Houston Symphony Holidays Open With Andrés Orozco-Estrada Conducting NUTCRACKER Highlights

Celebrate the return of the Houston Symphony Chorus, Holiday Traditions Messiah and Very Merry Pops, and Pink Martini.

By: Nov. 10, 2021

Houston Symphony Holidays Open With Andrés Orozco-Estrada Conducting NUTCRACKER Highlights

Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada leads the full orchestra in favorite highlights from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker to kick off the Houston Symphony's 2021 Holiday concerts (December 3-5, 2021) followed by the return of two Symphony holiday traditions: Handel's Messiah (December 10-12, 2021) and Very Merry POPS (December 18-19, 2021).

POPS favorite Pink Martini is back by popular demand to start the Symphony's new year (January 7-9, 2022). All performances are in Jones Hall, festooned for the season with all manner of holiday decorations including a Christmas tree, and offering holiday-themed libations to warm the spirits.

Summoning the full complement of the Houston Symphony to bring Tchaikovsky's magnificent music to life, Andrés Orozco-Estrada turns his internationally acclaimed interpretive gifts to the score of the iconic story ballet The Nutcracker, December 3-5. "The Waltz of the Snowflakes," "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy," and "The Waltz of the Flowers" are just a few of the highlights on this concert program, which also includes Samuel Barber's Romantic one-and-only violin concerto featuring violin star Gil Shaham, and 19th-Century Italian double bass virtuoso Giovanni Bottesini's Gran duo concertante for Violin, Contrabass, and Orchestra, again featuring Shaham alongside Houston Symphony Principal Bass Robin Kesselman. The December 4 performance is also available via livestream.

December 4 at 10 and 11:30 a.m., Andrés Orozco-Estrada leads the first concert in the 2021-22 PNC Family Series Season, Musical Treats from The Nutcrackera"?for Kids! featuring some of the best loved melodies from Tchaikovsky's iconic score, with a live narrator to relate the fantastic story for young audiences. The 11:30 a.m. performance is also available via livestream. Both performances also include an appearance by Santa Claus and a mailbox for letters to Santa in the Jones Hall lobby. To get everyone in the holiday spirit, kids are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite holiday character. All audience seating for Musical Treats from The Nutcrackera"?for Kids! is socially distanced, with masks required for everyone age 4 and older.

One of the world's leading conductors of baroque repertoire, Bernard Labadie, returns to the Jones Hall Stage to preside over the return of a Symphony holiday classic: complete performances of Handel's inspiring oratorio Messiah, December 10-12. Highlights include the beloved arias "Ev'ry Valley," "O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion," "The Trumpet Shall Sound," and of course, the celebrated choruses including "Hallelujah." Joining Labadie and the orchestra are soloists Magali Simard-Galdès, soprano; Lawrence Zazzo, countertenor; Andrew Haji, tenor; and Daniel Okulitch, bass-baritone, along with the much-anticipated return of the Houston Symphony Chorus. The December 11 performance is also available via livestream.

The Chorus takes the stage again the following weekend as the Symphony welcomes back former Principal POPS Conductor Michael Krajewski to Jones Hall. Krajewski leads the cherished family tradition Very Merry POPS on December 18 and 19 as part of the Bank of America POPS Series. Returning vocalist Rodney Ingram also joins the Houston Symphony in this concert, along with boy soprano Peter Theurer in his Houston Symphony debut, with beloved holiday tunes like "Deck the Halls," "White Christmas," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman," "The Christmas Song," "O Holy Night" and many more. The December 18 evening performance is also available via livestream.

Pink Martini, the internationally-celebrated "little orchestra" that blurs the boundaries between classical, Latin, jazz and classic pop music, provides a rousing finale to the Symphony's holiday season. They return as part of the Bank of America POPS series to start 2022 in style, led by Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke, with lead vocalist China Forbes, January 7-9. The January 8 performance is also available via livestream.

For tickets and more information please call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. 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 houstonsymphony.org/safety. Socially distanced seats are available in some portions of the auditorium. All programs and artists are subject to change.