Overtures: Cliburn competition concludes next weekend in Fort Worth


Overtures is our monthly look at what’s going on in the classical music scene: 

The 14th International Cliburn Piano Competition winds up next week, and already you can have caught the next generation of concert stars as they vie for the big prizes: lots of cash and three years of concert management.

The semifinal rounds conclude Tuesday night (including a performance by hopeful Vadym Kholodenki, pictured), as the concerts alternate solo recitals with chamber music performances. The chamber music features the Brentano String Quartet, arguably one of the best in the world. The final rounds are concerti with orchestra. They are Friday and Saturday, June 7–8 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 9, at 3 p.m. The awards ceremony is a separate ticket at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

• Still need a piano fix? Piano Texas holds court at PepsiCo Auditorium on the Fort Worth Campus of TCU. Faculty recitals are June 10—15. Check the website for specific concerts and times.

• Looking forward, check out the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, also at TCU. This outstanding group brings in the best players from around the world and presents excellent concert. The concerts are July 2—7. Check out their site for details.

• And if you don’t mind leaving Texas for your classical experience, the Santa Fe Opera opens on June 28 and runs through August. Lots of folks from North Texas head west every summer. Of greatest interest is Susan Graham staring in the frothy comedy The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein by Offenbach. The new music director of the Dallas Opera, Emmanuel Villaume, conducts. Rossini’s La Donna del Lago is rarely heard, and La Traviata always makes an appearance. But the big buzz (with gay appeal) is for Oscar, composer Theodore Morrison’s opera based on the life of Irish bon vivant Oscar Wilde. It stares the hunky countertenor David Daniels. Another local favorite conductor, Evan Rogister (quite a hunk himself), conducts.


—  Arnold Wayne Jones

KERA adds some distinct gay flair in September with specials on Clay Aiken, Ani DiFranco

We mentioned that KERA will be airing the documentary A Surprise in Texas about the Van Cliburn piano competition named for Fort Worth’s own acclaimed gay pianist this Wednesday. But the channel brings a little more gay to their September programming. They listed the following two specials as part of their September music programs.

Clay Aiken: Tried and True Wednesday, September 15 at 8:00 p.m.

American Idol star Clay Aiken hosts and performs with Linda Eder and Ruben Studdard in this PBS special from his hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. Tune in for tickets to Aiken’s March 1, 2011 concert at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie.

Live from the Artists Den – Ani DiFranco Thursday, September 23 at 10:00 p.m.

Songstress Ani DiFranco performs fan favorites and new songs from her recording Red Letter Year from the stage of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

Even if it was unintentional, bravo to KERA for some diverse programming (you should see the other stuff). Yeah, Clay Aiken is a punchline at times but he’s always carried himself as a class act. I can appreciate that. Plus, I like the scoop on his show at Verizon next year. DiFranco has been a bit more fluid about her sexual identity, but she still holds a strong lesbian following. I’ve seen clips of this show and it’s worth a look.

—  Rich Lopez