As conductor of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, Richard Lee has learned audiences in Tyler enjoy programs that feature classical guitar music.
During the orchestra’s 2014 season, the internationally famous Romeros Quartet performed a composition for four guitars and orchestra that was well-received.
“Folks appreciate classical guitar here, much more so than in other places I’ve worked,” said Lee, who also is the orchestra’s musical director.
East Texas Symphony Orchestra will begin its 2019-20 season Sept. 14 with Celebracion, a concert featuring classical guitar music. It is being presented in partnership with Hispanic Professionals Association of Tyler in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month.
The concert is set for 7:30 p.m. at the University of Texas at Tyler’s Cowan Center, 3900 University Blvd. Tickets cost between $18 to $65 and can be reserved at etso.org or by calling 903-566-7424.
Guitar virtuoso Isaac Bustos will be one of the guest performers. Bustos is the head of guitar studies at Texas A&M University and artistic director of the university’s International Guitar Symposium and Competition. He has performed throughout the world.
Also taking the stage will be the Tyler Junior College Guitar Ensemble and soprano Sooah Park, an assistant professor of music at UT Tyler.
Lee credits the TJC Guitar Ensemble under direction of Frank Kimlicko with helping to foster an appreciation of the classical guitar.
“I plan to schedule guitarists fairly regularly due to the heightened interest in the instrument here, largely due to the long-running and broad-reaching program run by Frank Kimlicko at TJC,” Lee said.
All of the guest artists at the Sept. 14 concert are based in Texas.
Lee said Texas musicians will be featured throughout the season.
“In years past, we spent a lot of effort bringing in guest artists from faraway places, probably subconsciously thinking that this would impress our audience,” he said. “Having lived in Texas for three years now, it became clear that Texans are so proud of this great state and we know that there are a lot of great musicians here.”