Houston Symphony Kicks Off Free Summer Concerts Series Today

Houston Symphony Kicks Off Free Summer Concerts Series Today

The Houston Symphony kicks off the summer with a sensational line-up of FREE concerts, including an expanded 10 performances around Houston as part of its Summer Neighborhood Concert Series, 5 performances as part of the ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights at Miller Outdoor Theatre, and the free July 3rd performance at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

This summer's activity follows a wildly successful Centennial Season, and underscores the organization's expanded commitment to community relevance in its next century. Focusing on a wide range of recognizable entertainment, these summer concerts bring fun, family-friendly programs out into the Greater Houston area, encouraging audiences to experience the live sights and sounds of the orchestra first hand.

As Executive Director/CEO Mark Hanson often says, "We're not just the Houston Symphony, we are Houston's Symphony!"

Each summer, the orchestra packs up its instruments and equipment and hits the road to perform free concerts within the community, at locations such as schools, community centers and churches. This year, the institution is taking strides to deliver music to new and diverse communities within Greater Houston, including a visit to the Chinese Community Center, churches such as Windsor Village United Methodist and Wheeler Avenue Baptist, and venues serving Houston's Hispanic community including Ripley House Neighborhood Center in Houston's historic east end.

Here in our incredible, multi-cultural city, we have more commonalities than differences. Just as each individual is the culmination of experiences and influences, so too is orchestral music a blend of musical sounds and ideas that stem from a vast variety of cultures, many of which are represented right here in Houston. This year's Neighborhood Concert programs celebrate these diverse musical contributions that together, reflect our city, and that have influenced the magnificent sound of music that the Houston Symphony and orchestras across the world perform every day.

Also included at each performance is the ever-popular instrument petting zoo. This hands-on interactive activity allows children and adults of all ages to touch, play, tinker with and try out instruments that represent each of the orchestra's instrument families.

For more than seventy years, the Houston Symphony has thrilled Houstonians with live performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Sponsored in part by the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, these concerts are free and open to the public. This summer, Houstonians can hear great classical music under the stars on June 20, 21, 27 and 28, in addition to the annual July 4th Star-Spangled Salute concert. Admission is free, but tickets are required for the seated area. Visit www.milleroutdoortheatre.com for more information.

About the Houston Symphony: During the current 2013-14 Season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its 100th year as one of America's leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. In the upcoming 2014-15 Season, the orchestra begins its next century under the direction of Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, the organization's first Hispanic music director and 15th overall. The Houston Symphony is one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas whose inaugural performance was held at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston on June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $30.7 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians is the largest performing arts organization in Houston, presenting more than 286 performances for 300,000 people, including 82,000 children, annually. For tickets and more information, visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.


Summer Neighborhood Concerts

June 3 at 7:30 pm

The Centrum

6823 Cypresswood Dr

Spring, TX 77379

June 4 at 7:30 pm

MacArthur High School

4400 Aldine Mail Route Rd

Houston, TX 77039

June 7 at 7:30 pm

Chinese Community Center

9800 Town Park Dr

Houston, TX 77036

June 8 at 6:00 pm

Windsor Village United Methodist Church

6011 W. Orem Dr.

Houston, TX 77085

June 11 at 11:00 am

Booker T. Washington High School

119 E 39th St

Houston, TX 77018

June 11 at 7:30 pm

Cinco Ranch High School

23440 Cinco Ranch Blvd

Katy, TX 77494

June 12 at 7:30 pm

Sam Rayburn High School

2121 Cherrybrook Ln

Pasadena, TX 77502

June 13 at 10:00 am

Ripley House Neighborhood Center

4410 Navigation Blvd

Houston, TX 77011

June 13 at 7:30 pm

Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church

3826 Wheeler Ave

Houston, TX 77004

June 24 at 11:00 am

Miller Outdoor Theatre

6000 Hermann Park Drive

Houston, TX 77030

Robert Franz, Conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor

A. Márquez: Danzón No. 2

M. Gould: Latin-American Symphonette

L. Tie-Shan-M. Yuan: Dance of the Yao People

Ravel: Suite from Mother Goose

Ellington/R. Hermann: *Duke Ellington Fantasy

W.G. Still: Afro-American Symphony (Symphony No. 1)

