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Moores School of Music Alumnus Steals Spotlight at Texas Music Festival

Violist Brian Bires wins first place in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition.

Forever Coog Brian Bires was named first place winner of the 30th annual Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition at this year’s Texas Music Festival (TMF). This marks the first University of Houston graduate to win the competition since 2002.  

Bires, who earned his master’s in viola performance spring of 2019, will perform Cecil Forsyth’s Viola Concert in G minor at the TMF “Simply Fantastic!” concert this Saturday, June 22. He will take the stage as a soloist under the baton of Maestro Carl St. Clair, music director of the Pacific Symphony, performing on a Thomas Perry viola made in 1783.

“We’re thrilled for Brian’s win with his formidable interpretation of Cecil Forsyth’s Viola Concert in G minor,” says Alan Austin, TMF’s general and artistic director. “All five musicians in the final round… were of exceptional talent.”

As the recipient of the top prize, Bires will also be invited to appear as a soloist with the  Akademisches Orchester in Leipzig, Germany at the esteemed Gewandhaus.

For tickets and a full TMF schedule, visit