Astral is a nonprofit intensive mentoring program that specializes in developing the early careers of extraordinary classical musicians. Our approach is forward thinking. We concentrate our resources on a small number of rising-star soloists and chamber ensembles with the potential to be change-makers and influencers.
We foster ingenuity in early-career musicians.
Astral is a nonprofit intensive mentoring program that specializes in developing the early careers of extraordinary classical musicians. Our approach is forward thinking. We concentrate our resources on a small number of rising-star soloists and chamber ensembles with the potential to be change-makers and influencers. The payoff? Cohorts of artistic visionaries who leave our program ready to build a future for classical music.
Our roster size is approximately 25, and artists stay in our program for an average of four years. During that time, the full strength of our resources is at our artists’ disposal.
Our National Auditions process is competitive. Since we make a long-term and personalized commitment to our artists and ensembles, we take only a few each year.
Join us as we embark on a season of empowering the next generation of artists to create in a digital space. Astral Nova features seven digital events over the course of the 2020/2021 season, highlighting performances, discussions, artistic collaborations, and plenty of surprises.
While our Center City Concerts and Astral Circle series are on hold due to the current pandemic, we can’t wait to rejoin our audiences in-person once it’s safe to do so.
NOVEMBER 14, 2020 @7:00 PM – EMILY LEVIN \ harp
Dallas Symphony Principal harpist Emily Levin explores the realms between imagination and reality, using music as a map for the audience to create their own adventure. Emily weaves the story between beloved harp masterworks, her own transcriptions and the premiere of her new Astral Micro Commission by composer Jonathan Cziner.
DECEMBER 5, 2020 @7:00 PM – BEOMJAE KIM \ flute
Flutist Beomjae Kim, lauded by the New York Times for his “memorable eloquence”, shares some of his favorite treasures of the flute repertoire, rediscovering key works by Varése, Chaminade, and Morlachi, as well as a preview of his Astral Micro Commission from composer Shawn Okpebholo while exploring his own story as a blossoming young artist in this highly personal program.
JANUARY 30, 2021 @7:00 PM – TIMOTHY CHOOI \ violin
2019 Queen Elisabeth Competition-winner Timmy Chooi shares three contrasting projects characteristic of this multicultural musical omnivore: music from Vivaldi’s timeless The Four Seasons, new arrangements of Uyghur folk music, and a sneak-preview of composer Carle Wirshba’s Astral Micro Commission in the form of a virtuosic fantasia on Anime and cartoon themes!
FEBRUARY 13, 2021 @7:00 PM – RACHEL LEE HALL \ harp
When intrepid harpist Rachel Lee Hall isn’t soloing on the stage, she’s hard at work creating new connections as an educator. In this event, Rachel shares the story of her recent publication of the Purpose in Practice journal, and weaves conversation and her own recent musical arrangements into a compelling reminder that much of our artists’ greatest work happens off the stage.
MARCH 13, 2021 @7:00 PM – RONALDO ROLIM \ piano
After Brazilian pianist Ronaldo Rolim toured across four continents prior to the pandemic, he decided to bring his focus to three variation sets in “the most tragic of keys”, D minor: Mendelssohn’s Variations Sérieuses, Rachmaninoff’s Corelli Variations and Bach-Busoni’s Chaconne.
APRIL 10, 2021 @7:00 PM – THOMAS MESA \ cello
Recent STRINGS Magazine cover artist Thomas Mesa explores an unconventional duo designed with social distancing in mind – a collaboration with organist Greg Zelek. Lyrical and dance-based compositions by Debussy, Lecuona, and as well as an Astral Micro Commission from composer Carlos Simon breathe wonder and life into a church awaiting reopening.
MAY 8, 2021 @7:00 PM – BRITTANY LASCH \ trombone
Trailblazing trombonist Brittany Lasch has been creating a new body of work for her instrument in the 21st century. Join us for a program of all new works written especially for Brittany and hear from some of the composers as they join in on a discussion of how collaboration drives creativity.