The Ten Best and Worst Moments from Dallas Classical Music in 2012


6. Highlight: The Dallas Opera Looks Ahead
In May, The Dallas Opera announced an exciting commission. Sexy British composer Joby Talbot, who dons skinny ties and sports black-rimmed glasses and a beard (with just enough gray), will try his hand at opera for the first time with Everest, a one-act work detailing the harrowing experiences of a group of climbers during a 1996 high-altitude disaster. The opera will premier in February of 2015.

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7. Lowlight: Marvin Hamlisch, the DSO's Principle Pops Conductor, Dies.
If awards reflect talent, Hamlisch had both in droves. A multiple Grammy, Oscar, Emmy and Tony winner as well as Pulitzer Prize recipient, Hamlisch is most often remembered for his movie scores ("The Way We Were", "Ordinary People" and "Sophie's Choice" to name a few). The DSO's website remembered him as "a consummate musician and composer who in many ways revolutionized theater music, film scoring and popular song."

8. Highlight: Dallas Gets a Chamber Symphony
A big gap in Dallas' classical music scene was filled in 2012 when the Dallas Chamber Symphony kicked off its inaugural season this fall. While still working out some freshman kinks, there is a lot of reason to hope that the DCS, lead by artistic director Richard McKay, will bring variety and innovation to Dallas' symphonic offerings.

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City Performance Hall
9. Highlight: Dallas City Performance Hall Opens
2012 brought the completion of a much-needed venue to Dallas' increasingly attractive arts district. Located at the corner of Routh and Flora, this 750-seat auditorium is comfortable, accessible, and the perfect space for a new chamber symphony. With better-than-average acoustics, the space is ideal for dance, chamber music and solo recitals.

10. Highlight: Grammy Nod
Earlier this month, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced that Steven Stucky's concert drama, August 4, 1964 has been nominated for a Grammy. The piece, which was nominated in the "Best Contemporary Classical Composition" category, was a Dallas Symphony Orchestra commission that was recorded by the DSO live in May of 2011. So what does all that mean? It means our city's orchestra paid a guy to write a piece of music and the Grammy nominating committee digs the music.

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1 comments
ToscasKiss
ToscasKiss

Found this rather late, but I've got to point out a big error in this: Item #4--Dallas Opera presented THE MAGIC FLUTE, not MARRIAGE OF FIGARO last spring, with the stadium broadcast.  My God, woman--Do you realize you just called THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO one of opera's "cheesiest standards"?!  What the hell kind of classical music critic are you? <---I'm kidding, btw, just thought I should try to fit in with the overwhelming tone of  Observer commenters.  Although a mention of performances that "make even old music sound fresh and inspiring" is none too inspiring itself, from a classical music writer.  And I'm not kidding about FIGARO, one of the greatest of operas (especially as produced by the Dallas Opera a few seasons ago at Fair Park--glorious!).  I also found both LA TRAVIATA and TRISTAN & ISOLDE to be definite highlights of the classical scene of 2012.  But then again, I didn't get out to much classical programming, so what do I know?  And, no, I'm not particularly a Dallas Opera cheerleader, I just found those productions to be excellently done.  

 Now, even though it's late, someone correct that item #4.  And the DO should also run a correction in a hard copy issue--right, like they give two farts about classical music, or care enough to do that.  It was actually a shock to see a piece on classical music at all, even one as brief and lightweight as this one.  That last is not a complaint or knock; it's nice to have pieces like this, and I don't look to the Dallas Observer for profound, detailed, lengthy articles on classical music (well, I wouldn't mind if they were to suddenly begin providing such, but I don't expect it).  It's like they saved up all year, and gave us this one little present, and I guess we should be grateful.  So, thank you, DO.

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