March 1, 2016
Senior Director, Communications
HOUSTON SYMPHONY ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF FIRST COMMERCIAL RECORDING UNDER LEADERSHIP OF MUSIC DIRECTOR ANDRÉS OROZCO-ESTRADA
HOUSTON (March 1, 2016) – The Houston Symphony in collaboration with Dutch classical music label, PENTATONE, announced today the international release of the Houston Symphony’s recording of Antonín Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 8, conducted by Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, his first commercial recording with the orchestra and the first Houston Symphony audio recording since 2011.
The recording of Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 & Symphony No. 8 is the debut album in a mini-series featuring the last four great symphonies of Dvorák performed by the Houston Symphony. Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7 & Symphony No. 8, though different in character, represent the composer at his best. Symphony No. 7 exudes rebelliousness while the sunshine of Symphony No. 8, written in his farmhouse in the Czech countryside, clears the air after the storms of Symphony No. 7. The orchestra and Orozco-Estrada masterfully interpret both symphonies in a way that evokes a strong range of emotions and reflection.
“The Houston Symphony has a strong connection with romantic composers, so from the very beginning we were excited to feature Dvorák’s symphonies in this first recording,” said Orozco-Estrada. “What we’re trying to convey in these recordings, from an interpretation point of view, is the transparency of the soul of Dvorak’s music. His music is extremely romantic, but also nationalistic and at the same time it comes from the classical school.”
In total, Dvorák wrote nine symphonies, the last five of which are known as his “Mature Symphonies.” Dvorák’s Symphony No. 6 paired with Slavonic Dance Opus 72, No. 3, and Slavonic Dance Opus 46, No. 8, will be included in the three-disc mini-series and is expected to be released May 1, 2016. Also included in the series is Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 paired with two other Slavonic Dances, which is expected to be released later this year. The international release of all three recordings marks a milestone for Orozco-Estrada in his second season as music director as he, together with the orchestra, continues to forge a remarkable relationship and a growing reputation as a heritage-rich, world-class orchestra for audiences in Houston and beyond.
“This rewarding collaboration between Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, the musicians of the Houston Symphony and PENTATONE, will enable us to bring our music to more people; thus inspiring audiences around the world as we continue our upward trajectory, making orchestral music accessible to all,” said Houston Symphony Executive Director and CEO Mark C. Hanson.
In addition to Orozco-Estrada’s first recording with the Houston Symphony, the orchestra under Orozco-Estrada’s leadership is 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, all of which will be recorded over the course of two concert weekends in early 2017. Additional recording projects with PENTATONE will include Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Denis Kozhukhin and Haydn’s The Creation with the Houston Symphony Chorus, under the direction of Betsy Cook Weber.
The live recordings, made possible by the Micajah S. Stude Special Production Fund, took place at the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in April 2014 (Symphony No. 8) and March 2015 (Symphony No. 7). The Houston Symphony’s recording and electronic media initiatives are supported by The Wortham Foundation, Inc. and Bobby and Phoebe Tudor. Additional support is provided by Jay Steinfeld and Barbara Winthrop. The Houston Symphony’s Classical Season is recorded for broadcast on Houston Public Media. The Classical Season is endowed by The Wortham Foundation, Inc. in memory of Gus S. and Lyndall F. Wortham.
All three albums will be released on stereo SACD and in digital formats for streaming and high resolution downloads through Spotify, iTunes and Amazon.
ABOUT THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY
During the 2015-16 season, the Houston Symphony will celebrate its second 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 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 $32.8 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians and 4 community-embedded musicians is the largest performing arts organization in Houston, presenting more than 300 performances for 400,000 people, including 97,000 children, annually. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.
PENTATONE is a Dutch classical music label specialising in high-end, multichannel surround sound recordings. It was founded in 2001 by three former Philips Classics executives. PENTATONE’s catalogue includes performances by conductors Kent Nagano, Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Paavo Järvi, Charles Dutoit, Sir Neville Marriner, Mikhail Pletnev, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Sir Colin Davis, Vladimir Jurowski, Marc Albrecht and Lawrence Foster; artists Arabella Steinbacher, Johannes Moser, Denis Kozhukhin, Joyce DiDonato, Julia Fischer, Jake Heggie, Mari Kodama, Nareh Arghamanyan, Martin Helmchen; and orchestras such as the Russian National Orchestra, the Wiener Symphoniker, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the New Dutch Academy and the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
Vanessa Astros: (713) 337-8560,
Lorena Cozzari: (713) 337-8548,
Kristen Bennett: (713) 337-8557,