Houston Symphony's 'Three Weeks of Beethoven' to Conclude with Beethoven 9 & Bernstein

Completing year two of the its Three Weeks of Beethoven series, the Houston Symphony will perform Beethoven 9 & Bernstein at 8 p.m. March 18-19 and 2:30 p.m. March 20 under the direction of Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada.

A jubilant work, Chichester Psalms has remained one of Bernstein's most-performed compositions since its 1965 premiere. The piece, a Hebrew-language setting of select psalms, will be performed by the Houston Symphony and Chorus, including four soloists from the ensemble: soprano Anna Diemer, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Chrisman, tenor Sean Jackson and bass Michael Kessler. Additionally, 10-year-old boy soprano Dennis Xu will appear with the orchestra for the first time as he sings the significant role of the biblical boy David.

Next, the orchestra will perform Beethoven's monumental Symphony No. 9, the final symphonic work from Beethoven, often declared the greatest ever written. The masterpiece takes listeners on a spiritual journey from the darkness of the opening to the triumph of the famous "Ode to Joy" in the fourth movement. The symphony, which premiered in 1824, was one of the first instances of a major composer using a chorus in a symphony. Guest vocalists joining the chorus and orchestra for the performance are soprano Joyce El-Khoury, mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor, tenor Gordon Gietz and bass Peixin Chen. Both El-Khoury and Chen will be making their Houston Symphony debuts.

Unless otherwise noted, the concerts will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston's Theater District. For tickets and information, 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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