Houston Symphony's September Slate Goes From Classic Rock to Judy Garland

September 2016 marks the beginning of the Houston Symphony's 103rd season and the diverse orchestral programming Houstonians have come to love. From classic rock to Judy Garland, Seth MacFarlane and Mahler, the season's first month of concerts will span several decades and genres of music.

A weekend of classic rock will commence with The Music of the Rolling Stones at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Friday, September 2. The following night, September 3, the orchestra returns to Jones Hall for The Music of Queen. Both concerts will welcome guest vocalist Brody Dolyniuk and guest conductor Brent Havens, who will perform hits from the iconic bands in energizing symphonic-rock programs.

Rewinding a few decades, showman and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane makes his Houston Symphony debut singing the hits of the 40s, 50s and the Great American Songbook, Sunday, September 4. MacFarlane has released three studio albums and credits Frank Sinatra as being one of his largest vocal influences.

The decade music will continue with Linda Eder Sings Judy Garland September 9-11. Eder, winner of the 1987 season of Star Search and a seasoned performer, will pay tribute to stage and screen star Garland with her greatest hits like, "Me and My Shadow," "Almost Like Being in Love" and "Over the Rainbow." She will also sing some of her original songs, including "Vienna" and "Someone Like You."

The orchestra's season officially opens Saturday, September 17, with the Opening Night Concert & Gala. The Symphony will open the program with Rossini's overture to The Thieving Magpie, then perform Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, accompanied by narration from Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley, known for his roles in Ghandi, Schindler's List and Shutter Island, among many others. Strauss' Suite from Der Rosenkavalier will close the program before the post-concert dinner and gala.

The next evening, the Houston Symphony continues its tradition of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Fiesta Sinfónica, a free concert featuring colorful classics by Leonard Bernstein and Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera, as well as a piece by acclaimed Peruvian composer Jimmy López. The program also includes Gershwin's classic Rhapsody in Blue performed by special guest and Grammy-winning jazz pianist Michel Camilo.

The first classical subscription concert of the season will feature the winning works of the first-ever Houston Symphony Young Composer's Competition September 23-25. Two young composers will hear their respective compositions performed by the orchestra alongside Mahler's Symphony No. 1, a powerful work depicting struggle and triumph.

The last concert of the month will spotlight Haydn's magnum opus, The Creation, September 29 and October 1-2. A musical depiction of the biblical creation story, the concert will feature guest vocalists Nicole Heaston, Toby Spence and Peter Ross.

All concerts will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, unless otherwise noted. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.

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