Newsroom

Fact Sheet

Media Contacts:  

Vanessa Astros
Senior Director, Communications

(713) 337-8560
vanessa.astros@houstonsymphony.org

Kristen Bennett
PR Coordinator
(713) 337-8557
kristen.bennett@houstonsymphony.org


2016-17 Season

Music Director: Andrés Orozco-Estrada
Roy and Lillie Cullen Chair

Executive Director/CEO: Mark C. Hanson
Margaret Alkek Williams Chair

Principal POPS Conductor: Michael Krajewski

Principal POPS Conductor Designate: Steven Reineke 

Associate Conductor: Robert Franz
Ms. Marie Taylor Bosarge, Sponsor 

Chorus Director: Dr. Betsy Cook Weber

Houston Symphony Society President: Steven Mach

Houston Symphony Society Chairman: Jesse B. Tutor

Houston Symphony Society Chairman Emeritus: Mike Stude

Houston Symphony League President: Darlene Clark

Houston Symphony League – Bay Area President: James Moore

Budget: $33.9 million (FY17)

History: During the 2016-17 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its third 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 87 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. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

People: The Houston Symphony is a full-time, 52-week-per-year orchestra consisting of and supported by:  

  • Musicians = 87 full-time and 4 Community-Embedded Musicians
  • Conductors = 4
  • Volunteers (including 133 Board members) =  850  
  • Staff = 93 (full-time 79; part-time 14)

Social Media: (as of July 2016)

  • Facebook = 41,000 likes
  • Twitter = 22,800 followers
  • iPhone App = 10,234 downloads in 58 countries
  • Droid App = 3,181 downloads
  • YouTube =  1,000 subscribers
  • Instagram = 3,667 followers

Touring: The Houston Symphony completed a tour to Russia, performing at the Festival of the World’s Symphony Orchestras in Moscow on June 8 and 9, 2012, representing the first ever American orchestra to perform in the annual festival. To date, the Symphony has performed 16 times at Carnegie Hall with the most recent being May 7, 2012, when the Houston Symphony kicked-off the second annual Spring for Music festival. In October 2010, the orchestra returned to Europe for the first time in a decade performing the hit program, The Planets – An HD Odyssey, to sell-out crowds in the seven-city, eight-concert tour through the United Kingdom.  In January 2010, the Symphony performed at Carnegie Hall, along with appearances in Florida’s Kravis and Broward Centers, with the premiere of The Planets – An HD Odyssey. In January 2006, the Symphony again visited Carnegie Hall in a special performance featuring music by Mozart, Shostakovich and Texas composer Pierre Jalbert. In 1994 and 1998, the Houston Symphony toured the U.S. East Coast and Midwest. In 1992, the orchestra toured Germany, Switzerland and Austria; returned to Europe in 1997 to perform in England, France, Holland, Germany and Austria; and, in 2000, participated in a five-concert European Festival Tour.  In 1991 and 1995, the Houston Symphony was in residence at the Pacific Music Festival in Japan.

Recording: The Houston Symphony has recorded under various labels, including Naxos, Koch International Classics, Telarc, RCA Red Seal and Virgin Classics labels. In a recent partnership with Dutch recording label PENTATONE that began in the 2015-16 season with the 2016 releases of the last four great symphonies of Antonin Dvorák, Andrés and the orchestra are also planning to record and subsequently release a series of recordings of the Music of the Americas. These recordings will include Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Revueltas’ Sensemayá, Piazzolla’s Tangazo and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, which will be recorded over the course of two concert weekends in early 2017. Additional recording projects with PENTATONE include recordings of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Denis Kozhukhin and Haydn’s The Creation. In January of 2017, the Houston Symphony’s performance of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck will also be released on the Naxos labels.

Broadcasts: Classical concerts are broadcast locally on Houston Public Media News 88.7 and streaming online at houstonpublicmedia.org.  Select Houston Symphony concerts and repertoire are also broadcast nationally on American Public Media programs SymphonyCast and Performance Today.

Music:  The Symphony’s musical offerings include classical concerts conducted by Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada or guests, featuring concerto soloists and major classical repertoire.  Each Classical concert begins with a free, informative, 30-minute Prelude Pre-Concert Discussion that begins 45 minutes before the performance; POPS concerts conducted by Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski and Principal POPs Conductor Designate Steven Reineke, featuring  popular artists or themes; Symphony Specials or single performances with special guest artists; Family Concerts, one-hour concerts on Saturday mornings with family-friendly themes; and the  Student Concerts, one-hour school day matinees for grades K through 8. In 2011-12, the Symphony introduced a three-concert series in Ft. Bend County called the Sugar Land Series to bring orchestral music to more people in Greater Houston and beyond. During the 2015-16 season, the Symphony introduced Onstage Insights with Andrés, Behind the Scenes with Andrés in-concert videos and a free podcast series toallow audiences to learn more about the music during a concert by providing brief historical context and commentary from the stage. On the Music, a free podcast series that provides an in-depth look at the works featured in Houston Symphony classical concerts, launched in the spring 2016 to bring into focus the relevance of this musical genre for today’s listeners. Hosted by Musical Ambassador/Assistant Conductor Carlos Andrés Botero, On the Music strives to engage and captivate longtime and new audiences, near and far, by narrating the history behind featured masterpieces in relationship to their distinctive melodies. Each episode, featuring exclusive excerpts from Houston Symphony archival recordings and NAXOS’ music library, will accompany a subscription concert weekend to help audiences gain a deeper appreciation of the music through musical context and commentary on the score.

Other Services: The Houston Symphony hosts a variety of other projects and programs for all ages. Free Summer Community Concerts are an annual series of 7-12 free concerts each June, featuring dynamic musical experiences in a relaxed atmosphere in venues throughout Houston (ex. United Methodist Church, Church Without Walls, Ripley House Neighborhood Center). The Engie Community Connections Program is designed to broaden our musical contact with our diverse Houston population. It provides opportunities for musicians to perform or provide instructional coaching in close, personal settings. Each session is approximately one hour in length and includes time for discussion. The Houston Symphony offers two major competitions each year for young musicians. The Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition is a competition for young musicians, ages 16-26, who play standard orchestral instruments and piano. The Houston Symphony League Concerto Competition is a regional competition for musicians aged 18 years and younger. Launched in July 2015, the Community Embedded Musician Program, is designed to dramatically expand and enhance the impact of the orchestra’s growing education and community engagement activities. The primary role of these four Community-Embedded Musicians is to integrate themselves in Houston schools, neighborhoods and health-care settings as a teaching artist and performer, while also performing on stage with members of the Houston Symphony. The Community-Embedded Musicians offer nearly 700 community-based performances each year, both individually and as small ensembles. 

Address:        

Houston Symphony
Jones Hall
615 Louisiana Street, Suite 102
Houston, TX 77002

Telephone:    

713-224-4240 - main
713-224-7575 - tickets
713-337-8500 - donations

Website: www.houstonsymphony.org

Venues: The Houston Symphony performs in a variety of locations throughout the greater Houston area:

  • Headquarters = Jones Hall (seating capacity Classical concerts = 2,200; BBVA Compass POPS concerts = 2,800)
  • Miller Outdoor Theatre
  • Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (The Woodlands, TX)
  • Sugar Land Baptist Church (Sugar Land, TX)
  • Linda and Archie Dunham Theater in the Joella & Stewart Morris Cultural Arts Center at Houston Baptist University
  • Stude Concert Hall at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music
  • The Centrum (Spring, TX)
  • The Toyota Center
  • Variety of churches, schools, hospitals and community centers
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