Imagine listening to Liszt in your living room. Whether it’s Mozart or Brahms or more contemporary offerings, house concerts have become so popular in Texas that you can find one happening most weekends throughout the state.
Recordings of new music rooted in tradition that still is uncompromisingly contemporary — and sometimes unsettling. Debates about new music have always focused mainly on styles that have caught listeners off guard.
There’s one reason in particular why Visions Take Flight, the double-CD debut release by ROCO, the Houston-based River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, nabbed the number nine slot in textura’s 2018 list of top classical releases…it’s because when ROCO selected works to include on the release, the musicians selected their favourite pieces from the group’s repertoire and the five chosen from the then fifty-eight available (the total now seventy-five) constitute an incredible sampling of material by living American composers.
Houston’s River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, unlike many larger ensembles, gives its musicians the opportunity to play chamber music.
Visions Take Flight is the remarkably assured debut album by the Houston-based River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO), released in November 2018 on Innova Recordings.
The weather outside is frightful, but inside Houston’s concert halls it’s quite delightful. ‘Tis the season for holiday music and our classical line-up caters to every taste.
Houston’s art scene has always been as exceptional as the ever-evolving city itself. And this year, girls rule. Here’s a look at some of the remarkable women who are painting our town beautiful.
River Oaks Chamber Orchestra’s founder and artistic director Alecia Lawyer wants to challenge you to a game — specifically, a round of 42.
Working to “shape the future of classical music by energizing, modernizing, and personalizing the concert experience,” the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) finds a unique niche within Houston’s vibrant cultural landscape. Founded in 2005, ROCO has consistently realized this vision by focusing on the development of collaborative, personal relationships with musicians, conductors, composers, local cultural institutions, and other community stakeholders.
Alecia Lawyer, the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra’s artistic director, introduced the idea discreetly last fall: She and two other musicians devoted a program on the group’s Unchambered series entirely to works by female composers. This season, Lawyer and ROCO are going big with the theme.
In Kevin Lau’s work, the smallest details are examined with microscopic precision. The Canadian pianist delicately shapes each musical phrase, each moment of harmonic color, while dedicating equal attention to establishing a cohesive sound that ties the piece into a whole.
A Houston punk rock legend front and center at a classical concert, a virtuoso concertmaster, a stellar bass-baritone singing nursery rhymes and tombstone epitaphs, and three world premieres. Throw in a couple of Dvořák’s Legends and the rarely heard Wood Notes by William Grant Still, and we have a strange brew of a program that surprised and engaged.