Egill Sæbjörnsson's trolls at the Meyerson.

Arts & Entertainment

Soluna Festival Celebrates Five Years with Fabio Luisi’s DSO Debut, Terence Blanchard, and Giant Trolls

The annual music and arts festival has a low key but high power season ahead.

This morning, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced a four-week schedule of concerts, performances, and happenings for the fifth annual Soluna International Music & Arts Festival, which is coming from April 4 through April 28. While anchored by DSO performances, the festival aims to draw a connection from the lofty world of classical music to modern life in Dallas.

In years past, it’s struck that balance by bringing in popular musicians like St. Vincent, Nas, and Sarah Jaffe. It moved from its home in the monied Dallas Arts District to neighborhoods across the city. Admittedly, the 2019 programming doesn’t quite have that pop appeal, but it does promise to bring a powerful group of artists and activate a variety of cultural spaces throughout Dallas.

There are a lot of intriguing events heading our way this April. Here are some of the most exciting.

  • Starting April 6, Japan-born, New York-based sound artist Aki Onda will stage a sound and sight activation at the Crow Museum of Asian Art, amid Jacob Hashimoto’s ethereal exhibition Clouds and Chaos, which closes April 14. 
  • Grammy Award-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard will partake in two events during Soluna. On April 7, he’ll appear at Alamo Drafthouse Cedars for a screening of Spike Lee’s 25th Hour and an artist talk. Blanchard has written the music for all the director’s films, including BlacKkKlansman, which got him another Grammy nomination. On April 9 at The Majestic Theatre, Blanchard will join choreographer Rennie Harris and Dallas-based visual artist Andrew Scott for the premiere of Caravan: A Revolution on the Road, an interdisciplinary performance focused on the role of art in racial healing.
  • Egill Sæbjörnsson, the Icelandic artist who stormed the Venice Biennale with two hot-tempered trolls, plans to do the same thing in Dallas. On April 10, he’ll release the 118-foot creatures – a mix of sculpture, painting, and video projection – at River Bend (2025 Irving Blvd) for When the Trolls Go Rolling In.
  • Fabio Luisi, newly appointed Music Director Designate, makes his debut on the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s podium on April 18 and 19, leading the orchestra in Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, as well as works by Frank Martin and William Grant Still.
  • April 19 at the DMA, Lonnie Holley, renowned improvisational artist and musician, will perform on the piano accompanied by long-time collaborator, cellist Dave Eggar, and musicians from the Meadows POINT Ensemble. The piece will consider American history and tie into the the museum’s upcoming exhibition, America Will Be! Surveying the Contemporary Landscape.
  • The Verdigris Ensemble presents Faces of Dallas, a project that synthesizes the poetry of local writers with watercolor artwork by Stephan Zhang, from April 26 to 28 at Arts Mission Oak Cliff.
  • The festival closes on April 27 with Passport to the Park, a day of free programming and performances at Klyde Warren Park. There will be yoga with Exhale Spa, scientific activities with the Perot Museum, and a community mosaic art project. Performers include Banda Magda, Booker T. Washington’s Mariachi Pegaso, Bruce Wood Dance, SMU World Music Ensemble, and the TI Jazz Band.

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