2022 Basically Beethoven Festival Announcement

Join us in July for the 2022 Basically Beethoven Festival!
Basically Beethoven Festival 2022 — Sundays, July 10, 17, 24, 31 at 2:30pm
Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora Street, Dallas
DALLAS (June 14, 2021) – Fine Arts Chamber Players (FACP) is pleased to announce the 2022 Basically Beethoven Festival will be performed live Sundays, July 10 17, 24, and 31st, 2:30pm at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora Street, Dallas, 75201. A favorite of north Texas audiences for more than 40 seasons, this year’s Basically Beethoven Festival will feature four free chamber music concerts featuring Dallas’ top professional musicians. As always, FACP programs are free to enjoy with no admission.

The theme for 2022 is “Music in Wartime.” Festival Director Alex McDonald said, “Music is about all of life, and war is an unavoidable aspect of life. And yet, against the backdrop of the cacophony of war, we can more clearly appreciate and respond to beauty’s call. In this year’s festival, music and war come together as twin themes that show us reason to contemplate, lament, and hope. Shadows prove the sunshine, and it is my hope that dark themes will remind us of the critical role that beauty takes in our common life together.”“One example of this is Beethoven’s ‘Les Adieux’ Sonata,” McDonald continued, “which tells the true story from Beethoven’s life when his friend and patron The Archduke Rudolf was forced to flee from the Napoleonic invasion. The states of Beethoven’s personal anxiety and eventual joy at his friend’s return are conveyed in the music with power and immediacy.”“When Alex told us what he was planning, I was speechless in the best way. In fact, everyone on the board of directors mentioned that his presentation – even without the music – was fascinating in itself,”

Executive Director Morgan Vaughan said: “Chamber music was designed to be among friends and is of the moment. Alex’s choice for this season exactly fits the inherent nature of chamber music – citizens and friends assembled, crying, laughing, and exclaiming over the beauty, and bewildered by the awful. It’s exactly right.” The festival will be available online – eventually, Vaughan said. Since the pandemic began, FACP has been recording the concerts for our online presence.“We will continue doing that for this festival as well, but the videos won’t be available until after the festival is over in August. We really want to encourage people to be together – to share the experience with others,” she said. “Of course, we will absolutely follow all local and federal guidelines in terms of COVID-19. And, again, anyone who cannot attend in person for whatever reason will be able to view the concerts online sometime in August.” Links to the 2022 Basically Beethoven Festival will be available through FACP’s website and newsletter.

The 4 distinct pieces of art used in FACP’s posters/social media for the 2022 Basically Beethoven Festival represent each of the concerts and is by Joseph Kuipers, who is the cellist in the July 17 concert. A gifted cellist, teacher, and creator of abstract works, Mr. Kuiper’s abstracts are modern parables, leading the viewers in pilgrimage through effective juxtapositions of colors and textures.

Hallam Family Concerts, 2021/2022 Season Announcement

Click here to RSVP

New Stages, Same Standard of Excellence

Free chamber music series moves around Dallas; registration required

September 24, 2021 – After 18 months of online programming, Fine Arts Chamber Players (FACP) is pleased to announce the 2021/2022 season of its FREE Hallam Family Concerts returns to the stage, performed live before an audience. A cornerstone of FACP’s public programming, the Hallam Family Concerts are seven free chamber music performances featuring the area’s top professional musicians. As always, the programs are free to enjoy with no admission price; registration via facp.eventbrite.com is required. The theme for 2021/22 is “Family. Reunion.”

Artistic Director of the series, Emily Levin, explains, “the 2021/2022 season gives voice to lesser-known composers in  programs intertwined by family and lineage, exploring the ways music connects us to the past and to each other.”

“Another play on the theme,” Executive Director Emily Guthrie adds, “is that some of the performers on the programs are related to one another. And of course, FACP is glad to reunite—responsibly and safely—with our audience.”

She continues, “there are two new shifts for the 2021/2022 season. First, FACP will be performing in different venues throughout the season but will conclude our season at the Dallas Museum of Art, where we have performed for so many years. Many considerations went into this, and overall it was necessary to perform in spaces that would allow us to safely host a moderately sized, socially distanced audience. Our supporters have been so understanding and loyal during the entire pandemic. We know this is a new routine for FACP, and we are eager to guide our audience through it. The second development is a pretty exciting one. For those who cannot attend in person, there will be an option to watch online recordings of the performances. Available the following Saturday, those who have registered for online access will receive a private link to the concert footage for 24 hours.”

