This summer UIW played host to the 2nd Annual Mozart Festival Texas (MFT) in Our Lady’s Chapel. Between July 20 and Aug. 4 six performances – three chamber music and three orchestral concerts – were presented to large and enthusiastic audiences. Featured soloists included UIW music faculty members, local artists and internationally recognized stars. For many performers, as well as audience members, the MFT concerts marked their first visit to the UIW campus.
The Festival, initially presented in the summer of 2011, is the brain-child of Terence Frazor, a member of the UIW music faculty who also serves as the event’s artistic director and conductor.
“The Mozart Festival was organized with two main purposes in mind: first and most importantly, to present to our community a large body of the classical music repertoire which historically has been underperformed in our area,” said Frazor. “Secondly, to give local professional artists the opportunity to perform the repertoire which is near-and-dear to the heart of every classically-trained musician.”
“Of course there are many wonderful musicians in the San Antonio Symphony; but we also have in our city many superbly trained non-Symphony musicians – including quite a few teachers in the public schools and universities throughout the area – who are dedicated performers,” said Frazor.
Featured soloists in the 2012 Festival included a host of UIW’s distinguished music professors, including pianists Meredith Ridgway and Zachary Ridgway, violinists Daniel Kobialka and Richard Kilmer, violist Gerald Schoelzel, and percussionist John Godoy. Festival audiences also heard two renowned violinists from the San Antonio Symphony, Stephanie Westney and Matthew Zerweck; oboist Ian Davidson (Austin Symphony); and nationally-recognized pianist Rick Rowley.
The opening concert was given on Friday, July 20 by the Artisan Quartet, a Texas based string group which is rapidly gaining fame throughout the U.S. The Festival closed on Aug. 4 with an orchestral concert featuring two soloists. Castroville native, soprano Michelle Lange sang arias from two of Mozart’s most famous operas, The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi fan tutte. Also included in the closing performance was the internationally recognized pianist Naoko Takao, who performed Mozart’s rarely heard Piano Concerto No. 25 in C, K.503. Takao received the Gold Medal in the 2000 San Antonio International Piano Competition.
The organizing committee of the Mozart Festival Texas is currently planning the 2013 Festival, to be held in June, 2013. If you would like to have your name placed on the MFT mailing list, please contact the UIW Department of Music at 210-829-3855.