Austin Symphony Closes Season With “The Eyes of Texas” [Watch]

Master improvisational pianist Gabriela Montero played a crowd favorite this past weekend at the Austin Symphony, and we’re not talking about Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor.”

Montero asked for a request from the audience during her encore, specifically for a song that all in attendance would know. The obvious choice was “The Eyes of Texas.”

The pianist did what she does best, riffing on the theme, which, of course, is itself a riff on the traditional folk song “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Upon completion of her rendition of the tune, a beautiful real-time reworking of John Sinclair’s 1903 composition, the audience erupted in rapturous applause.

Montero, as reported by, solicited another audience request on May 17, her second performance, and the final performance of the Austin Symphony season. The response from the crowd? Exactly the same as the night before. It seems she was looking for a new challenge, as she reportedly blurted out, in jest, “We had the same song last night!”

Though we weren’t there to see it in person, we are sure there were more than a few horns up in Dell Hall on both nights.


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