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Dallas Mavericks: A New Music and Arts Festival Premieres in Texas

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Dallas was once a cultural backwater of big oil and bigger hair. The rise of the Dallas Arts District—much of it designed by Pritzker Prize winners— made it the city of big culture. Now it has a creative gathering to bring the rest of the world calling: the first annual Soluna International Music & Arts Festival (from May 4 to 24; mydso.com), brainchild of Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) music director Jaap van Zweden. Themed “Destination (America),” the music-plus extravaganza both announces the city’s new status as a cultural beacon and highlights the country’s history as a haven for artists the world over, linking the U.S.’s melting-pot origins with its own mingling of disciplines. Of special note: Three films (including Face in the Crowd, starring Elizabeth Banks) by photographer Alex Prager (the second coming of Cindy Sherman) will be scored live by the DSO. Additionally Leonard Bernstein’s Kaddish will be paired with Israeli artist Yael Bartana’s epic Inferno probing the exile’s struggle for identity. “The district has always had great exhibitions but was missing something to connect it all,” says festival director (and Jaap’s daughter) Anna-Sophia van Zweden. “Soluna is that platform.”

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