A big gift for Austin Lyric Opera, national honors for two of Austin's young classical musicians, and TexARTS sails up a Big River in January
Thales Smith won the 2006 Guitar Foundation of America Youth Competition held Oct. 13-15 in Columbus, Ga. The 15-year-old Austinite, who took home a $1,000 prize, has been playing classical guitar since age 7, studying primarily with Matthew Hinsley, executive director of the Austin Classical Guitar Society. Smith was also a winner in this year's Austin Young Artists Concert.
Stephanie Chen has been named one of 16 Davidson Fellows with the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. The 17-year-old, who was also named a Young Master by the Texas Commission on the Arts and won the 14th Annual International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in 2006, will receive a $25,000 scholarship for her achievement in music.
TexARTS will mount Big River, the William Hauptman-Roger Miller adaptation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, as the follow-up to its blockbuster concert staging of The Music Man. Danny Herman will direct, and providing choreography will be recent B. Iden Payne Award-winner Robin Lewis and Rocker Verastique. The production will run Jan. 5, 8pm, and Jan. 6, 2 and 7:30pm, at the Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress. Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit www.tex-arts.org.