Arts / Performing Arts

This Piano Concert in a Bluebonnet Field May be the Most Magical Texas Thing Ever — Watch the Exclusive Video

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BY // 05.08.20

What does a performing arts organization do when its years-in-the-making plans for a grand destination gala celebrating a half-century of work get derailed by the coronavirus pandemic?

Come up with a new date and — as a gift to supporters and music lovers — craft a glorious concert in a field.

Talk about a Plan B. Cue Round Top Festival Institute, in the hamlet of Round Top, Texas (population ninetysomething), incongruously home to one of the top music festivals in the world.

When it became clear this spring that Festival Hill’s 50th Anniversary Gala: A Golden Jubilee of Music, scheduled to take place under a big tent on the bucolic grounds of Round Top Festival Institute, needed to move from April to a more auspicious date — Saturday, October 24 — the institute’s founder got busy doing what he knows best: tickling the ivories on a concert grand piano.

In an inspired gesture, James Dick (whose piano prowess has graced stages from Carnegie Hall to the Tchaikovsky Competition, where he was a finalist) tapped the owners of a bluebonnet-filled pasture in Fayette County for his venue.

A full-sized concert grand piano was moved — no small feat — from the hall of Festival Hill to this idyllic, blossom-bedecked field. Then film producers Don and Kiki Teague of Round Top were brought in to record the magic.

In a nice synchronicity, the piece James Dick selected to play was from the institute’s first concert series some 50 years ago. (Watch the video of this piano concert in a bluebonnet field in the player above this story.)

While the Round Top Festival Institute will not take place this summer, it will return.

“With, indeed, special thoughts on all this, as it was our 50th summer,” Dick tells PaperCity. “However, we have decided to postpone the studies and performances of this year’s carefully planned repertoire until the beginning of June 2021 — the actual 50th year, our golden anniversary.

“We will resume our cultural and music events on Saturday, August 22, 2020, which begins our August-to-April series.”

Support a Texas Cultural Treasure 

For more information on Festival Hill and to donate, go here. You can also check out Festival Hall’s special-edition 50th anniversary book.

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