All registration and event details will be shared on FACP’s website and social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Concerts and online access are free, and registration will be required through facp.eventbrite.com.

OVERVIEW: Hallam Family Concerts, 2021/2022 Season

  • Saturday afternoons: October 9, November 13, January 15, February 12, March 5, April 23, May 21
  • FREE; registration is required via facp.eventbrite.com
  • Sponsored by Fanchon & Howard Hallam

WHAT’S NEW for 2021/2022

  • Performances will be held in four different venues throughout Dallas, varying month-by-month (listed below)
  • Masks will be required for audience members
  • Seating is general admission and socially distanced
  • Registration required to manage capacity limitations; RSVPs will be managed via facp.eventbrite.com
  • Performance videos will be available online the following week: advance registration required

WHAT’S THE SAME for 2021/2022

  • Hallam Family Concerts remain FREE
  • Monthly concerts held on Saturdays at 3 p.m., October – May (excluding December)
  • Varied repertoire and instrumentation, anchored by local musicians of the highest caliber 
  • Programs last generally an hour; most will be followed by CODA: a post-performance Q&A with the artists

PROGRAMMING: Hallam Family Concerts, 2021/2022 Season

October 9, 2021: Ascents and Descendants

Location: Central Commons (4711 Westside Dr., Dallas, TX 75209)

The season opener traces the musical lineage of Hildegard von Bingen, Maurice Ravel, and Christopher Rouse with works for string quartet, flute, clarinet, and harp.

Artists: Ebonee Thomas, flute (Dallas Opera Orchestra Piccolo and Second Flute); Andrew Sandwick, clarinet (Dallas Symphony Orchestra bass clarinet); Jenna Barghouti, DSO violin; Mariana Cottier-Bucco, DSO violin; Sarah Kienle, DSO Acting Associate Principal Viola; Jennifer Choi, DSO cello; Emily Levin, DSO Principal Harp

November 13, 2021: McCain Duo                            

Location TBA

The husband-and-wife duo of Artina and Martin McCain take the FACP stage with works for piano and bass trombone, celebrating the breadth of American musical imagination and innovation.

Artists: Martin McCain, bass trombone; Artina McCain, piano 

January 15, 2022: Songs of Late Season

Location: Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church (9800 Preston Rd, Dallas, TX 75230)

Including lyrical opera arias, new transcriptions, and more obscure works for bassoon and harp, Ted Soluri and Emily Levin perform pieces from their upcoming album collaboration.

Artists: Ted Soluri, DSO Principal Bassoon; Emily Levin, DSO Principal Harp 

February 12, 2022: String Theories

Location TBA

Violinist Angela Fuller-Heyde is joined by cellist Joseph Johnson in a delightful program of works for strings, including a work by Alan Hovhaness originally written for Ms. Fuller-Heyde’s parents.

Artists: Angela Fuller-Heyde, DSO Principal Second Violin; Joseph Johnson, Toronto Symphony Orchestra Principal Cello 

March 5, 2022: Haven Trio

Location: Latino Cultural Center (2600 Live Oak St, Dallas, TX 75204)

Through music and spoken word, Soprano Lindsay Kesselman, clarinetist Kimberly Cole Luevano, and pianist Midori Koga present a program of musical snapshots that capture the nature of memory, family, and identity. Haven Trio last performed for FACP audiences in November 2016.  

Artists: Haven Trio – Lindsay Kesselman, soprano; Kimberly Cole Luevano, clarinet; Midori Koga, piano

April 23, 2022: Col Legno

Location: Dallas Museum of Art, Horchow Auditorium (1717 N. Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201)

The powerhouse duo (and husband-and-wife team) of percussionist George Nickson and violinist Samantha Bennett make their FACP debut with new works and reimagined classics for this unique instrument combination. (The musical term col legno or “with the wood” is a technique for string players to make a percussive sound on their instruments.)

Artists: Samantha Bennett, Sarasota Orchestra Second Violin; George Nickson, DSO Principal Percussion

May 21, 2022: Charles Barr Memorial Concert

Location: Dallas Museum of Art, Horchow Auditorium (1717 N. Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201)

The final concert of the season, the Charles Barr Memorial concert, features Dallas cellist Alexander Davis-Pegis alongside his father Jolyon Pegis, in Schubert’s masterful Cello Quintet. FACP audiences may remember Mr. Davis-Pegis as a Rising Star Recitalist in the 2016 Basically Beethoven Festival. Every spring, FACP honors the memory of Charles Barr: a Dallas-reared musician who was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra bass section.

