a true classic

Beloved Houston classical music festival showcasing young stars winds down this weekend

Beloved Houston classical music festival showcases emerging stars

Texas Music Festival Houston e Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival
The festival features young, emerging talent. Photo courtesy of e Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival

One of Houston’s most beloved music events is winding down this weekend, offering classical music fans a chance to enjoy burgeoning, top-tier talent.

The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival, which runs through June 26 at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music on the school’s central campus, boasts performances from its Texas Music Festival Orchestral Institute as well as a showcase of piano, organ, harpsichord and fortepiano in its 2022 High School Keyboard Academy event.

Another highlight is re(Discovery) Week (through June 25), which celebrates works by prominent Black composers — Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and William Dawson — through performance, discussion and appreciation. Fans can look forward to a panel discussion, pre-concert lecture, and concert on June 25. Paired with music and film, this panel will explore “The Fate of Black Classical Music.” Featured appearances include Joseph Horowitz, guest musicologist and author of Dvorak’s Prophecy and the Vexed Fate of Black Classical Music; Anne Lundy, founder of the Scott Joplin Chamber Orchestra; and Lucius R. Wyatt, a retired Prairie View A&M University professor.

Concert goers can then expect William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony (1934), which has not been performed in Houston for more than 30 years, conducted by renowned artistic partner, Mei-Ann Chen.

Tickets range from $15 to $30 and can be found online or by calling 713-743-3388.

Founded in 1990, the month-long festival prominently features 80 college, graduate, and young professional players who are between the ages of 18-30. All selected TMF Orchestra Fellows receive fellowships covering tuition and weekly lessons valued around $3,500.

These fellows study with faculty from the Moores and Shepherd schools of music, Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and Ballet orchestras, and other distinguished orchestras and music schools and conservatories.

Participants also take master classes with renowned musicians as well as principals and members of the Houston Symphony and other major orchestras, per press materials.

Immanuel and Helen Olshan launched the festival in hopes of highlighting the considerable classical and jazz talent in Houston, exposing these young stars to the city’s most discriminating ears. The result is a now 32-year tradition and lasting tribute to two passionate supporters of the arts.


The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival; Moores School of Music, 3333 Cullen Blvd., Room 120; through Sunday, June 26. For tickets and more information, visit the festival site.