49th Round Top Music Festival
49th Round Top Music Festival
Ninety-three young talented artists chosen from more than 500 applicants from all over the world will convene at tiny Round Top, Texas on Sunday June 2 till Sunday July 14, 2019. The 6-week intensely concentrated course supervised by its Founder and Artistic Director James Dick, includes orchestra rehearsals and performances, chamber music coaching and performances, master classes, and private lessons. Forty Faculty Members and eight conductors will mentor the participants.

Alumni of the previous 48 years are to be found at any corner of the planet playing in great symphony orchestras and teaching in leading universities and conservatories. Fourteen of them are now teaching at Round Top!

Everyday, visitors and music lovers can join and attend rehearsals, master classes and/or performances at the beautifully crafted and acoustically peerless Festival Concert Hall or at the more intimate Edythe Bates Old Chapel. The 210-acre campus offers shaded picnic areas, herb gardens and... free parking.

The Texas Festival Orchestra, body of the Young Artists, will present 8 programs: six of them on Saturdays at 7:30 pm, one free specifically designed for toddlers and teenagers on Tuesday June 11 at 11:00 am and the "Patriotic Concert" on Sunday June 30 at 3:00 pm. The opening orchestral concert is on Saturday June 8.

The orchestra rehearses every weekday from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm in the Festival Concert Hall. Rehearsals are open and free to the public.

New in 2019! Composer Walter Thompson introduces Soundpainting (first time in a Summer Music Program in the US) to a group of the 2019 Young Artists during the two first weeks of the festival. A public performance is scheduled on Friday June 14.

The 2019 roster of conductors includes:
  • Austrian Christian Arming, conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liege (Belgium) and international guest conductor
  • Austrian Christoph Campestrini, Kapellmeister at the Wiener Hofmusikkapelle and Music Director at Oper Klosterneuburg Festival Music and international guest conductor
  • Brazilian Linus Lerner, Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of Rio Grande do Norte (Brazil), Oaxaca Opera Festival (Mexico)
  • Columbian Andres Franco, Music Director of Tulsa's Signature Symphony and Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony (Round Top Music Festival Debut)
  • British Benjamin Zander, Founder and Music Director of the Boston Philharmonic. (Round Top Music Festival Debut)
  • German Martin Fischer-Dieskau, International Guest Conductor and Producer of the Buber-Dorati Festival: Berlin/Tel Aviv (Round Top Music Festival Debut)
  • Puerto Rican Emilio Colón, The Jacob School (Indiana), Founder and Music Director of the Festival of the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico
  • American Jason Thomas Aylward, conductor and composer, Founder and Conductor Emeritus of the Chippewa River Chamber Orchestra

In 2019, the Round Top Music Festival commemorates the 150th anniversary of Hector Berlioz's death in 1869 (orchestral works on Saturday June 8 conducted by Christian Arming including the 'Symphonie Fantastique' and on Saturday July 13 conducted by Martin Fischer-Dieskau with the participation of mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, including Roman Carnival Overture, 'Les Nuits d'Ete' and the Orchestral Suite from 'Romeo & Juliet').

Highlights of the repertoire include Edward Elgar's 'Enigma Variations', Isaac Albeniz' 'Iberia' (orchestrated by Enrique Fernandez Arbos), and Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 9.

Distinguished soloists will perform with the Texas Festival Orchestra: pianist James Dick (Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini), violinist Regis Pasquier (Camille Saint-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3), cellist Jesus Castro-Balbi (Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme), trumpeter Raymond Riccomini (Henri Tomasi's Trumpet Concerto), pianist Bernadene Blaha (Manuel de Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain).

Chamber music is well represented also in various combinations of instruments, which are showcases for faculty members. Young artists have opportunities to join them on stage. Among others, let us mention Johannes Brahms' Piano Quartet in g, Op. 25; Igor Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat; Witold Lutoslawsi's Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp, Strings and Percussion; Leo Smit's Sextet for Winds and Piano; Jean Cras' Quintet for Flute, Harp and Strings; Max Reger's Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A; Henri Dutilleux's Les Citations; Manuel de Falla's Harpsichord Concerto; the world premiere of Fantazia for Violin and Orchestra by James Nyoraku Schlefer and more.

Veteran and admired French horn player Michelle Baker has been given "Carte Blanche" on Saturday June 22 and will share the stage with her colleagues and young artists in a program designed by her.

Complete schedule is available at http://festivalhill.org/calendar/festival.php. More than 40 events within 6 weeks!

All concerts are audio recorded and presented to "Performance Today Radio Show" America's most popular classical music radio program. The show is broadcast on 292 public radio stations across the country and reaches approximately 1.4 million listeners each week.

KMFA, a classical voice in Texas, will broadcast 8 hours of the 2018 season recordings starting April 19, 2019 on Fridays at 6:00 pm concluding on Friday June 7, 2019.

Concerts are also video recorded and can be found on YouTube. More than one million three hundred thousand views so far!