41st annual Basically Beethoven Festival online in July 2021

Fine Arts Chamber Players announces its summer series, the Basically Beethoven Festival, will be produced online in July 2021. For the second consecutive year, FACP will record and share Festival performances for the Basically Beethoven Festival-in-Place. Musicians will be recorded in a concert setting and the footage will premiere online as scheduled: July 11, July 18, and July 25 at 3:00 p.m. Long-time attendees will note this is a slight shift from the usual 2:30 p.m. curtain time. As always the concerts are free, but this year advance registration is required at FACP.eventbrite.com.

“The continued improvement in various COVID-related benchmarks is promising for the fall,” explains FACP Executive Director Emily Guthrie, “but we take very seriously the role we play in gathering our community together. Based on audience feedback, we will wait for the vaccination rate in the county to improve before gathering indoors.”

FACP Board President Anne Witherspoon adds, “Our Festival Director, Alex McDonald, worked very hard last year to recreate online the concerts our audience has enjoyed for decades in person. It was a new endeavor for FACP and was very successful. FACP is eager to return to the stage, but we feel July is too early to be prudent. We know the Festival will still offer incredible performances for our audience.”

“Music serves as a vehicle for people to bond,” Basically Beethoven Festival Director Alex McDonald says, “particularly during times of struggle, crisis, or conflict. So even though we, again, cannot come together, we can at least share this experience online. I am excited to produce these programs, including a World Premiere by Dallas composer and FACP music education alumnus Quinn Mason.”

For 40 years, FACP has made classical music accessible to all, regardless of age, ability, status, previous experience, or background. FACP works to have diversity reflected in its programming and on stage.


Basically Beethoven Festival 2021: A More Musical America

July 11, 18, & 25

FREE  |  Online  | 3 p.m. CDT  | RSVP at FACP.eventbrite.com

Each Festival concert begins with a Rising Star Recital highlighting exceptional student musicians from the area, and continues with a Feature Performance showcasing professionals of the highest caliber. FACP never charges admission for its programs. Donations can be made online: www.fineartschamberplayers.org/donate

With an interest in diversity and inclusion, each concert element that includes an artist or composer of color is marked with (*), each element with a female artist or composer is noted (^), and each element that features a composer that is part of the LGBTQ community is noted (~). Programming is subject to change.


July 11

Rising Star*^: Reina Shim, flute; David Choi, piano; works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Francis Poulenc

Feature Performance*^: Chloe Trevor, violin; Emileigh Vandiver, Dallas Symphony Orchestra cello; Jonathan Tsay, piano

Program^: Trio in A Minor, op. 150 by Amy Beach  |  Piano Trio by Charles Ives

Ives and Beach are a pair of American composers with such different sounds that one could wonder how the same land produced these geniuses. The Beach Trio is sweeping, lyrical, and even sweet; while the Ives is thorny, juxtaposing melodies that are full of soul and searching. The Rising Stars recitalists are 13-year-old wunderkids, both of whom recently placed first in the Music Teachers National Association competition.


July 18

Rising Star: competition winner from the SMU-Institute for Young Pianists summer intensive

Feature Performance*^: Jennifer Chang-Betz, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) violin; Molly Baer, FWSO violin; Colin Garner, Dallas Opera Orchestra viola; Craig Leffer, FWSO cello

Program: string quartet by Ludwig van Beethoven (TBA)  |  String Quartet no. 12, op. 96, “American” by Antonín Dvořák

Classical music has deep roots in Europe, and few European composers mythologize America better than Dvořák. This quartet is as beautiful as it is well-known, and for good reason. For the second year, FACP will partner with the SMU-Institute for Young Pianists. The week-long intensive will hold a competition among its attendees and the winner will perform on the BBF stage as the July 18 Rising Star recitalist.


July 25

Rising Star*: Marlon Florez Dovales, cello; Pranay Varada, piano; works by Robert Schumann and Claude Debussy

Feature Performance*: Festival Director Alex McDonald, piano; Lewis Warren, piano 

Program*~: Three Marches, Op. 45 by Ludwig van Beethoven  |  Fantasie by Franz Schubert  |  Cuban Overture by George Gershwin  |  Etude by Anthony Green  |  **WORLD PREMIERE** of the commissioned work Korapiano by Dallas composer-on-the-rise and FACP education program alumnus Quinn Mason

The Festival concludes with music for piano four-hands (two pianists sharing one instrument): Beethoven’s regal Three Marches; the lyrical and haunting Fantasie an undisputed masterpiece by Beethoven’s contemporary Franz Schubert; Gershwin’s joyous Cuban Overture, a piece he considered to be one of his best compositions; Khachaturian’s familiar and exuberant Sabre Dance; and a new piano solo by Quinn Mason, Korapiano, commissioned by FACP. The composer studied the kora, an African harp with 21 strings. Mason says, “this composition utilizes West Aftican folk tunes and incorporates melodic elements and ornamentation usually found in traditional kora playing.”


Updated: 6/20/2021


Fine Arts Chamber Players