Artists include: Alexander Davis-Pegis, cello; Jolyon Pegis, DSO Associate Principal Cello

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

Now Hear This: an Interview with Julia and Jennifer Choi

Julia Choi with her violin; Jennifer Choi with her cello
Julia Choi & Jennifer Choi

Sisters Julia and Jennifer Choi have their own professional careers in different cities: Julia is a violinist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City, and Jennifer is a cellist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The pandemic, however, has brought the sisters together in Dallas and FACP gets to enjoy this silver lining: together they will perform with Artistic Director and DSO Principal Harp, Emily Levin, for the next Hallam Family Concert: SHADOWS & LIGHT on Saturday, April 24. REGISTER TODAY! As always, the concert is free but you must register to attend this online concert.

What should attendees listen for in the Renié Trio?   This trio blends the harmonic refinement that characterizes French music with the thematic cohesion typical of the Germanic tradition. We encourage the audience to listen for the wide range of characteristics and colors in the piece: to feel with us the triumphant music-making in the opening, the rustic simplicity of the middle section, juxtaposed with the fantasy, mystery, and drama of the remainder.

Our favorite is the incredibly beautifully poignant and intimate third movement. The last movement opens with an enigmatic introduction, recalling the main themes of the previous movement. While at first, the piece seems to end with uncertainty, it becomes a quick folk-music-inspired one with a festive flourish. It is a hopeful analogy to what we are living today: light at the end of the tunnel.

Notably, we are especially proud of the fact that it was composed by an amazing female composer.

Is chamber music a big part of your personal repertoire?    Yes! We love chamber music and are grateful to be studying and performing the Renié Trio together. We have played many chamber pieces as a string duo, string quartet, and as part of a piano trio, but we have never been part of this type of ensemble, so this is very exciting for us — especially to be playing alongside our friend, Emily Levin!

Two sisters who have both become professional musicians in elite organizations: wow! Did you know early on you wanted to pursue this as your career?    Our mom is a pianist, so we definitely grew up in a musical household. Our doors were always open to other journeys and career paths, so we weren’t solely looking to become professional musicians, but we had an inkling that this would be our path. We loved performing with peers and just being surrounded by music. Our dad likes to joke around and dubs himself the designated “karaoke singer” of the group.

What type of music did you listen to growing up? What do you listen to now?    We listened mostly to classical growing up, but now we listen to all genres. We love listening to anything from K-pop to jazz and hip-hop!

Who’s your favorite composer to listen to? Favorite to play?    We love listening to Schumann and Beethoven. Our favorites to play have to be Mahler or Strauss.

What advice would you give to a high schooler who wants to pursue music as a career?    Everything will eventually work out in the end, so be patient and trust yourself!

What’s your favorite sound? Your least favorite?    Due to the pandemic, Julia has been much deprived of an orchestra warming up right before a concert and tuning to the A. She misses it so much!    Least favorite sound? Probably nails on a chalkboard. One silver lining of online teaching!

When you leave this world and reach the pearly gates, what celestial concert do you hope to hear?    Beethoven Symphony No. 9: the perfect composition inspired by and reminding us of the triumph of universal brotherhood against war and desperation. Beethoven shares with us the wish for freedom, peace, and equality for all peoples! It is truly inspiring as a composition itself but also because of its message.

Season Announcement: Hallam Family Concerts, 2020-2021

Chamber music series remains free; registration required

October 17, November 21, January 23, February 27, March 27, April 24, May 22

Adapt. Pivot. Include. Much more than buzzwords, these terms have become a road map for this Dallas institution. Fine Arts Chamber Players (FACP) unveils the 2020–2021 season of its free Hallam Family Concert Series: seven free chamber music programs featuring Dallas’s top professional musicians. As always, the programs are free to enjoy with no admission price. 

“In a time filled with so much uncertainty, I am proud to present FACP’s 2020-2021 season for music lovers to enjoy,” shares Emily Levin, the Hallam Family Concert (HFC) artistic director. “The mission of FACP is to make music accessible to and for everyone, and this season features a broad range of extraordinary artistic voices. It is a season for our most stalwart supporters and for community members who are not too familiar with classical music. FACP remains an easy entry-point for people of all ages and backgrounds.” 

