Like most folks this time of year you may be inclined to see and hear as many holiday concert as you can fit into your schedule. This season, you get a chance to listen to the sound of Mark Landson’s extraordinary violin playing here in town. Mark will be performing as a duo with Dina Nesterenko at the 4th Tap Brew Pub on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Artist Series Chamber Concert.
Landson is an astounding musician performing in Austin and other parts of Texas throughout the year–I had the pleasure of attending one of his concerts at Blackerby on Anderson Lane. Mark is also the Founder of Open Classical and he aids in bringing all kinds of talented musicians together for outstanding concert performances. Here is what Mark had to say when asked about his work.
Do you tour in Texas as well as play in Austin?
Yes, we regularly tour in Texas and I have a local organization in Austin. So Open Classical has a persistent local presence in Austin.
What will this upcoming 4th Tap concert feature?
The December concert is going to feature a seriously incredible violinist named Dina Nesterenko. She has performance energy that is truly astounding and draws people in no matter their musical background. Her specialty is creating her own arrangements of full symphonies and playing all the parts live on solo violin. She will be playing her arrangement of Beethoven 5th Symphony, and we will be doing duos for Violin and Viola. I also will be doing my Bach Suite of Suites for solo viola, which is something I have done a lot with tap dancers (including for a TED talk).
When did you start playing the violin?
I started playing the violin at 6 years old. My father is a well-known violin teacher of the Suzuki Method.
What other instruments do you play?
I play violin, viola and I took eight years of piano growing up, so I can do that decently – enough to know how to write music for piano. I used to play keyboards in bands that I wrote songs for and also sang in the bands.
Why did you start Open Classical?
I started Open Classical to build solutions to the systemic problems that face the classical music genre. In the classical genre, there is no easy way to do a tour like you would in a rock band. This is very important because that means there is no way to have a good idea, put together a project, and get it out to the public and make enough money to keep prioritizing it. It’s my belief that if we give excellent artists the opportunity to get their art out there and be able to organically build their fan base, that will spur innovation and creativity in the classical genre.
For more information, visit openclassical.org.