Andrés Orozco-Estrada Leads Houston Symphony in Choral Works by Mendelssohn and Mahler
Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, an all-star cast of vocalists, the Houston Symphony, and the Houston Symphony Chorus unite on stage for two thrilling choral masterpieces in Mendelssohn and Mahler at 8 p.m., Oct. 4 and 5, and 2:30 p.m., Oct. 6 in Jones Hall.
Orozco-Estrada opens the program with Mahler's early masterpiece, the oratorio Das klagende Lied (The Song of Lamentation). Returning opera stars Sasha Cooke (mezzo-soprano) and Toby Spence (tenor) join soprano Melody Moore in her Houston Symphony debut as vocal soloists. They join the Houston Symphony Chorus under the direction of director Betsy Cook Weber in performing Mahler's large-scale setting of a chilling ghost story, the composer's own version of a tale from The Brothers Grimm.
In the concert's second half, Cooke (mezzo-soprano) and Spence (tenor) are joined by debuting vocal soloists Günter Haumer (baritone) and Scott Conner (bass). They join Orozco-Estrada, the orchestra, and chorus in Mendelssohn's Die erste Walpurgisnacht (The First Walpurgis Night). Continuing the evening's supernatural theme, Mendelssohn's cantata colorfully depicts the Druids of the Harz Mountains in medieval Germany as they practice their pagan rituals.
Mendelssohn and Mahler, part of the Frost Bank Gold Classics series with additional support from the General and Mrs. Maurice Hirsch Memorial Concert Fund, takes place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston's Theater District. For tickets and information, please call 713.224.7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday-Saturday, 12-6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.
During the 2019-20 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its sixth season with Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada and continues its second century as one of America's leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring, and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $35.2 million, the full-time ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony's four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 1,000 community-based performances each year at various schools, community centers, hospitals, and churches reaching nearly 200,000 people in Greater Houston annually.
The Grammy Award-winning Houston Symphony has recorded under various prestigious labels, including Naxos, Koch International Classics, Telarc, RCA Red Seal, Virgin Classics and, most recently, Dutch recording label Pentatone. In 2017, the Houston Symphony was awarded an ECHO Klassik award for the live recording of Alban Berg's Wozzeck under the direction of former Music Director Hans Graf. The orchestra earned its first Grammy nomination and Grammy Award at the 60th annual ceremony for the same recording in the Best Opera Recording category.