Houston Symphony And Hilary Hahn Perform For Sold-Out Crowd At Brussels' Prestigious Klarafestival

The Houston Symphony and Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada began the first leg of their eight-city European tour Friday, March 9, during the opening concert of the renowned Klarafestival, a music festival held each March in Brussels, Belgium.

Orozco-Estrada and the orchestra performed in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 2,000 people at BOZAR during the festival's opening concert featuring works by legendary composer Leonard Bernstein. The first half of the program featured Bernstein in his Overture to West Side Story and his lyrical Serenade for Violin featuring three-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn. Both works will continue to be performed throughout the tour in celebration of the composer's centennial year celebration.

"The Houston Symphony has a very special sound and a very interesting way to approach these different composers, and particularly the symphonies we're playing on the tour like Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 7 and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5," said Orozco-Estrada. "We share a very strong and special connection with these works, which at the end is what matters the most; that we connect ourselves with the music and with the audience."

The evening concluded with Dvo?ák's dramatic Seventh Symphony, a work that was featured in Orozco-Estrada's critically-acclaimed inaugural recording with the Houston Symphony. The Houston Symphony concert was broadcast live by Klara radio, the main classical music station of Flemish Public Radio. The evening's broadcast began an hour before the concert start time featuring commentary from Klara radio announcer Lut Van der Eycken and comments from the stage by Klara radio host Greet Samyn.

The Houston Symphony's next stops on the European tour are two performances in Germany: one at Philharmonie Essen (March 11) and one at Konzerthaus Berlin (March 12). The orchestra then travels to Warsaw, Poland, to perform at the Filharmonia Narodowa (March 14) before heading to Vienna, Austria (March 15) to perform at the Wiener Konzerthaus. The orchestra returns to Germany for the last leg of the tour to make their debut at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg (March 17), the Hannover Congress Centrum (March 18), and Gasteig München (March 19).

For more information about the European tour, visit https://www.houstonsymphony.org/european-tour.

About the Houston Symphony

During the 2017-18 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fourth 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 $33.9 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 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston.

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.

For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

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