2020-2021 Concert Season

Keeping an Ear to the Ground – Septmber 19, 2020 – Online Concert Event
Since ancient times, musicians have used repeating patterns as a foundation for compositions and improvisations. One of the most common, the ground bass, involves a bass line that repeats itself while the voices above engage in melodic variation of increasing complexity. Later, dances based on repeating chord progressions, like the chaconne and passacaille, became popular, turning up in popular French operas and Italian concertos. Recorded at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Austin and live premiered in high-definition video and audio on YouTube, this program will include music by Handel, Vivaldi, Lully, Purcell, and others. Click here to learn more.

Lamentación y Esperanza – November 21, 2020 – Online Concert Event
One of music’s greatest powers is its ability to wordlessly express the extreme depths of human emotion. 2020 brought with it a great deal of loss and sadness, but there remains for many a strong sense of hope for the future. We honor and remember those who’ve been lost, and hope for a brighter future, through a collection of Iberian and Latin American choral works whose texts relate to lament and loss, hope and light. Featuring music by Lôbo, Magalhães, López de Capillas, Padilla, Guerrero, Victoria, and others, this program will be recorded at historic Mission Concepción and live premiered in high-definition video and audio on YouTube.  Click here to learn more.

Go to the Principals’ Office! – February 20 & 21, 2021
Ten years ago, our original plan was to form a chamber ensemble – the orchestra and choir bit ended up happening somewhat on its own! We’ll commemorate the midpoint of our tenth season with a return to this original conception, in a program of chamber music curated and performed by seven of our principal players. We’ve selected a smörgåsbord of chamber music from all over Europe, and we’ll present each piece to you along with an introduction by the player who selected it, including why they selected it and something interesting about it.  Click here to learn more.

Schütz & Giggles – March 27 & 28, 2021
Without a doubt, the greatest German composer before JS Bach was Heinrich Schütz. Though much of his music is lost, including all of his secular music, what remains shows a masterful composer who deftly combined the passion of the Italian early baroque with German craftsmanship, bringing a new brilliance to the music he created for Lutheran worship. His contemporaries were just as enamored with the exciting new styles of music coming out of Italy, and they followed his lead. A small ensemble of instruments and voices will present music by Schütz, along with Schmelzer, Scheidt, Praetorius, and Buxtehude. Click here to learn more.

Handel’s Joseph and His Brethren – May 22 & 23, 2021
We celebrate the anniversary of the Starbucks meeting where ABO was born with a performance of a neglected major work by a composer who was heavily featured in our first ever concert – George Frideric Handel. Premiered in 1744, the oratorio Joseph and His Brethren has been mostly ignored since that time. The plot involves the life of the Hebrew patriarch Joseph, from his rise to vizier of all of Egypt, through his testing of the brothers who sold him into slavery, to his reunion with his beloved family. Featuring a full orchestra, choir, and soloists and sung in English with English supratitles, this performance will use a new edition taken from the original manuscript and will be a Texas premiere (and only the second known US performance). Click here to learn more.