Performed at Virtuosi of Houston's Opening Night Concert on December 2, 2017 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall
Virtuosi of Houston - Symphony No. 31 in D Major, Paris, K297 by Mozart - III Allegro
As a professional flutist, I am a prime example of the benefits that Virtuosi so proudly gives. Eight years ago, I was looking for a way to share my talent. Virtuosi took me in and watched me flourish: it was a formative experience for me both socially and musically. Maestro Krager and Maestro Grabiec gave me knowledge and love for a wide variety of music, repertoire that is not often experienced because it is intended only for chamber orchestras. I developed skill and the sensitivity required for ensemble playing. I learned to perform under pressure, how to follow a conductor and the importance of rehearsal etiquette. I developed patience, discipline, confidence and leadership skills. When I entered the Boston Conservatory of Music in 2007, I was already more advanced than any of my classmatesâ€¦After, I decided to follow my career in Europe where I graduated from the Brussels Conservatory of Music this past June 2012 with the â€śhighest distinctionâ€ť. A few weeks later, I signed a contract with the Royal Opera House â€śLa Monnaieâ€ť in Brussels, Belgium.
It is vital that Virtuosi of Houston continues to develop and maintain the resources required to carry on its admirable efforts and perpetuate its positive influence in the Houston arts community.
I recently had the opportunity to work with some of their students for a program we had here at Kawai Piano Gallery. It is unusual to see young people who are so professional and poised under pressure and this is a direct result of the leadership they receive from the people at Virtuosi of Houston. The students were asked to perform in front of a crowd of people and then have their performance critiqued by a professional musician. This is a daunting situation for even the most advanced college studentsâ€”many of whom buckle under the pressure. The students handled this with ease and grace I rarely see from their peers. Our concert hall is used extensively by different organizations and teachers for recitals and performances. It was a pleasure to work with people from Virtuosi of Houston and I look forward to working with them in the near future.
Our family had a very unique and quality experience when we meet Anthony Cooper a Virtuosi of Houston scholarship recipient. He found our daughterâ€™s Wayne Burak cello on Craigslist and drove all the way from Houston to play it. This very talented young man was not only motivated to purchase this instrument by his passionate love of music but also by his pending scholarship from Virtuosi. We truly believe the spirit of the grant matched the spirit of the musician and a perfect match was madeâ€¦It was so magical for our family to see and witness such love and passion for the cello through this young man. He wasnâ€™t interested in anything about the instrument except for the â€śsoundâ€ť and he played with amazing beauty!…We have all been enriched by this gracious gift and we applaud Virtuosi for making this connection possibleâ€¦.Thank you to all at Virtuosi for making such a special connection to music in so many lives.
Virtuosi exceeded our expectations from the beginning. We believe that Sara’s success in music can be traced back to the education, support and encouragement she received at Virtuosi.
I left my first Virtuosi concert telling everyone that this group of musicians could play in any orchestra pit in America.
I was very impressed not only at the general level of the student participants but at the quality of their work and the obvious commitment they all showed. It is a feather in the cap for Virtuosi to attract the high quality of students that they do and provide an environment of high class teaching, support and encouragement.
During the 2003â€“04 school year I received a scholarship as a member of the Virtuosi of Houston and experienced great concerts & memorable moments with that orchestra. Since I received such great support and encouragement from the Virtuosi of Houston I would very much like to come back and enjoy seeing the next generation of young artists reaching for the highest quality under such fine guidance of Maestro Krager and Maestro Grabiec. I am currently the first Principal Cellist of the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra in Germany and I would say that my experience with your orchestra has majorly encouraged me to go the path of becoming a professional musician.
This would be a fine professional orchestra in many places. It shows the depth of talent and the amount of fine training that these young people get. You have to have a good conductor, a good program and it all comes together.
Like all parents, we always want our children to have the best opportunity to learn, to exceed, to succeed, to experience, to blossom, to be happy, to be confident, to develop to their full potential in life. At age 17, our son Anthony had the opportunity to join Virtuosi of Houston. We did not know where it would lead him and where it would take us, but we had no doubt except two things: First, how are we going to find time to meet the rehearsal schedule as a senior student? Second, how are we going to pay for the tuition? But starting from the very first rehearsal, Anthony brought home the excitement, the confidence and a different level of motivation to push forward in his musical interest. He said, “Mom, at Virtuosi, even the youngest one is as talented as the best in our school orchestra.” As time went by, we begin to notice that Virtuosi opened up more opportunities for our usually reticent Anthony to come out of his shell. He has become more willing to reach out to the communities with Virtuosi to help broadcast the good things that their music can bring to people’s livesâ€”be it a smile of appreciation for the good music, or the pleasant surprise about the talent at their young age. Anthony became more confident about himself and more comfortable in front of people.