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Irish Conductor Courtney Lewis to Replace Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos in Performances With Houston Symphony, 3/21-23

On the heels of a cancelled appearance with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), 80-year old, Spanish-born conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos has withdrawn from performances with the Houston Symphony scheduled for March 21, 22 and 23. Ailing from pneumonia-like symptoms that caused him to swoon on the podium during Friday's concert with the NSO, Frühbeck is convalescing under a doctor's care. In his place and with the luck of the Irish upon them, the Houston Symphony has signed Belfast-born conductor Courtney Lewis, himself recently named Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic beginning in the 2014-15 season. This will be Lewis' debut with the Houston Symphony, leading the combined forces of the orchestra, the Houston Symphony Chorus and four renowned vocalists, in a program of Stravinsky's Pulcinella (complete) and Beethoven's inspirational Mass in C.

Stravinsky's Pulcinella and Beethoven's Mass in C will be performed Friday, March 21, 2014 at 8:00pm, Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 8:00pm, and Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 2:30pm. The program will be directed by Charles Hausmann and will feature Kathryn Whyte (soprano), Meg Bragle (mezzo-soprano), Lawrence WIliford (tenor), and Evan Boyer (bass).

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, please visit or call 713-224-7575.

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