Founded by cellist Kenneth Freudigman and violist Emily Watkins Freudigman in 2004, Camerata San Antonio brings together a symphonic roster composed of several of the San Antonio Symphony's principal players and more than a few internationally recognized musicians. More than a dozen acclaimed artists might be on-call for a concert during any given season, and the entourage's diverse concert schedule consequently offers plenty of strikingly different small-ensemble performances.
Anya Grokhovski has always surrounded herself with music. The daughter of a violinist in the Moscow Philharmonic as well as a doctorate-holding piano performer in her own right, she came to San Antonio to work in UTSA's music department. She brought the music she loved with her—she founded Musical Bridges Around the World to present unique sonic offerings in the city.
Now, more than a decade later, MBAW brings some of the world's finest performers to San Antonio stages. Their concerts and shows ring out in McAllister Auditorium, the 18th-century Cathedral of San Fernando, and in the ears of anyone who truly believes.
Although symphonic concerts could be heard in San Antonio all the way back in the 1880s, the formation of the San Antonio Symphony—the city's first formal orchestra—didn't happen until 1939. It was then that Max Reiter, a native of Italy, was forced from his career and home by a freshly established anti-Semitic policy. Reiter boarded a ship for New York, found the city teeming with exiled musicians like himself, and therefore purchased a train ticket to the South. There, San Antonio's leaders invited Reiter to conduct a demonstration concert for a crowd of 2,500. The success of that initial impression led to the formal founding of the Symphony and an inaugural concert just five months later. Today, Sebastian Lang-Lessing stands where Reiter once stood, leading a full ensemble of 75 musicians with a baton hand honed across the globe.
The Tuesday Musical Club has corralled accomplished musicians to celebrate the art of music and stretch appreciation throughout the community for more than a century. During the annual Artist Series, four classical concerts punctuate the year, with past performers such as Isaac Stern, Arcadi Volodos, and Angelika Kirchschlager. In addition to introducing concertgoers to world-renowned musicians, the club showers special attention upon young performers, offering up a Young Artists Competition and a Junior Tuesday Musical Club, which fosters an early appreciation for complex arrangements and teaches young ones why some songs are better without artistic direction from Jay-Z.
The San Antonio Film Festival unearths cinematic treasures and provides a platform for artists to unveil their works to a diverse audience. College and high-school categories showcase the future of filmmaking, and documentaries drag real-world issues—such as the epidemic misuse of the word "literally"—into the light. Festival-goers literally never stop between viewings, keeping busy while meeting some of the filmmakers, soaking in words of wisdom from panelists, and participating in workshops.
Dancers, black belts, and trained yoga gurus, the instructors at The Synergy Studios come from all walks of life. They each bring a different approach to overall wellness to the school. Classes take place in the historic Pearl brewery in studios with soaring cathedral ceilings and honey-hued hardwood floors.
Zumba sessions fill the room with the rumble of moving feet and quick breaths. Contented sighs drift out during meditation and yoga courses, which balance physical fitness and relaxation and help contribute to overall wellbeing. Some sessions are designed for particular groups, such as athletes, expecting mothers, and groups who always have to stick together because of what they saw in a mysterious cave.