Top 4 Classical Music Forces (and Visual-Art Event) of 2004
By Robi Polgar, Fri., Jan. 7, 2005
Honestly, when it comes to classical music in Austin, rare is the occasion that does not live up to expectations. That said, of dozens of events attended in 2004 theatre, classical music, and even the occasional visual art exhibit the excellence of the local classical music scene stands out. 1) Jenifer Thyssen (Le Muse Giocose) continues to offer glimpses of what the good life must have been like in Medieval and Renaissance times if you were lucky enough to have such an engaging chanteuse in your midst.
2) Conspirare, the stand-out vocal group, continues to achieve crystal clarity in song; its Midsummer Night's Renaissance concert was yet another example of the group's amazing sound.
3) Peter Bay (Austin Symphony) showed up all over the place this year: conducting for the ballet, the Lyric Opera, and numerous chamber groups as well as the symphony. The maestro seems to have a limitless musical vocabulary, offering Austin audiences stirring, accessible music of the highest quality.
4) Caitlin Tully, teenage violinist extraordinaire, is another local performer, one making her mark on symphony stages across the country. A rare Austin appearance saw her with the ASO for a Sibelius concerto, upping the degree of difficulty from her Lalo symphony of two years ago. Amazing.
Okay, a nonclassical music event that lingers in the memory: Jan Heaton's show at Wally Workman Gallery. Exquisite watercolors by a wonderful artist.