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The Attacca Quartet performs as part of the 2016 Cliburn Festival.

What is American music? You may have a hard time answering that after the Cliburn Festival, a series of five concerts of vocal and chamber music that encompasses our nation’s various strains of expression. Each concert is held at a different cultural venue. For instance, Scat Jazz Lounge is home to the jazz show, while the Amon Carter Museum of American Art hosts the Hollywood concert, in conjunction with their current movie-themed art exhibit. Throughout the festival, local favorites such as soprano Ava Pine, pianist Ralph Votapek, and cellist Allan Steele will perform.

What a range of music, too! You’d probably expect Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Copland’s Old American Songs here, but they’re mixed with more esoteric items. Kurt Weill’s “Je ne t’aime pas” (part of the jazz concert) is always a chance for a soprano to work herself into a good lather, while Bernard Herrmann’s Echoes is a piece of moody concert music from the composer of the scores for Psycho and Taxi Driver. Copland’s Piano Variations show the folksy heartland composer in a thornier, more modernist mode. The contemporary stuff goes all the way up to Andrew Yee’s Star Wars-inspired string quartet May the Fource [sic] Be With You. This weekend-long event is the most ambitious undertaking ever for the Cliburn outside of their piano competitions. Expect the city to greet it warmly.

 

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The Cliburn Festival runs Thu-Sun at various locations, FW. Tickets are $35-150. Call 817-212-4280.

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