Mercury Chamber Orchestra Kicks Off 19th Season With Vivaldi
Mercury Chamber Orchestra opens its 2019-2020 Season on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 8 p.m. at the Wortham Center with an energetic and lively night of music featuring Antonio Vivaldi's L'estro armonico. Under the direction of Artistic Director Antoine Plante, the orchestra will perform selections from Vivaldi's influential set of concerti grossi as well as the Concerto for Two Cellos in G minor (RV 531) and Concerto for Strings in G minor (RV 152).
Mercury's 19th Season features Baroque and Classical masterpieces alongside lesser-known works from Europe and the Americas. Each concert-performed on period instruments- is a dynamic and fresh experience, revealing new ways for audiences to engage with the arts.
Mercury's Downtown Series, at the Wortham Center's Cullen Theater, is comprised of seven distinctive concerts running from October through May. Following Mercury's season opener, L'estro armonico, is November's concert featuring classical symphonic favorites - Mozart's Symphony No. 35 "Haffner" and Beethoven's Symphony No. 1. We celebrate the holiday season in December with ¡Christmas Fiesta!, a festive program of Mexican Baroque music including composers Antonio de Salazar, Manuel De Sumaya and more that features four vocalists - Hannah Lu, soprano; Cecilia Duarte, mezzo-soprano; Eduardo Tercero, tenor; and Michael Kessler, baritone - with Mercury musicians and members of the Houston Symphony Chorus Chamber Ensemble, under the direction of Betsy Cook Weber.
In the January, Mercury performs four of Bach's six Brandenburg Concertos including the effervescent third concerto - always a crowd pleaser. In February, tenor Nicholas Phan returns for the second year of a three-year Schubert song-cycle series. This year, he performs Winterreise (Winter Journey) with the ensemble featuring orchestrations by Antoine Plante. In March, principal cellist Beiliang Zhu performs Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major and Beethoven's Twelve Variations on a theme by Handel. Mercury concludes the season with two Mozart piano concertos - No. 20 and No. 21 - with noted pianist Alon Goldstein returning for a second season on fortepiano.
In its eighth year, Mercury's Neighborhood Series offers intimate, hour-long concerts in four exceptional locations across Houston - Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Midtown's MATCH, and the Dosey Doe Big Barn in The Woodlands. Designed to inspire and energize all who attend, these concerts are highly accessible and intimate. The first program, "Bach's Violin Concerto" (Oct 19-24), features concertmaster Jonathan Godfrey performing the E-major concerto with other violin favorites. The holiday program, "Italian Christmas Concertos" (December 14-22), offers introspective Christmas Concertos including the best-known by Arcangelo Corelli. Closing out the Neighborhood Series is "Bach & Marais" (April 2-5), a program of Baroque sonatas by J.S. Bach and French composer Marin Marais performed by Antoine Plante on viola da gamba and Jonathan Godfrey on violin.
Additional information on Mercury, its events and concerts, directions to the venues, and to learn more about its recordings, please visit www.mercuryhouston.org