The San Antonio Symphony is one of the primary resident companies at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, a world-class venue complete with sophisticated acoustics and elegant box seats in downtown San Antonio. On Thursday, May 19, however, the top-rated Symphony will perform in an improbable location: a Southtown brandy distillery.
The event starts at 8 p.m., when guests can mingle and enjoy special MOSAS cocktails and culinary treats from an on-site food truck, as well as a visual artist creating “live art” throughout the evening. Then, Symphony Concertmaster Eric Gratz will lead a small string ensemble in violin in a performance of Vivaldi’s Concerti and Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings from 9-9:30 p.m.
There is a $10 cover charge at the door which benefits MOSAS, and enters guests into a raffle for chance win two free Symphony tickets.
“(Guests) will get a chance to talk with the musicians, have drinks with the musicians, and listen to great classical music in a really beautiful space and just have an accessible, fun evening,” said Marisa Bushman, San Antonio Symphony section violist.
While this isn’t the Musicians’ first time performing outside their home base at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts – they performed last week in two churches – it is a first for them to perform in a “more alternative space” such as a distillery, Bushman said.
“We’re just trying to create more of a presence of the Symphony in our daily lives as we walk around this city,” she said. “It’s such a big city that being confined to the Tobin Center doesn’t always allow us to reach people and be as connected as we want to be to our public.”
Thursday’s performance won’t be the Musicians’ last outside the Tobin either, Bushman said. The group is hoping to explore new venues in the future to bring their music to new audiences.
“Our mission is to get out there and … take initiative to connect with not only our existing patrons, but also potentially infuse the culture of San Antonio with a thirst for great classical music.”
The 72-member orchestra recently agreed to a three-week furlough for the coming season as the Symphony continues its decades-long struggle to make ends meet. A recent $600,000 gift from its board, the City of San Antonio, and other major donors has balanced the books for this year, but the money came with a strict agreement that Symphony leadership would redouble its efforts to avoid future deficits.
By hosting more intimate, meaningful interactions with the community, MOSAS hopes to inspire new multi-generational audiences to become professional orchestra lovers.
Top image: Dor?ol Distilling Company is located at 1902 S. Flores St. Photo courtesy of Dor?ol Distilling Company.