Newsroom

January 6, 2015



MEDIA CONTACTS:

Austin Dressman
PR Coordinator
(713) 337-8557
austin.dressman@houstonsymphony.org

Vanessa Astros
Senior Director, Communications

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


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Christina and Michelle Naughton


TWIN PIANO PRODIGIES JOIN MUSIC DIRECTOR ANDRÉS OROZCO-ESTRADA IN MOZART CONCERTO FOR TWO PIANOS

The Naughton sisters perform Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in their Houston Symphony debut

Also on the program: Andrés leads the orchestra in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12

Andrés invites the public to experience the new concert format “Musically Speaking with Andrés” on the Thursday evening, featuring commentary and a post-concert question & answer session focused on the Shostakovich Symphony

HOUSTON (January 6, 2015) – On Saturday and Sunday, January 17 and 18, twin sisters Christina and Michelle Naughton share the Jones Hall stage to perform Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in their Houston Symphony debut. Witness the young virtuosi “join two hearts and four hands at two grand pianos” to create a unique and unforgettable concert experience. Audiences will also enjoy a rare performance of Shostakovich’s intense and expansive Symphony No. 12, The Year 1917.

In Symphony No. 12, Dmitri Shostakovich depicted and commented on key events of the 1917 Russian Revolution such as the battleship Aurora’s firing on the Winter Palace. Though the piece nominally ends with the triumphant “Dawn of Humanity,” Shostakovich secretly used music from an early piece titled Funeral March for the Victims of the Revolution, reflecting his true feelings toward the oppressive Soviet state.

“Musically Speaking with Andrés” at Rice University’s Stude Concert Hall

Prior to the weekend, Andrés and the Houston Symphony take the stage at Rice University’s Stude Concert Hall at the Shepherd School of Music on Thursday, January 15 for the first of a 3-concert "Musically Speaking with Andrés" English commentary series. Andrés is joined by friend and fellow conductor Carlos Andrés Botero to co-host the program that integrates musical insights, examples, and a Q&A session with a performance of the Shostakovich Symphony No. 12. Andrés’ goal with this series is to deepen connections between the audience, the music, and the makers of music, providing insightful context that adds to the richness of the listening experience. Note that this Thursday evening concert will not include the Naughton sisters.

“You don’t have to be an expert or already know all about the composers. Just give yourself the opportunity to open your eyes and ears, and see this beautiful universe that is an orchestra,” Andrés says. With this new concert format, Andrés hopes to further open the eyes and ears of new and veteran Symphony goers in order to connect more of Houston’s diverse population to the power of live symphonic music in a direct way.

Following this January concert, the upcoming “Musically Speaking with Andrés" performances (featuring English commentary) will take place on March 12, 2015 and May 7, 2015. They will highlight Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, respectively.

FULL CONCERT DETAILS 

“Musically Speaking with Andrés”
featuring Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 12

Thursday, January 15, 2015, 7:30pm
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Carlos Andrés Botero, co-host
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 12, The Year 1917
Tickets from $25

Rice University
Stude Concert Hall In the Shepherd School of Music (at the Alice Pratt Brown Hall)
6100 Main St Houston, TX
(713) 348-4854

Mozart and Shostakovich
Saturday, January 17, 2015, 8:00pm at Jones Hall
Sunday, January 18, 2015, 2:30pm at Jones Hall
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Christina Naughton, piano
Michelle Naughton, piano
Mendelssohn: The Fair Melusina
Mozart: Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 12 in D minor, The Year 1917
Tickets from $25

Jones Hall
615 Louisiana St.
Houston, TX 77002

A free Prelude pre-concert discussion led by Dave Kirk will be held starting 45-minutes prior to the start of the concerts at Jones Hall on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

About Christina and Michelle Naughton

Christina and Michelle Naughton have been hailed by the San Francisco Examiner for their “stellar musicianship, technical mastery, and awe-inspiring artistry.” The Naughtons made their European debut at Herkulesaal in Munich, where the Sueddeutsche Zeitung proclaimed them “an outstanding piano duo”. They made their Asian debut with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, where the Sing Tao Daily said of their performance “Joining two hearts and four hands at two grand pianos, the Naughton sisters created an electrifying and moving musical performance.” An appearance with the Philadelphia Orchestra led the Philadelphia Inquirer to characterize their playing as “paired to perfection,” while the Saarbrücker Zeitung exclaimed “this double star could soon prove to be a supernova.” They have captivated audiences throughout the globe with the unity created by their mystical musical communication, as featured by The Wall Street Journal in their own words “There are times I forget we are two people playing together”.