Typically performed in the Horchow Auditorium (Dallas Museum of Art), the 2020-2021 season will be shared online for FACP audiences, and will shift to in-person performances if/when that is an option. 

Executive Director Emily Guthrie explains, “We look forward to being on stage in front of an audience, but we do not know when that will be safe for everyone involved. At a minimum, the first three concerts: October, November, and January, will be online only and we will pivot to in-person concerts as we are able.”

There is, however, one other adaptation being made this season: audience members will have to register online for a viewing link to the performance. Once the concert is over, the material will not be available online to be streamed on demand.

“FACP put out quite a lot of content online this spring and our annual Basically Beethoven Festival was entirely virtual and open to all,” Ms. Guthrie continues. “We have had to adapt, however, to the newness of what’s been programmed for the Hallam concerts. Due to performance rights to the music this season, those who wish to see the performances must register online for the private web links for the concerts.”

This is something new being asked of supporters. All registration details will be shared via e-newsletters, on the FACP website, and social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Concerts are still free, but registration will be required.

Ms. Levin adds, “Each concert features composers and performers that accurately represent our diverse society, and the result is a concert experience that truly is for everyone. Among the many living composers programmed, I’m especially excited to include two Dallas-based composers on our season: Quinn Mason in November and Jonathan Cziner in March.” Mr. Mason will be familiar to FACP followers: he started his musical journey as a scholarship student in FACP education programs (read more here).

Starting last year, this concert series has been sponsored by arts philanthropists and business leaders Fanchon and Howard Hallam. Mr. Hallam shares, “Personally, I am very excited to see what’s been programmed this year: Emily Levin has put together a wonderful mix of traditional chamber music and pieces that are not as well known. Fanchon and I are proud to have our names on a concert series that is inclusive of different voices.”

Ms. Levin sums up, “Music is a universal language, and its power to transcend the everyday has never been more important. Whether virtual or in-person, FACP is committed to bringing excellent musicians and great music to our community.”

Hallam Family Concerts: the 2020-2021 Season

  • Saturday afternoons: October 17, November 21, January 23, February 27, March 27, April 24, May 22 at 3 p.m.
  • FREE, but registration is required
  • All online concerts will premiere at 3 p.m. with interactive elements
  • Complete performances will not be available on demand after the programs end

October 17, 2020: FROM KEYS TO STRINGS

The 2020-2021 Hallam Family Concert season kicks off with a program of piano masterworks brilliantly transcribed for harp and guitar by the Davin-Levin Duo, including Claude Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque and its famous “Clair de Lune,” Florence Price’s nostalgic Three Roses, and György Ligeti’s arresting Musica Ricercata.

Davin-Levin Duo: Colin Davin, guitar; Emily Levin, Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) Principal Harp

November 21, 2020: WHAT IS AND WHAT WILL BE

Dallas-based MAKE Trio returns to our stage with a program of juxtapositions: reality and imagination, past and future, certainty and unknown. Including Béla Bartók’s Contrasts, possibly the most well-known piece for this combination of instruments, MAKE will also perform works by Maurice Ravel, Darius Milhaud, and Dallas composer Quinn Mason.

MAKE Trio: Grace Kang Wollett, violin (Dallas Opera Acting Assistant Concertmaster); Danny Goldman, Dallas Opera clarinet; Mikhail Berestnev, piano

January 23, 2021: BEETHOVEN: MAGNIFIED

It’s an hour of mystery and music, featuring Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Serioso” quartet performed by The Cezanne Quartet, alongside writings by the Queen of Crime herself, Agatha Christie. Can you solve the case? This concert is especially for young listeners and those exploring the world of classical music.

The Cezanne Quartet: Eleanor Dunbar, violin; Lauren Haseltine, violin; Steven Juarez, viola; Elizabeth White, cello

February 27, 2021: AMERICAN VOICES 

In an immersive exploration of America’s diverse composition spectrum, join the principal woodwinds of the Dallas Symphony as they perform an all-American program of virtuoso chamber music, including Samuel Barber’s quintessential Summer Music and living composer Valerie Coleman’s dazzling Tzigane.

