In my beloved Austin, I’m grateful for the load of talent and dedication behind tomorrow’s concert. What a joy it’s been to rehearse this week with Chan Yang Lim, Ellie Jarrett, Soonchan Kwon, Tim O’Brien, and Kelly Kuo. What luck is ours, to make sound some beloved Brahms, and to delight our listeners with David Hanlon’s witty and moving Texanische Liebeslieder. I think of all our colleagues at the Butler School of Music who support us, and of the colleagues across campus who have worked on the Texas German Dialect project, whose interviews inspired me to write the texts of these songs. And I think of the Houston Grand Opera and The Refuge. that huge community oratorio project that first brought me and David Hanlon together. In that piece, Christopher Theofanidis fused classical and folk traditions around the stories of a specific community. Brahms tried to mingle high and low art too (not just in the Liebeslieder!). David has done the same in our piece, swinging from Lutheran chorales to accordion solos. I can’t wait to play with and for my friends tomorrow. Thank you, everybody!

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