News from RICE University

Symphony concert, annual ‘Spirit of the Season’ and more on tap as Rice Shepherd School wraps up fall events

As the holiday season approaches, Rice’s Shepherd School of Music has a number of events on tap for concertgoers to enjoy.

Augustin Hadelich
Augustin Hadelich. Photo courtesy of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice.

World-renowned and Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich will visit the Shepherd School for a master class Nov. 30 at 3 p.m. in Tudor Patrons’ Lounge. Students will perform excerpts and receive coaching from Hadelich in front of a live audience. This master class is free and open to the public.

The Shepherd School Chamber Players will perform Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in Alice Pratt Brown Hall’s Stude Concert Hall. Repertoire for the event will include Stravinsky’s “Octet for Wind Instruments,” Golijov’s “Last Round,” Takemitsu’s “BRYCE,” Françaix’s “Sept Danses” and Mendelssohn’s “Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20.” This concert is free and open to the public.

Kicking off the month of December will be the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, led by guest conductor William Eddins, music director emeritus of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

“I have reached that age where supposedly I have some knowledge to impart to another generation, and I always look forward to these opportunities,” Eddins said. “To engage with the students at Rice is a highlight of this season for me, not so much because I think I have that much to say to them, but rather I look forward to the opportunity of sharing our mutual passion for great music. I hope that they see in me that music can sustain a person through a lifetime, that music is a constant journey of discovery and new understanding, and that to share this with others is the ultimate gift we are given as musicians.”

William Eddins
William Eddins. Photo courtesy of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice.

The Dec. 1 program, titled “Transcending Heights,” will include Brahms’s Symphony No. 2 and Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto, undoubtedly one of the most famous concertos in the piano repertoire. The latter piece will feature 2023 Shepherd School of Music Concerto Competition winner Isaac Foreman, a doctor of musical arts student of Jon Kimura Parker, as soloist.

“It is probable that many of the students have not played either of the pieces we shall perform,” Eddins said. “It is then a weighty responsibility to be the one to introduce them to performing this repertoire. Perhaps it is ironic that these two pieces — Emperor Concerto and Brahms Symphony No. 2 — were important portals to my own early love for, and understanding of, music. At the end of the day I hope I can help them through that portal, and that through this experience they go on to explore music, in whatever direction it takes them, with constant joy.”

Audience members are invited to stay after the 7:30 p.m. concert for a brief conversation with Shepherd School Dean Matthew Loden and guest artists. The Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra concert will be livestreamed for free on are required for entry and range from free to $25, available at

Eddins, who is also an accomplished concert pianist and chamber musician, will perform a guest recital at 8 p.m. Nov. 28 in Alice Pratt Brown Hall’s Duncan Recital Hall.

On Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Brockman Hall for Opera’s Morrison Theater, the Shepherd School will host its “Spirit of the

"Spirit of the Season." Photo courtesy of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice.
"Spirit of the Season." Photo courtesy of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice. 

Season” event featuring Rice voice and instrumental students. The performance will include selections from opera (Carmen and La bohème), musical theater (Carousel, Man of La Mancha and Songs for a New World) as well as holiday favorites White Christmas, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Klezmer selections and more.

Tickets are required for “Spirit of the Season” and start at $40. Premium ticket holders ($150) enjoy an exclusive VIP reception in Tudor Patrons’ Lounge with complimentary bites and cocktails at 6:30 p.m. All ticket holders can enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and holiday cookies in the Grand Foyer. Cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks are also available for purchase.

For more information on these and other events at the Shepherd School of Music, visit