UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.
Classical music helps me set aside my day-to-day concerns and to think big thoughts. I want my kids to experience that feeling, too, and that’s why we are looking forward to DISCOVER Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto with the San Antonio Symphony at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at the Tobin Center.
Tchaikovsky‘s Piano Concerto No. 1 is the final program in the 2014-15 DISCOVER series. The Symphony gave me four tickets for my family and another four tickets for me to give away to my readers. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post no later than Thursday, May 28. I will randomly choose one winner and send an email notice on Friday, May 29.
For a great date night experience, I recommend that you and your significant other get tickets for one of the Classics Series concerts, on Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30 at 8 p.m. at the Tobin Center. Pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk will join the Symphony for the concerto, and the Symphony will also present Detlev Glanert‘s American Prelude No. 3 and Dmitri Shostakovich‘s Symphony No. 10.
However, for families, I recommend the Symphony’s DISCOVER concert on Sunday afternoon. There is only one featured piece of music on the program, so it’s not overwhelming; also, my kids and I are morning people, so our minds are sharper during the daytime. And, most importantly, the DISCOVER concerts have an extra educational component: Music Director and Conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing starts with a presentation about the featured piece of music, including musical excerpts played live by the orchestra. Most recently, my kids and I have attended DISCOVER Till Eulenspiegel, DISCOVER Schubert Symphony No. 9 “The Great”, and DISCOVER “New World” Symphony; here is F.T.’s review of the latter.
When you go to a DISCOVER concert, one of the first things you notice when entering the H-E-B Performance Hall is the large video screen above the orchestra.
The screen comes into play during Maestro Lang-Lessing’s introduction, which includes photos and video clips. During the performance of the complete work, cameras zoom in on the conductor, the soloist, and the orchestra.
One of the unique things about the Tobin Center is its adjustable floor. For DISCOVER concerts, the floor is made flat, and orchestra-level seats are grouped around small tables, cabaret-style.
I am looking forward to hearing Maestro Lang-Lessing’s perspective on Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Like Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 “The Great”, Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto is abstract music. The melodies are abundant, and the moods are always changing.
The recording we have been listening to features Van Cliburn, a Texan who made history by winning the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958, during a tense period of the Cold War. Cliburn walks a tightrope between technique and recklessness, and the result is enchanting.
How do parents and families make time for this kind of beauty in our daily lives? It’s an ongoing challenge. We tend to lose sight of the big goals when we get stuck on everyday worries. Earlier this spring, I wrote about how my family and I are planning our summer to make time for some big things—like traveling out of state to see family—and still have opportunities for spontaneous fun. “Rocks, Gravel, Sand, and Water: How to Pack More Fun into Summer”, Inga Cotton, Alamo City Moms Blog, April 20, 2015.
Sometimes I go through a phase of feeling overwhelmed, and I forget to make time for the things that restore me, like classical music. For a short period of time, I might not notice the absence. But I wonder that if the drought went on for too long, if my horizons would narrow. Listening to beautiful music is not just a momentary pleasure; it’s an uplifting experience with lasting effects on our well-being. Beautiful music reminds us to think beyond ourselves and to set our goals higher in everything we do in life.
The Symphony’s 2014-15 season will close on June 5-6 with Scheherezade and Peer Gynt. I am already looking forward to the 2015-16 season, especially the winter festival, Las Américas, featuring music from North and South America.
To enter the giveaway of four tickets to DISCOVER Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto on Sunday, May 31, leave a comment on this blog post no later than May 28. I will randomly choose a winner and send notice on May 29. Good luck!
Disclosure: The San Antonio Symphony gave me four free tickets to give away, and another four tickets for my family and me to use.