Orchestral engagements include appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston, Milwaukee, New Jersey, North Carolina, Nashville, Virginia, Hawaii, Maryland, Toledo, Delaware, El Paso, Napa Valley, Wichita, Tulsa, Gulf Coast, and Madison Symphonies; the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland’s Red Orchestra, Chicago’s Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra, and Erie Philharmonic; as well as with ensembles such as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Royal Flemish Philharmonic in Belgium, Solistes Europeens Luxembourg, Hamburg Chorus, Kiel Philharmonic, and Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock. Past and future seasons feature collaborations under the batons of conductors such as Stephene Deneve, Edo deWaart, Charles Dutoit, JoAnn Falletta, Giancarlo Guerrero, Emanuel Krivine, Cristian Macelaru, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, and Michael Stern.

The Naughtons recorded their first album in the Sendesaal in Bremen Germany; which was released worldwide in Fall 2012 by label ORFEO. The album has been praised by Der Spiegel Magazine for “stand(ing) out with unique harmony, and sing(ing) out with stylistic confidence’, and described by ClassicsToday as a “Dynamic Duo Debut”. Their performances have been broadcast on American Public Media’s Performance Today, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, New York’s WQXR, Chicago’s WFMT, Philadelphia’s WHYY, Boston’s WQED, Atlanta’s WABE, Hong Kong’s RTHK, Latvia’s Latvijas Radio 3, Netherland’s Radio 4 Concerthuis; and Germany’s Bayerischen Rudfunks, Nordwest-RadioBremen, WDR and NDR Radio.

Born in Princeton, New Jersey to parents of European and Chinese descent; Christina and Michelle are graduates of Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, where they were each awarded the Festorazzi Prize. They are Steinway Artists and currently reside in New York City.

About Andrés Orozco-Estrada

Andrés Orozco-Estrada, born in Colombia and trained in Vienna, is one of the most sought after conductors of his generation. He begins his tenure as the Houston Symphony’s 15th Music Director in September 2014.

In addition to his appointment in Houston, Andrés will take up the position of chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra during the 2014-15 season and will become principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra beginning in the 2015-16 season. Since the 2009-10 season, he has held the post of music director of the Tonkünstler Orchestra Niederösterreich, one of the most important institutions of traditional Austrian music culture, which holds subscription series at the Vienna Musikverein and is orchestra-in-residence at the Grafenegg Festival. He will conclude his tenure with the Tonkünstler Orchestra in summer 2015. From 2009 through 2013, Andrés was also principal conductor at the Basque National Orchestra in San Sebastián, Spain.

As a guest conductor, he regularly works with the world’s most prominent orchestras, including the Vienna, Munich, London, Rotterdam, Royal Stockholm and La Scala Philharmonic Orchestras; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; Mahler Chamber Orchestra; London, City of Birmingham and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestras; the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome; Radio Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg; the Orchestre National de France; Verbier Festival Orchestra; and the St. Louis and Oregon Symphonies.

Following his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in 2010, Andrés was hailed “a brilliant stand-in” for Esa-Pekka Salonen and celebrated as an “eminent talent” by Austria’s Wiener Zeitung and Die Presse. In November 2012, Andrés stepped in once again with just one rehearsal’s notice to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in the Musikverein for Riccardo Muti and was praised as a “stand-in worth his weight in gold” and “an inspired master of communication” by the Viennese daily newspapers Kurier and Der Standard. In the 2015-16 season, he will make his official debut with the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra on its subscription season.

Born in 1977 in Medellín (Colombia), Andrés began his musical studies on the violin and had his first conducting lessons at age 15. In 1997, he moved to Vienna where he joined the conducting class of Uroš Lajovic, a pupil of the legendary Hans Swarowsky, at the renowned Vienna Music Academy and completed his degree with distinction by conducting the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Vienna Musikverein. The emphasis of his artistic work lies in the Romantic repertoire and Viennese classics. At the same time, Andrés shows a keen interest in contemporary music and regularly performs premieres of Austrian composers as well as compositions of Spanish and South American origin. He currently lives in Vienna.

About Houston Symphony

During the 2014-15 season, the Houston Symphony enters its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. This season also marks the inaugural year for new Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada. The Houston Symphony is one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas whose inaugural performance was held at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston on June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $29 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians is the largest performing arts organization in Houston, presenting more than 286 performances for 300,000 people, including 82,000 children, annually. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call (713) 224-7575.

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