Unwrap Your Candies Now

Violist Brian Bires Wins Big At Texas Music Festival And Catastrophic Theatre Revives Rock Opera “Speeding Motorcycle”

A cult favorite musician with Texas roots inspires one of the most successful productions by Catastrophic Theatre, and a rising classical star puts the viola in the spotlight.


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In this episode of "Unwrap Your Candies Now," Ernie Manouse talks with Jason Nodler and Tamarie Cooper, Co-Artistic Directors of Catastrophic Theatre, about Speeding Motocycle. First produced in 2006 to rave reviews, this original rock opera is based on the songs of legendary outsider artist-musician Daniel Johnston.

Catherine Lu chats with violist Brian Bires, First Place Winner of the 30th Annual Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition at the Immanuel & Helan Olshan Texas Music Festival. A homegrown talent, Bires was raised in Friendswood, attended Clear Lake High School and earned his Master's degree from the University of Houston Moores School of Music.

Share your comments, questions and ideas at UYCN@houstonpublicmedia.org.

Music used in Brian Bires' segment: Viola Concerto in g minor by Cecil Forsyth (excerpts) performed by violist Brian Bires and pianist Shannon Hesse. Recorded at University of Houston by Texas Music Festival and Afshin Farzadfar.


This article is part of the Unwrap Your Candies Now podcast

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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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