Dvo?ák: Symphony No. 9 in E minor

*not performed at morning performances

ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights @ Miller Outdoor Theatre

Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1
June 20, 2014 at 8:30 pm
Vladimir Kulenovic, conductor
Angelo Xiang Yu, violin
R. Strauss: Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks)
Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor
Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances
Kodály: Dances of Galánta
Enescu: Romanian Rhapsody

We kick-off our annual summer residency at Miller Outdoor Theatre by welcoming one of the most talented violinists in the world, debuting artist Angelo Xiang Yu, winner of the 2010 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. Yu performs Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, a profound showcase of the violin, with its dramatic melodies and bold, fiery finale. Also on the program is Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche (Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks), which is based on the German folk character Till Eulenspiegel, who is personified by two distinct instruments: the horn and clarinet in D. Hear the orchestra capture the silly antics of the notorious prankster in this brilliant orchestration by R. Strauss.

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1
June 21, 2014 at 8:30 pm
Robert Franz, conductor
Martina Filjak, piano
W. G. Still: Festive Overture
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4

The New York Times calls Croatian-born Martina Filjak a "brilliant, sensitive and imaginative" pianist. Listen to Filjak as she demonstrates her technical finesse with Tchaikovsky's deeply expressive Piano Concerto No. 1. Associate Conductor Robert Franz returns to Miller this summer, leading the orchestra in this program which also includes the Festive Overture by W. G. Still, who is widely credited as the "dean of African-American composers." Concluding the program is one of Tchaikovsky's most-beloved symphonies, the fourth, in which you'll hear the triumphant opening of horns and bassoons.

Gershwin's An American in Paris
June 27, 2014 at 8:30 pm
Daniel Stewart, conductor
Gabriel Cabezas, cello
Gershwin: An American in Paris
Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1
Prokofiev: Selections from Suites Nos. 1 and 2 from Romeo and Juliet

Enjoy the exquisite sounds of the French capital in one of Gershwin's best-known works An American in Paris, which is also based on the classic Academy Award-winning film starring Gene Kelly. Acclaimed young cellist and 2012 Sphinx Competition Laureate*, Gabriel Cabezas makes his Houston Symphony debut, performing Saint-Saëns' Cello Concerto No. 1, which is played with rapid intensity. We visit Verona, Italy and Shakespeare's feuding Montagues and Capulets as the orchestra performs selections from Prokofiev's stunning ballet Romeo and Juliet.

*The Houston Symphony is a proud partner of Sphinx, a Detroit-based organization dedicated to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts.

Brahms' Symphony No. 2
Plus Ima Hogg Competition Silver Medal Winner
June 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm
James Feddeck, conductor
Silver Medal Winner of the Ima Hogg Competition TBA, soloist
Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol
TBA: Concerto
Brahms: Symphony No. 2

At this concert, the silver medal winner of the 2014 Ima Hogg Competition takes the spotlight. Joining our prodigy for the evening, conductor James Feddeck will also lead Rimsky-Korsakov's colorful, Spanish-inspired Capriccio espagnol, which uniquely integrates a variety of instruments and sounds, including a large percussion section and flavors of a Spanish guitar. We close out our Miller series with the joyful melodies of Brahms' Second Symphony, featuring woodwind and brass work as well as a glorious horn solo.

Star Spangled Spectacular

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Thursday July 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Miller Outdoor Theater, Friday July 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Michael Krajewski, Conductor

Dan Dunn, Visual Artist

J. S. Smith/G. Prechel: Fanfare and Star-Spangled Banner

Sousa: The Liberty Bell

J. Williams: The Cowboys Overture

Williams: The People's House from Lincoln

Arr. J. Tyzik: The Great Westerns Suite

Cohan/R. Wendel: A George M. Cohan Overture

Gershwin/J. Kessler: Strike Up the Band

Sousa: Semper Fidelis

N. Diamond/V. Vanacor: Sweet Caroline

Arr. Vanacore: Disco at the Pops

S. A. Ward/C. Dragon: America the Beautiful

Arr. R. Hayman: Service Medley

Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Opus 49