Perry So Makes First Appearance as Conductor of the Houston Symphony with Prokofiev's 'Romeo and Juliet', Today
The Houston Symphony will perform Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet at 8 p.m. on November 27 and 28 and 2:30 p.m. on November 29 at Jones Hall. The orchestra will be led by Perry So, an accomplished and rising young conductor who will be making his Houston Symphony debut. So is standing in for Long Yu, who was originally scheduled to lead the weekend's performances, but recently cancelled his appearance due to a sustained injury that prevented him from traveling to Houston.
The program will commence with Li Huanzhi's electrifying Spring Festival Overture, considered a musical and cultural gem in the Chinese community. The short overture depicts the scene of a political movement that took hold in China in the 1940s that brought together party leaders, soldiers and villagers together to ignite revolutionary fervor. The rowdy overture has become a calling card of Chinese musicians who visit the West. This part of the program will be accompanied by stunning images of art from the Asian Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as part of the Symphony's Sound + Vision Series.
Next, pianist, composer and writer Stephen Hough will join the orchestra for Saint-Saëns' exotic Piano Concerto No. 5, Egyptian. With musical allusions to Egypt and the Far East, the piece combines the Persian composer's love for both music and travel. Saint-Saëns was inspired by his surroundings and wrote Piano Concerto No. 5 during a stay in Luxor, Egypt.
Concluding the program, Prokofiev's classic ballet score to Romeo and Juliet perfectly evokes Shakespeare's timeless story of doomed adolescent love with its unforgettable melodies, which can be previewed in this videofeaturing original art by Houston-based art duo Lulu Lin. The artistic pair collaborate throughout the entire painting process and search for inspiration in unexpected places. Lulu Lin has exhibited at Bisong Art Gallery, Lawndale Art Center (Big Show), and at the Watercolor Art Society. They were Hunting Art Prize finalists in 2015 and are co-owners of Houston Art Lessons.
The concerts will take 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 www.houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday-Saturday from10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.