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Round Top Winter 2021

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PHOTOS COURTESY ROUND TOP FESTIVAL INSTITUTE, BOOK COVER COURTESY HERRING PRESS O ur fondest reflections of Round Top go beyond the bucolic fields and the treasure hunt for antiques, art, and design finds. For us, the best of Round Top will always begin and end with Round Top Festival Institute — more concisely known as Festival Hill. From humble beginnings as a two- week Piano Workshop capped by a free concert and Piano Fest on July 1, 1971, at Round Top Town Hall, who knew then that the dream of Tchaikovsky Competition pianist James Dick would transform into one of the most revered music conservatories in the world. This fall, an impressive honor for its founder, a magnum opus of a book, and gala planning befitting this historic occasion are all underway. Here's what you need to know, where to be, and how to secure tickets to next April's fête marking Festival Hill's next 50 years. First up, James Dick — pianist of international renown and the beloved music institute's founder and artistic director — has been anointed with Spring 2022's History-Making Texan Award, an honor to be commemorated Wednesday, March 2, 6:30 pm, at the Bullock Texas State History Museum Dinner in Austin. Round Top's piano maestro joins a roll call of other notable Texans who hold this accolade, including Walter Cronkite, Gerald Hines, George Mitchell, Barbara Bush and President George H.W. Bush, Lady Bird Johnson, and doctors Denton Cooley and Michael DeBakey. Dinner tickets and underwriting, Krystle Alvarado, 512.296.8841, Plans are in high gear at the institute for its own spring fun raiser, billed as The Festival Hill Gala — Prelude to the Next Fifty. Katrina and Mark Elvig step up as chairs, with auction chairs Joan Herring and Leslie Penello. The jubilant performing arts evening is orchestrated for Saturday, April 9, 6:30 pm, under a big tent on the grounds of the institute. Tickets from $250, tables from $6,000; contact Pat Johnson, 979.249.3129,, Finally, classical acolytes will want to acquire the handsome book that marks Round Top Festival Institute's musical milestone: Festival Hill at Fifty (Herring Press), written by performing arts critic Carl Cunningham. The monumental volume, lavishly illustrated with more than 500 color and vintage black-and-white photographs and ephemera, documents via 374 pages the narrative of one of America's most extraordinary classical music treasures. Celebrate with founder Dick, author Cunningham, and the Festival Hill team (including heroic archivists Lamar Lentz and Pat Johnson) Sunday, December 12, 3 to 5 pm, at the Grand Fayette Hotel; Dick and Cunningham will sign books, for purchase at the event. Book $75; event info Pat Johnson, patj@festival; additional book orders through Herring Press, FESTIVAL HILL Heads Towards 51 By Catherine D. Anspon. Portrait by Jenny Antill Clifton. ROUND TOP'S LONG-PLAYING MUSIC CONSERVATORY CELEBRATES HALF A CENTURY WITH A TRIPLE PLAY. James Dick Round Top Festival Institute 49

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