Basically Beethoven Festival

Tiny girls whose mastery of violins astounds, talented teens whose fervent commitment to music inspires, and illustrious artists whose love for music unites: these images embody the Basically Beethoven Festival
To capture such snapshots in two words–simply fantastic.

The crowd’s bustling descends to a hum as the announcer steps up to the mike. Clapping ensues; the young artists elegantly enter the grand hall and take the stage. Last week, extraordinary 15-year-old violinist Christina Kwon and 20-year-old pianist Lizhen Wu quickly stole the hearts of the awe-struck crowd. The duet was followed by the vivacious Imperial Brass, whose sprinkles of humor, candid explanations and patriotic marches throughout the feature performance charmed the packed audience; the opening of the series basked in the sweet sounds of success.

 

This week, ranging from the tender ages of nine to thirteen, Maya and Jamuna Buchanon, Ellen Engro, and Evan Ritter took the stage by storm: this tiny, tumultuously-talented troupe hailing from the Suzuki Institute of Dallas majestically halted reality as notes beautifully swiveled and soared throughout the sunlit hall. The Fine Arts Chamber Players, David Hermann, Tonia Bricker Pilliod, Swang Lin, Qiong Hulsey, and Leda Larson, concluded this week’s concert with Music in the Air’s “The Song is You”, leaving the final notes floating mid-air long after the concert’s end.

The Basically Beethoven Festival is no ordinary chamber music concert.  

In the grand hall, an auditorium comprised of three glass walls providing a perfectly serene backdrop of greenery to the music, t-shirts and jeans abound.  Seats are first-come, first-serve.  Audience members range from kids to kids at heart; an activity-pack is offered as a gift to any youth upon arrival.  The price of admission is free.  There is free parking, complimentary lemonade and cookies following the concert, and a waived cost of entry to the Texas Discovery Gardens’ extensive premises.

 Summoned by the recession-friendly concert, the guests easily filling the 500-person-capacity represent a wide variety of economic and social backgrounds.  This is the goal of the Fine Arts Chamber Players (FACP).  
Founded in 1981 under the belief that music is vital to life and not merely a privileged indulgence bestowed upon a select few, FACP’s primary focus is accessibility. To create better access to professionally-played music, the organization enlisted a strategy comprised of two entities: educational programs and concerts. The concerts are designed to “enrich and enhance the lives of North Texas residents” by allowing everyone to enjoy the works of Beethoven and his contemporaries without the pain of payment. The Basically Beethoven Festival, named for the insertion of at least one Beethoven piece in each concert, provides North Texans the opportunity to come casually, pay nothing, and enjoy an intimate music experience amongst the company of fellow music lovers.

 It is simply fantastic.

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