Celebrating Our
10th Anniversary Season!

About Astraios

Astraios produces world-class chamber music concerts built around innovative and engaging audience interaction.  


Announcing our




Your support

brings great chamber music

to North Texas!



Sunday, 26 June 2016 21:15

What is a Professional Artist?

We have recently been having a very interesting discussion here at Astraios HQ. In our current location of Frisco, TX, where the arts scene is truly just beginning, the question has been raised: What is a professional artist? Astraios is proud that we only use professional musicians on our concerts, but what does that actually mean?

Monday, 07 September 2015 22:36

Libby Vanatta

Libby Vanatta, a native of Middle Tennessee, joined the music faculty at Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2010 as Instructor of Piano. She currently teaches class piano, piano pedagogy, piano literature, and private piano lessons. An active accompanist in Commerce, Ms. Vanatta has also performed throughout the country at conferences, competitions, and in guest artist recitals. Passionate about chamber music, Ms. Canatta formed Doppio Movimento in 2011 with her Texas A&M University-Commerce colleague, Dr. Luis Sanchez. Ms. Vanatta holds a Bachelor of Science in piano performance from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, and a Master of Music in piano pedagogy from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


Monday, 27 July 2015 19:55


We do our best to showcase as many different instruments and styles of music as possible.  Be sure to visit our YouTube Channel for more videos!

The Gruca-White Ensemble lead the audience in a little improv:


Dr. Brian Zator performs his transcription of a work by koto player Minoru Miki:


The Bel Air Brass perform a Renaissance fanfare:

Monday, 27 July 2015 19:24


Astraios commissioned Fast Track by David Horace Davies, in celebration of our first-ever Gala Concert.  In the program notes, Davies writes

“The inspiration behind Fast Track is the North Texas city of Frisco.  Like many communities across the United States, Frisco’s history and development is inextricably tied to the railroad.  Indeed, even the name ‘Frisco’ is drawn from the name of the rail line on which the community was founded.  While most railroad communities have seen more ‘bust’ than ‘boom’ over the past century, Frisco has developed into a mini-metropolis and is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.  The name Fast Track is a tribute to both the speed at which Frisco has developed, and the tracks to which it owes its origins.

While not intended to be programmatic, the first third of the piece invokes the wide-open prairies of the American west.  Through use of repeating rhythmic cells and textural layers, the texture gradually develops in a bustling, rhythmic groove.”

Commissioned by Astraios Chamber Music for their 2015 Gala Concert
Claudia Jones, Violin ~ Eric Jones, Viola ~ Ruth Ann Ritchie & Emily McKay, Flutes ~
Natasha Merchant, Oboe ~ Jeremy Reynolds, Clarinet ~ Michael Jones, Bassoon ~
Daniel Kelly, Trumpet ~ Brian Zator, Percussion

Click below to listen:

 World Premiere Performance of Fast Track


The world premiere performance of Fast Track, April 11, 2015, at the Frisco Heritage Museum.


Other samples from the Colorado Public Radio Performance Studios (Martin Skavish, engineer):

Respighi's The Nightingale
(The August Winds:  Ruth Ann Ritchie, Flute; Natasha Merchant, Oboe;
Marianne Shifrin, Clarinet; Michael Jones, Bassoon; Jonathan Kuhns, Horn)

From Muczynski's Fragments for wind trio
     I. Waltz

     V. Exit
(Ruth Ann Ritchie, Marianne Shifrin, Michael Jones)


Schubert's Der Erlkonig (arr. Michael Jones)
The Cirrus Quartet: Ruth Ann Ritchie, Flute; Claudia Orsi Jones, Violin;
Eric Jones, Viola; Michael Jones, Bassoon)


Monday, 20 July 2015 23:41

School Concerts

Thanks to grants from the Frisco Association for the Arts and the Texas Commission on the Arts, we
launched our elementary school programs in 2014, bringing musicians into Frisco ISD schools to engage directly with young students. Our mission for these programs is to support the music curriculum of FISD and give young students exposure to professional performances. So far we have reached
10 elementary schools and over 3000 students, with our programs growing every year. Previous performances have showcased a variety of instruments and featured programs on music from around the world, storytelling through music, and the ways we use music in our everyday lives.

If you are interested in having Astraios perform at your school, please contact us!


2015 Taylor ES 3

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