Houston’s beloved classical music festival features emerging stars


One of Houston’s most beloved music events wraps up this weekend, giving classical music fans a chance to enjoy some booming, top-notch talent.

The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festivalwhich runs through June 26 at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music on the school’s central campus, features performances from its Texas Music Festival Orchestral Institute as well as a showcase of piano, organ, harpsichord and fortepiano in its High School Keyboard Academy 2022 event.

Another strong point is re(discovery) week (until June 25), which celebrates the works of prominent black composers – Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and William Dawson – through performances, discussions and appreciations. Fans can expect a panel discussion, a pre-concert talk, and a concert on June 25. Paired with music and film, this panel will explore “The Fate of Black Classical Music.” Featured appearances include Joseph Horowitz, guest musicologist and author of Dvorak’s Prophecy and the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music; Anne Lundy, founder of the Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra; and Lucius R. Wyatt, retired professor from Prairie View A&M University.

Concertgoers can then expect William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony (1934), which has not been performed in Houston for more than 30 years, conducted by renowned artistic partner Mei-Ann Chen.

Tickets range from $15 to $30 and can be found on line or by calling 713-743-3388.

Founded in 1990, the month-long festival highlights 80 college, graduate and young professional players between the ages of 18 and 30. All selected TMF Orchestra Scholars receive scholarships covering tuition and weekly classes valued at approximately $3,500.

These fellows study with faculty from the Moores and Shepherd Schools of Music, the Houston Symphony, the Houston Grand Opera and Ballet Orchestras, and other distinguished orchestras and music schools and conservatories.

Participants also take masterclasses with renowned musicians as well as directors and members of the Houston Symphony and other major orchestras, per press.

Immanuel and Helen Olshan started the festival in hopes of showcasing Houston’s considerable classical and jazz talent, exposing these young stars to the city’s most discerning ears. The result is a tradition now 32 years old and an enduring tribute to two passionate about the arts.


The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival; Moores School of Music, 3333 Cullen Boulevard, Room 120; until Sunday, June 26. For tickets and more information, visit festival website.


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