non-classical music as well, and I don’t think it’s weird to have a diverse playlist. It’s like having a wide variety of food in your diet – music is food for the ears!
There’s no “standard” ensemble on today’s program, such as a woodwind quintet or string quartet. How did you decide what to include on your program? Did you decide on ensembles first, or build an ensemble around the pieces you chose? Alex McDonald had asked me if I had any “wishlist” pieces that I wanted to play, and the one that immediately came to mind was the Mozart flute quartet in D Major. I played many woodwind quintets while in school, but it’s a rare opportunity for me to get to collaborate with strings, so I jumped at the chance. The Debussy was another wishlist piece for me (in its flute/piano incarnation), so it was very exciting to discover this arrangement for the exact instrumentation that we already had for the Mozart! To balance out the program, we thought it would be nice to feature the ensemble in duos.
What piece or recording should everyone have in their music library? Ah, this is such a hard question! There’s one specific CD I’m rather attached to – it’s a 1983 recording of Leonard Bernstein conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Barber’s Adagio for Strings. The climax of that piece has an unbelievably vocal quality to it, it astounded me when I first heard it! The recording is on Spotify, but it’s better experienced from the CD.
What piece on the program are you most looking forward to sharing with our audience, and why? I’m excited for the entire program! But, I think the Mozart will be a particular treat. I hope the audience has as much fun listening to it as we are having playing it!
What advice would you give 14-year-old you? Slow down and practice your fundamentals more!! It’s not about how fast you can play today, it’s about how well you can play years from now. You’re in this for the long haul, so take the time to do things right.
Bonus question: flutist or flautist? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet! I don’t have a preference, but “flutist” seems to be more commonly used in America while “flautist” seems more commonly used overseas.