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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.

  • Brian Bires and Daniel Johnston (Photo Credit: Texas Music Festival and Paul Hudson/Wikipedia Creative Commons License)
    Brian Bires and Daniel Johnston (Photo Credit: Texas Music Festival and Paul Hudson/Wikipedia Creative Commons License)
  • Tamarie Cooper and Jason Nodler, Catastrophic Theatre Co-Artistic Directors (Photo Credit: George Hixson)
    Tamarie Cooper and Jason Nodler, Catastrophic Theatre Co-Artistic Directors (Photo Credit: George Hixson)
  • Daniel Johnston (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Daniel Johnston's Facebook page)
    Daniel Johnston (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Daniel Johnston's Facebook page)
  • Daniel Johnston performing with British Sea Power, 2012 (Photo Credit: Paul Hudson/Wikipedia Creative Commons License)
    Daniel Johnston performing with British Sea Power, 2012 (Photo Credit: Paul Hudson/Wikipedia Creative Commons License)
  • Violist Brian Bires (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Music Festival)
    Violist Brian Bires (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Music Festival)
  • Brian Bires at Houston Public Media (Photo Credit: Catherine Lu)
    Brian Bires at Houston Public Media (Photo Credit: Catherine Lu)
  • Violist Brian Bires and pianist Shannon Hesse perform in the Finals Round of TMF's Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition, June 9, 2019 (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Music Festival)
    Violist Brian Bires and pianist Shannon Hesse perform in the Finals Round of TMF's Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition, June 9, 2019 (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Music Festival)
  • Brian Bires flanked by his teacher, Houston Symphony Principal Violist Wayne Brooks, and TMF General & Artistic Director Alan Austin (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Music Festival)
    Brian Bires flanked by his teacher, Houston Symphony Principal Violist Wayne Brooks, and TMF General & Artistic Director Alan Austin (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Music Festival)
  • Finalists of the 2019 TMF Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition (L-R): Ayrton Pisco (violin), Brian Bires (viola & First Place winner), Mark Lauer (bassoon), and Evan Schnurr (clarinet & Second Place winner – tie) and Yue Yang (violin & Second Place winner – tie). Yang also won the Audience Favorite Award (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Music Festival)
    Finalists of the 2019 TMF Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition (L-R): Ayrton Pisco (violin), Brian Bires (viola & First Place winner), Mark Lauer (bassoon), and Evan Schnurr (clarinet & Second Place winner – tie) and Yue Yang (violin & Second Place winner – tie). Yang also won the Audience Favorite Award (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Texas Music Festival)
  • Violist Brian Bires in rehearsal with the 2019 Immanuel & Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival Orchestra (Photo Credit: Pin Lim)
    Violist Brian Bires in rehearsal with the 2019 Immanuel & Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival Orchestra (Photo Credit: Pin Lim)
  • Violist Brian Bires in rehearsal with the 2019 Immanuel & Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival Orchestra (Photo Credit: Pin Lim)
    Violist Brian Bires in rehearsal with the 2019 Immanuel & Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival Orchestra (Photo Credit: Pin Lim)

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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.

 

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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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