David Buck, DSO Principal Flute; Erin Hannigan, DSO Principal Oboe; Gregory Raden, DSO Principal Clarinet; Ted Soluri, DSO Bassoon; David Heyde, DSO Associate Principal Horn and Acting Principal Horn

March 27, 2021: CLARA’S INFLUENCE 

A prodigious pianist and a gifted composer, Clara Schumann was a musical visionary, who also championed and inspired the music of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. Through her music and her writings, alongside works by Robert Schumann, Brahms, and a new piece by Dallas-based composer Jonathan Cziner based on her letters, discover the voice of one of classical music’s most influential women. 

Maria Schleuning, DSO violin; Jolyon Pegis, DSO Associate Principal Cello; Benjamin Loeb, piano


In a musical journey from the ocean to the Andean mountains, immerse yourself in sound worlds inspired by the wonders of nature with works for harp, flute, and string trio. William Grant Still’s heavenly “Summerland” opens the program, alongside pieces by Jean Cras and Miguel de Aguila that explore the personal side of the sea, and Gabriela Lena Frank’s rhapsodic ode to ancient Peru.

Ebonee Thomas, Dallas Opera flute; Eunice Keem, DSO Associate Concertmaster (violin); Sarah Kienle, DSO Acting Associate Principal viola; Jeffrey Hood, DSO cello; Emily Levin, DSO Principal Harp

May 22, 2021: STARS OF TOMORROW, the Charles Barr Memorial

The Charles Barr Memorial Concert showcases the best and brightest of Dallas young musicians. Don’t miss the next generation of musical virtuosi.

Click here for a printable schedule.

Announcing: Basically Beethoven Festival-in-Place

In-person concerts move online for 40-year-old music series

Fine Arts Chamber Players announces its flagship series, Basically Beethoven Festival, will not be staged live in July 2020. This 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 on FACP’s YouTube channel at the scheduled concert times: July 12, July 19, and July 26 at 2:30 p.m. 

“Because of public health concerns, the logistics to conduct public concerts this summer were daunting if not insurmountable for an organization of our size,” explained FACP Executive Director Emily Guthrie. “I will miss greeting our long-time supporters and new audience members in person. Typically, Festival concerts have an audience of over 500 people. That’s just not possible this summer.”

“A silver lining to moving online,” FACP Board President Anne Witherspoon added, “is that now our performances can be shared with family and friends outside of North Texas. And patrons will have the ability to watch the concerts at their convenience and visit the performances for repeated viewings. FACP is excited to share our vision with our audience, even if the circumstances have changed.”

“In a time where we are reeling from a pandemic, arts events have been cancelled out of necessity,” Basically Beethoven Festival Director Alex McDonald said. “And with the things that trouble us that go even deeper: from sickness to systemic racism, from lost jobs to chronic fear, this is a difficult time to have a festival. However, we at Fine Arts Chamber Players feel that music matters as much as ever. We hope that the first-ever Festival-in-Place does its part to restore and soothe us.” 

He continued, “Festival programming centers around Beethoven’s composition Heiliger Dankgesang which loosely translates as ‘song of Thanksgiving…for recovery from a recent illness.’ Since 2020 is also the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, we wanted to organize our concerts according to styles that preceded Beethoven, a celebration of Beethoven himself, and an exploration of music after Beethoven.”

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

July 12: Bach to Beethoven

Rising Star Regina Lin, piano, performs works by Joseph Haydn, Beethoven’s teacher; and Franz Liszt, a composer who felt Beethoven paved the way for future musicians. For the Feature Performance, cellists Andrés Díaz (SMU Professor of Cello) and Joseph Kuipers with Karen Abrahamson-Thomas (Waco Symphony Principal Harp) move from the Baroque to Beethoven’s era through the works of Bach, Boccherini, Maria Theresia von Paradis, and Paganini.

July 19: Beethoven, Basically

For the Rising Star Recital, violinist Nikki Nagavi will be joined by pianist Kyle Orth for Beethoven’s sublime “Spring” sonata, op. 24. Then, featured artists Lucas Aleman (Dallas Symphony violin), Theodore Harvey (DSO Associate Principal Cello), and Festival Director Alex McDonald, piano, will present the “Archduke” trio, op. 97. The concert concludes with Aleman and Harvey joining Grace Kang Wollett (Dallas Opera violin) and Rachel Li McDonald, viola, to perform the sublime middle movement of quartet op. 132, Heiliger Dankgesang (“Holy Song of Thanksgiving for recovery from a recent illness”).

July 26: Beethoven and Beyond!

Rising Stars Bryan Han, cello, and Ashley Tauhert, piano, present the final two movements of Rachmaninoff’s cello sonata; then, Featured Performers take the stage to explore works after Beethoven by composers influenced by the artist.

