Houston Symphony Announces 101st Season of Concerts
While still in the midst of a record-breaking Centennial Season, the Houston Symphony announced its 101st season of concerts, the first under new music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, in an unprecedented multi-media event tonight. A live television broadcast and streaming webcast were produced in conjunction with Houston Public Media on the University of Houston campus at the Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting. Hosted by KUHA Classical 91.7 FM's St.John Flynn, the 30-minute program aired on KUHT Channel 8 and featured interviews, video vignettes and questions from a studio audience comprised of local reporters and Symphony fans. Following the broadcast, the studio guests joined several hundred Symphony supporters for a celebratory champagne and dessert reception at the Hilton Hotel on the UH campus.
"This broadcast and webcast event was the perfect way to spread the word about Andrés' Inaugural Season to an even broader audience and build upon the momentum generated from our Centennial Season," said Houston Symphony Executive Director and CEO Mark C. Hanson. "It symbolizes our commitment to innovation, community partnerships, and becoming more relevant to even more Houstonians. We're grateful to Houston Public Media for collaborating on this important and exciting announcement."
2014-15: Andrés' Inaugural Season
With his infectious warmth, love of people, and electricity on the podium, the 36-year-old Colombian-born and Vienna-trained Orozco-Estrada is looking forward to creating ongoing, meaningful connections with patrons and engaging more Houstonians in orchestral music during his first season and beyond. These ambitions mirror the Symphony's goal of attracting even more people to concerts at Jones Hall and at locations throughout the Greater Houston community.
Prior to the start of the 18-concert Classical Season, the Houston Symphony presents a weekend-long celebration to welcome the debut of Andrés Orozco-Estrada as Music Director. Festivities begin on September 12 with "¡Bienvenido, Andrés!" - a free performance at Miller Outdoor Theatre. All of Houston is invited to this free evening under the stars for music of Mexico, France and Colombia, complete with folk dancers and other festive elements. This concert is made possible in part through the support of the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board. Then, on September 13, an Opening Night with Andrés concert at Jones Hall salutes the start of Orozco-Estrada's Inaugural Season, followed by a gala dinner at The Corinthian chaired by Barbara and Pat McCelvey and catered by Jackson and Company. The concert features highly-acclaimed British trumpeter Alison Balsom, recipient of the 2013 Gramophone Awards "Artist of the Year" title. The Opening Night concert is once again generously supported by ConocoPhillips. The "Bienvenido" weekend culminates with a free concert at Jones Hall, Fiesta Sinfonica Con Andrés, supported in part by Chevron, commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month, on September 14. Gabriela Montero, superstar Venezuelan pianist, also joins the weekend line-up.
Connecting Audiences More Deeply with the Music
"I am so proud to become part of this wonderful city and the 100-year tradition at the Houston Symphony," said Orozco-Estrada. "Every time I walk onto the Jones Hall stage to rehearse and perform with these musicians, I feel something extraordinary, and I look forward to sharing this excitement, connecting more closely to the music, with all of our patrons."
'Musically Speaking with Andrés'
The former ACCESS series gets reinvented with a new format and venue in the 2014-15 Season. Presented on three Thursdays at Rice University's Stude Concert Hall, Musically Speaking with Andrés is an intimate concert experience focused on single works with commentary from Orozco-Estrada. This year's series includes insights from Orozco-Estrada on composers Shostakovich, Dvo?ák and Bartók on January 15, March 12 and May 7.
As the Symphony's first Hispanic Music Director, Andrés is exploring numerous opportunities for Spanish speaking patrons to connect with the Houston Symphony in their native language. As an additional "Musically Speaking" performance outside of the three-concert series, Andrés will be offering Spanish-language commentary together with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on November 16, again at Rice University's Stude Concert Hall. Andrés plans to weave other bilingual presentations throughout the season in various ways, potentially including additional pre- and/or post-concert talks in Spanish.