The program, directed by Akiko Yukimoto, features music by contemporary French composers: Saint-Saëns, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Ravel, and Claude DeBussy, including his well-known Claire de Lune.
The concert is sponsored by the Beeville Concert Association, with generous support from the Joe Barnhart Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the Coastal Bend Community Foundation, as well as funds from many local sponsors, benefactors, patrons and friends.
Since his concerto debut at age 14, Gratz has entertained numerous audiences throughout the United States and Europe. Newly appointed as concertmaster of the San Antonio Symphony, he has also led the National Repertory Orchestra, Banff Festival Orchestra, Ashland Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, Rice University’s Shepherd School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra and for three years served as concertmaster of the Lexington Bach Festival Orchestra.
He also has performed with The Cleveland Orchestra and the Houston Symphony, and is equally at home as a soloist and chamber musician.
At age 17, Gratz made his debut with pianist Sejoon Park at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of an eastern United States recital tour. A few months later, he made his solo debut in a concert series with The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall.
A prizewinner of multiple international violin competitions, he was a semifinalist at the 2010 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in Oslo, Norway. Later that year, he was a recipient of the Fortnightly Musical Club Award. In addition to appearing with The Cleveland Orchestra, he has performed as soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, Lexington Bach Festival Orchestra, the Euclid Symphony and the Kings Symphony, among others.
An avid chamber musician, he has studied with members of Emerson, Takacs, Cleveland, Cavani, Guarneri and Juilliard string quartets, and was a gold medal winner of the 2008 St. Paul String Quartet Competition. He regularly appears in leading summer music festivals and programs in the United States and Canada, including the Aspen Music Festival, the National Arts Centre Young Artist Programme, the Banff Music Festival, Music Academy of the West and Spoleto Festival USA.
Gratz began violin studies at the age of four. His teachers have included Cho-Liang Lin, William Preucil, Linda Cerone and Claudia Shiuh. He currently holds a young artist diploma and bachelor of music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and is completing his masters degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he is a recipient of the Anne and Charles Duncan Concertmaster Chair award. Gratz performs on an 1877 Pietro Grulli violin.
The concert is free to all students through high school age, to Coastal Bend College students with their student IDs, and to any adult accompanied by two students through high school age. Admission for adults who do not hold BCA season memberships is $10 at the door.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for South Texas music lovers to enjoy some of the world’s most exciting classical music at an incredibly low price,” BCA President Kay Past said. “The affordable rates are made possible by the Barnhart Foundation, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Coastal Bend Community Foundation and the BCA’s many patrons. We especially hope that many young people will take advantage of this special musical offering.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 25, the Symphony will perform two special concerts for selected Beeville ISD students.