Alternative Programming: Plus One at 1

FACP is introducing a new series to help brighten your week: Plus One at 1! Each Friday at 1:00, we will share duets from FACP performers on our social media channels. This week features flutist Ebonee Thomas, who performed on our October 2019 Hallam Family Concert: French Impressions. She is joined by FACP Artistic Director Emily Levin in an excerpt of Gabriel Fauré‘s Fantasie.

Look closely and you will see these two artists recorded their segments separately, while sheltering in place at their homes!

We hope the music brings you joy until we can be together in person again. In the meantime, make sure you are on our mailing list and follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Cancellation notice: March 28, 2020

In keeping with the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines, our next Hallam Family Concert, Musica on March 28, has been cancelled. Our host, the Dallas Museum of Art, has cancelled all special events and activities through April 3.

We are disappointed to miss the opportunity to share with you the considerable talent of Elmer Churampi, DSO trumpet; Pepe Valdez, guitar; and Augusto Longas Garcia, percussion. However, we understand the DMA’s decision and care about the health and safety of our audience.

Click here for the CDC’s recommendations. The DMA’s statement can be found here. We will keep you informed about any future changes to our season. If you are on social media, please follow Fine Arts Chamber Players on FacebookTwitter, and/or Instagram.

Now Hear This: an Interview with Erin Hannigan

If you have attended a performance at the Dallas Symphony, you have heard Erin Hannigan: if not a solo line within a major work, then at the very least you have heard the clarion call of her oboe sailing above the din calling the players to tune. Join us for an afternoon of oboe-centric works by British composers on Saturday, February 29 at English Sentiment, a Hallam Family Concert.

Erin Hannigan, Principal Oboe of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

What piece on the program are you most excited about? What should we listen for?    I’m really excited to perform the Bliss Oboe Quintet for the first time! All of the pieces on the program are major staples of the oboe repertoire, but the Bliss seems to be performed less often than the Bax or the Britten. The Bliss is full of memorable tunes: everything from the most beautiful and lyrical theme to an Irish jig!

Is chamber music for oboe a big part of the repertoire?    The oboe has been around historically since Bach’s time, the 1600s, so there is a LOT of music written for it. I always consider myself lucky to have repertoire that spans the ages, both orchestral and chamber!

How old were you when you started playing oboe? Why did you choose it?    I started playing the oboe when I was 7 years old; just before third grade. I later found out that this its highly unusual to start on the oboe, and that playing it too soon disrupts brain development due to back pressure! I seem to have turned out ok, I think…When I was trying to decide which instrument to play my dad mentioned his love of the oboe, so I looked it up in the dictionary. It looked like a challenge, so I decided that was what I would do!

What’s it like having a professional music career in Dallas?    Dallas is an amazing place to have a career in the Arts. I have felt embraced through my Symphony position, but I have also felt so much support behind my community outreach initiative. Dallas is such a creative and artistic city! Another angle to my professional life is that I’ve been able to maintain a high-powered oboe studio at SMU. Finding a place where one can have truly top-level performing AND teaching is rare. My work here keeps me exceptionally busy, but I’ve been afforded the ability to accept playing opportunities in other places, such as the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and others. It’s good to travel to other cities and engage with other orchestras and artists. It keeps me aware and in sync with the artistic world at large!

What type of music did you listen growing up? What do you listen to now?    Growing up I listened only to classical, but now I have a far broader appreciation for all types of music. I can be found listening to everything from Bach to Christina Perri!

Who’s your favorite composer to listen to? To play?    Johann Sebastian Bach is my all-around favorite to listen to and to play!

What advice would you give 14-year-old Erin?    If I could rewind time, I would tell myself to worry less and enjoy the process more. That doesn’t mean to work less hard because I feel that’s a necessity, but to stop more often and enjoy the journey.

What advice would you give a high schooler who wants to pursue music in college?    I tell my high school students who express an interest in majoring in music that they need to make sure that they truly love music and the art of playing the oboe. Pursuing music performance is challenging and extremely competitive and everyone, no matter who, will face challenges and disappointments. The love of it is what will carry them through.

What’s your favorite sound?    Ocean waves   Your least favorite sound?    Nails on a chalkboard

When you leave this world and reach the pearly gates, what celestial concert do you hope to hear?    Bach B Minor Mass

Fine Arts Chamber Players