ASO wrapping up big season

Published 7:01 am Saturday, April 4, 2015

By Margo Bissen

Fei-Fei Dong. Photo by Appel Moreland

Fei-Fei Dong. Photo by Appel Moreland

The Austin Symphony Orchestra will complete its 58th season in fine form with Beethoven Bash II, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, at the Paramount Theatre.

You may recall the first Beethoven Bash of our 56th season which featured guitarist Billy McLaughlin and the ASO’s performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.

Email newsletter signup

Beethoven Bash II features Beethoven’s classic “Symphony No. 5” as well as Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No.4,” performed by guest pianist, Fei-Fei Dong.

Ms. Dong, a finalist in the 2013 Cliburn Competition, is a world acclaimed artist. Her appearance with the ASO provides a wonderful opportunity for young and old alike to see and hear a concert pianist in the intimate venue of the Paramount Theatre.

Austinites are fortunate to enjoy a variety of live music.

Tim Rietz, cellist with the ASO, appreciates the litany of emotions live music communicates — joy of love, blues of lost love, the patriotic inspiration of a march or the requiem of life lost — all shared between performer and listener.

Tim, also known in our community as a beloved family physician, grew up in a musical household with siblings and parents who encouraged and inspired him to practice his cello. During his years of medical school, music soothed his soul but as he studied the brain, a greater appreciation of the power of music began to unfold. And this mystery of the mind, heart, soul and physiological response to music has amplified over his years of both medical and musical experiences.

Rietz treasures his involvement with ASO, and says it’s “humbling” to work with fantastic people from all stages of life, under the capable direction of Steve Ramsey. Tim states, “It’s beautiful to be part of the team and watch the magic as my cello part, which I have struggled to learn, molds and blends with the other instruments.  We become a common voice, communicating autistic reality, defining our human experience, telling the story of the composer’s creation.”

And I know Tim speaks for all of us connected with the ASO when he adds, “We are extremely grateful when folks set aside their busy schedules and come to listen to live symphonic music; especially when they share the stories the concert experience inspires in them.”

It’s been a pleasure for me to share the stories of ASO members through this article. A community orchestra is only viable with the support of many organizations, benefactors, individual donors and audience members like you.  Mark your calendars for Sunday, April 12, and enjoy the sweet sounds of harmony Fei-Fei Dong and the Austin Symphony Orchestra have to offer.