The bartenders of Dor?ol Distilling Company expertly mixed all manner of rakia cocktails while San Antonio Symphony Concertmaster Eric Gratz led a small string ensemble Thursday night. The bartenders respectfully opted to quietly stir traditionally shaken drinks – sound travels quite well in the small distillery.

Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony performed Vivaldi’s Concerti and Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings for an audience of about 100 that spilled out onto the distillery’s patio.

When the orchestra performs at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, the musicians dress formally and are seated in sections. On this night the small strings ensemble was more relaxed in all aspects – save for performance quality. Gratz wore glasses and suspenders, for instance, and provided brief contextual lessons on the composers and pieces with quirky, yet carefully measured levity.

“There’s a black Sequoia with the lights on,” he informed the crowd, taking on more humble duties during this particular performance.

Attendees varied in age and appreciation of classical music, precisely the point of the musicians bringing their informal performances to new audiences in nontraditional venues.

Managing Editor Iris Dimmick contributed to this report.

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Top image: A concert led by Concertmaster Eric Gratz by the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony at Dor?ol Distilling Company.  Photo by Scott Ball.

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Scott Ball

Scott Ball is the Rivard Report's photo editor and a native San Antonian.