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Houston Symphony Announces October Lineup


Dame Jane Glover returns to the Jones Hall stage to lead Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony (1842), October 22, 23, and 24.

Houston Symphony Announces October Lineup

The Houston Symphony is observing Halloween this year with a weekend of performances of Hector Berlioz's masterpiece of the macabre, Symphonie fantastique. This month's classical subscription concerts feature the famed Berlioz symphonic wild ride, as well as Dame Jane Glover's and Italian conductor Jader Bignamini's return to the Jones Hall podium, and Symphony Principal Flute Aralee Dorough and Principal Bassoon Rian Craypo stepping forward to perform soloist roles.

Dame Jane Glover returns to the Jones Hall stage to lead Mendelssohn's "Scottish" Symphony (1842), October 22, 23 (this performance is also livestreamed), and 24. In this Romantic work inspired by the composer's exploration of the ruins of Mary Queen of Scots's castle Holyrood, Mendelssohn musically conjures visions of the wild, northern country of Scotland. Also on this program are Prokofiev's Symphony No. 1 (1917), dubbed "Classical" because Prokofiev composed it as a modern evocation of Haydn and Mozart, and British composer Ethel Smyth's Overture to her humorous, one-act feminist opera The Boatswain's Mate (1914). Houston Symphony Principal Bassoon Rian Craypo steps out of the orchestra to perform as soloist in Swiss composer Otmar Nussio's Variations on an Arietta by Pergolesi (1953) for bassoon and string orchestra. This program is part of the Rand Group Great Performers Series.

Halloween weekend finds the newly-minted Detroit Symphony Music Director Jader Bignamini on the Jones Hall stage to lead the Houston Symphony in Berlioz's phantasmagorical favorite Symphonie fantastique (1830), October 29, 30 (this performance is also livestreamed), and a matinee on Halloween itself, October 31. This epic fantasy work scored for large orchestral forces limns the story of an artist's all-consuming obsession with a beautiful woman, which takes him from the heights of passion to the depths of despair, ending with a diabolical witch's sabbath. On the same program are Symphonic Variations on an African Air (1906) by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, an English composer of African heritage, and Pablo de Sarasate's Concert Fantasies on Carmen for Flute and Orchestra (1883), difficult enough to perform in its original scoring for violin and orchestra, but even more challenging when performed by solo flute and orchestra. Houston Symphony Principal Flute Aralee Dorough takes up the challenge on this program, performing Sarasate's arrangement of the most famous tunes from Bizet's opera Carmen. This performance is part of the Frost Bank Gold Classics series.

Livestream performances are available via a private link to ticket holders for $20. Everyone in the audience is required to wear a mask while in Jones Hall. For a comprehensive schedule of safety measures, visit For tickets and more information, please call 713.224.7575 or visit Socially distanced seats are available in some portions of the auditorium. All programs and artists are subject to change.

The classical series is endowed by the Wortham Foundation, Inc., in memory of Gus S. and Lyndall F. Wortham. Livestream of Houston Symphony concerts is made possible by Barbara J. Burger.

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