Musical mastermind Richard McKay shares his local picks in this week's installation of Best In Dallas
“Spellbinding”, “Perfectly shaped” and “finely paced” are all words that have been used to describe the founder and artistic director of the Dallas Chamber Symphony
. With a Master of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Orchestral Conducting and a Doctorate from the Peabody Music Conservatory, Richard has quite the resume. Read on to hear what this successful and talented man considers the best spots for dining, cocktails, and more in the Dallas area! Don't forget to catch his upcoming performance at Moody Performance Hall on Feb. 20th.
Cocktail Culture: The Cedars Social
Richard loves the Cedars Social for a classic drink after a hard day’s conducting. “It has such an inviting atmosphere and its classic drinks are great," he told us. Located on South Lamar, this chic cocktail den features an extensive list of handcrafted cocktails developed by innovative barmen Michael Martensen.
Artistic Addiction: PDNB Gallery
Photos Do Not Bend Gallery is a “must-see for anyone who loves photography" according to Richard. He enjoys their “critters” exhibit and how they “really bring events into focus." Smart and punny. This fine art gallery is dedicated entirely to photo-based art and is housed inside a new location across the street from Dallas Contemporary. It's original Uptown location opened in 1995 and has been a local staple ever since.
Décor Destination: Uncommon Market
Our spotlighted local loves Uncommon Market for all his décor needs. Similar to his symphonies at Moody Performance Hall, everything in Uncommon Market “will be unique and will seem to have a story.” The shop, opened in 1971 by two brothers, is an antique goldmine for interiors, signs, and collectibles.
Bargain Hunter: Habitat ReStore
Richard is not only an artist when it comes to the musical arts but also when it comes to the art of construction. His love of building in his free time takes him to Habitat for Humanity’s Habitat ReStore where they have everything you could possibly need for building and well, restoring. “Plus, you are supporting a great cause.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
On the Move: Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve
Cedar Ridge Preserve is Richard's favorite place for “walking and birdwatching”. He truly does grab some of his musical inspiration from nature walks at this beautiful park located right here in Cedar Hill, Texas. Rich in wildlife, it offers a little slice of Hill Country at our fingertips with native trees, grasses, and wildflowers.
Brain Candy: Bruce Wood Dance Project
Having worked with Bruce Wood Dance Project in the past, Richard is always “astounded at what goes into these productions.” He loves the complexity of the set and the costume design. “It is a lot to take in...in a good way," he told us of the award-winning dance company.
I Heart Dallas: Moody Performance Hall
Enjoying Mood Performance Hall, as well as the Winspear, Booker T., and the Meyerson, from every angle, is truly inspiring to Richard. “Knowing I have the privilege of being a thread in that fabric is humbling. There are a lot of unacknowledged men and women making what we do possible, and our Arts District is a testament to that.”
On Feb. 20, Richard will be debuting the Dallas Chamber Symphony’s exploration through early 20th-century music. Get your jazz and roarin’ twenties attire ready for The Creation of the World
featuring an award-winning Unsilent film score from the film A Sailor-Made Man
and two avant-garde early 20th
century pieces. In his words, “ This concert is sure to be a fun evening, with creative music that many have not heard before, but I’m sure will love.” You can grab your tickets here
Image 1 courtesy of Richard McKay. Image 2 courtesy of Craft Cocktails. Image 6 courtesy of Trevor Paulhus. All other images courtesy of individual retailers.