Founded 45 years ago by concert pianist James Dick, the Round Top Festival Institute annually selects, after challenging auditions, 95 talented young artists –from over 600 applicants – who reside for six weeks and study with distinguished international faculty.
Their body is known as Texas Festival Orchestra. The educational program, one of the few available and best of its kind, includes private lessons, master classes, workshops, chamber music coaching, orchestra sectionals and orchestra rehearsals conducted by worldwide celebrated conductors.
Concerts include works by composers ranging from Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky to Shostakovich, Martinu, Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Gershwin, Bernstein and many others. Conductors include Dietrich Paredes from Venezuela, Eiji Oue from Japan, Mariusz Smolij from Poland, Perry So from China, Christian Arming from Austria, Vladimir Kulenovich, from Serbia, Linus Lerner from Brazil, Ransom Wilson and Emilio Colon from the United States.
Featured soloists include James Dick, piano; Regis Pasquier and Stefan Milenkovich, violins; Carol Wincenc, flute; Pavel Vinnitsky, clarinet; Celil Refik Kaya, guitar; James Nyoraku Schlefer, shakuhachi; Yoko Pekano Kimura, koto; Pedro Diaz, English horn and Ray Riccomini, trumpet.
The faculty members with the participation of young artists perform chamber music concerts.
The Round Top Music Festival also offers a free concert for children on Tuesday, June 16, at 11 a.m. and a crowd pleasing ‘Patriotic Concert’ on Sunday, July 5, at 3 p.m.
Master classes, orchestra rehearsals and in-house events are open to the public.
Concerts are performed in the strikingly beautiful and acoustically fabled Festival Concert Hall, which is air-conditioned with seating for 1,000, and in the charming Edythe Bates Old chapel.
Tickets (http://festivalhill.org) are: adults, $25 to $35; students, $10 to $15. Guests enjoy free parking, picnic areas, and drinks and food are available. For more information, visit festivalhill.org or call (979) 249-3129.
Located in historic Round Top, The James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts and its sole project, Round Top Festival Institute, were founded in 1971 by world-renowned concert pianist James Dick. Begun with a handful of gifted young pianists in rented space on the town square, the project is now an internationally acclaimed music institute for aspiring young musicians and distinguished faculty.
Over a 45-year period and with the help of its patrons and friends, The James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts has developed superb year round education and performance programs. It has also created a unique 210-acre campus – Festival Hill – containing major performance facilities, historic houses, extensive gardens, parks and nature preserves.
Through its singular collection of rare books, manuscripts, archival material, music and historic recordings, photographs and objects, Round Top Festival Institute is also known as an important center for research and scholarly study.