Kirk Wilke conducts the Cypress Chamber Orchestra
Photograph: Courtesy Cypress Chamber Orchest
In a metropolis as massive as Houston, it’s no shock that there’s room for an additional orchestra. That’s why conductor Kirk Wilke will likely be launching the Cypress Chamber Orchestra at The Centrum on Oct. 1. One of the best half is that this inaugural efficiency will likely be free.
“These guys are so good,” says Wilke, talking of his group made up of members of Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, and Houston Symphony. “These guys are professionals. It’ll be a little bit of a multitude the primary rehearsal, however by the second night time every little thing will likely be proper on. That’s the present of pros.”
Wilke has had an extended, fascinating profession to get all the way down to Houston for this enterprise. He started his music profession at three-years-old as a pianist earlier than switching to the trumpet at 5. He made his method to the celebrated Eastman Faculty of Music in Rochester, NY, finally gaining a grasp’s diploma in conducting when he tackled the troublesome “Symphony No. 1” by Gustave Mahler.
The upcoming program accommodates some fascinating works that ought to go well with the 22-piece orchestra properly. Amongst them is Richard Wagner’s “Siegfried Idyll,” which the composer wrote for his spouse as a Christmas/birthday current. He debuted it in their very own house, beginning the piece whereas she was nonetheless asleep and drawing her to the steps in rapt surprise. To be able to maintain the piece a shock, conductor Hans Richter discovered the trumpet and practiced in the course of a lake in order that she wouldn’t overhear the tune.
A deal with for Texans will likely be a efficiency of “Poem for Flute and Orchestra” by Charles Griffes. A comparatively trendy piece, Griffes work matches the Lone Star State, and numerous Houston specifically, like a glove with its German, Celtic, and East Asian influences. The principal half will likely be performed by Luellyn Dollard, who has subbed for the Austin Symphony Orchestra.
Final on this system is Aaron Copeland’s “Appalachian Spring,” one other piece excellent for smaller orchestras that was initially composed to accompany dancer Martha Graham.
“We’re a small orchestra with an enormous sound,” says Wilke. “That’s our model.”
Whereas the Cypress Chamber Orchestra is simply beginning out, Wilke hopes to quickly have it taking part in 5 live shows a 12 months with backing from its board. Within the meantime, he’s coming to like town. Beforehand, he tried to start out a chamber orchestra in Washington D.C., however discovered the placement just too crowded with present orchestras to be worthwhile. When his daughter graduated from Rice and married a Houston engineer, he determined to maneuver as properly and take a look at his luck on the bayou.
“I like it right here,” says Wilke. “Every little thing however the warmth. I miss snowboarding, however this metropolis is implausible. COVID was so brutal to the music business, and folks needed to play. Now that it’s handed, just about, persons are prepared. It was so miserable after we couldn’t get collectively. Everyone seems to be so excited now. I imagine in my coronary heart of hearts we’re going to achieve success.”
Jef Rouner is a Houston-based author.
When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1
The place: The Centrum, 6823 Cypresswood
Particulars: Free; ccorchetratx.com