beethoven beethoven-featuredyears in Fair Park, the Basically Beethoven Festival is moving to the new Dallas City Performance Hall in July for their annual show of free hour-long concerts.

The concerts, presented by the Fine Arts Chamber Players, feature outstanding musicians drawn from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, The Dallas Opera Orchestra, and area university faculties, playing to full-capacity audiences. The Rising Star Youth Recitals precede the feature performances and showcase young talented musicians.

On July 7, preceding the Imperial Brass, the Rising Star is Nicholas Garza, tenor, who impressed when he appeared as a soloist with the Dallas Bach Society in March of 2012.

July 14, Jing Wang, Concertmaster of the Dallas Opera Orchestra, invited pianist Jeewon Lee and DSO cellist Nan Zhang, to play Tschaikovsky’s Trio in A-minor. The Rising Star is violinist Eleanor Dunbar, an SMU student of DSO former Concertmaster Emmanuel Borack.

Moving on, July 21 will present Rising Star Aaron Kurz, a pianist and composer. He is also at SMU, studying with Dr. Carol Leone. The main concert presents cellist Yuri Anshelevich, Associate Principal Cello with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, with pianist Steven Harlos, chair of Keyboard Studies at UNT.

The series ends on July 28 with Rising Star Franklin Jia, clarinetist, who was recently chosen as one of the four clarinetists who will play in the first National Youth Orchestra of the U.S. The main concert features the eccentric and wonderful Hall Ensemble, made up of a string trio (plus a violinist for this concert) and a bassoon.

Rogene Russell, one of the founders of the Fine Arts Chamber Players and a musician in the Fort Worth Symphony, spoke to Arts+Culture about the community outreach of the organization.

A+C: I guess the festival name says it all?

RUSSELL: Everyone has heard of Beethoven, so I thought that if we called it Basically Beethoven, everyone would expect to hear classical music. But, really, it’s not all Beethoven. We present a really wide ranging repertoire. For example, the Imperial Brass Ensemble is playing the first concert with music that ranges from Gustav Mahler to the music of the Beatles.

A+C:  Well, July 7 is both Mahler’s birthday and Ringo Starr’s…I guess you are keeping up with the times.

We started 30 years ago and we are still going strong, thanks to the generous support of the Bancroft family, who has underwritten the series since its inception. We like to present an ensemble, like the Imperial Brass, because they need the exposure as well. But for some concerts, we use a “and friends” format and find that it’s very successful. We invite an outstanding artist to put together a group of friends (maybe just one) and ask them to play their favorite music.

A+C:   The concerts are just a small part of what your organization does. The larger mission is your educational program which reaches thousands of eager young children every year.

The pre-concert recital is the result of our educational outreach. There are young virtuoso players throughout the city, and you would not believe the quality of their artistry, even at such a young age. We give them a platform to perform, they get the experience of playing a recital, and the Metroplex gets to hear them. That is three wins in a row.

A+C:  And the concerts are free and open to everyone?

You don’t need a ticket or need to make a reservation, just show up and enjoy.