Right outside the Theater District of downtown Houston, situated in front of the Lyric Centre skyscraper is the disembodied head and hands of a giant mustachioed virtuoso playing the cello created by local artist David Adickes.
Made of concrete and steel, the massive Virtuoso stands 36 feet tall and weighs 21 tons, a surreal marvel on its own. Equipped with an integrated soundtrack system, the sculpture plays classical music for passing pedestrians if they listen closely to the sound of the traffic. Behind him, a life-size trio of abstract musicians play the violin, double bass, and flute.
The sculpture group was created and installed in 1983, commissioned to “pay homage to music, dance and performing arts.” Initially, it was not quite well-received by the art critics and the locals alike, who found it an eyesore, but over time it grew to be a beloved icon of Houston, an irreplaceable part of the downtown cityscape.