Round Top, Texas—mecca for musicians in training

Posted on: August 2, 2010

In Saturday’s (7/31) Toronto Star, William Littler reports on Texas’s International Festival Institute at Round Top, now celebrating its 40th anniversary in a community where the resident population numbers “a whopping 77.” Round Top is “the vision of James Dick, a prize-winning pianist at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow who wanted to establish a place far from the crowd where young musicians could spend several weeks passing through the challenging pre-professional period between school and career. Continent-wide auditions bring fewer than 100 of these aspiring professionals to Round Top each summer, all of them on full scholarship, to be coached by leading figures to play chamber music and to participate in weekly concerts as the Texas Festival Orchestra.… Architecture critics might call this place a musical Disneyland. Dick prefers to think of it as an antidote to the current generation’s lack of historical imagination, a place where the present is connected to the past, where young people are made aware of yesterday as they prepare for tomorrow.” Littler describes Round Top’s physical charms and comments favorably on a TFO performance of Rachmaninoff’s E minor symphony led by JoAnn Falletta.

Posted August 2, 2010