May 1, 2016
Senior Director, Communications
HOUSTON SYMPHONY ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL RELEASE OF SECOND ALBUM IN MINI-SERIES OF DVORAK RECORDINGS
HOUSTON (May 1, 2016) – The Houston Symphony announced today the international release of the orchestra’s second commercial recording with Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, which features Antonín Dvorák’s Symphony No. 6, Slavonic Dance Opus 72, No. 3 and Slavonic Dance Opus 46, No. 8. The recording is second in a mini-series from Dutch classical music label PENTATONE that highlights the Houston Symphony’s interpretations of Dvorák’s works, particularly the last four symphonies.
Combining the energy of Dvorák’s music, the orchestra, and Orozco-Estrada, the recording brilliantly captures the unmistakable chemistry on display. Composed in the late 19th century, Symphony No. 6 and the Slavonic Dances exhibit a strong sense of Czech national character with distinguishing folk rhythms and influences of the composer’s native Bohemia. The sixth symphony, inspired by Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, was Dvorák’s first composition to draw international attention with its sunny and pastoral nature. The Slavonic Dance selections, modeled after Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, are lively and upbeat works based on Czech dance forms.
The first disc in the series, which features Dvorak’s Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 8, was released in March 2016 and received global acclaim. A review from German public broadcasting corporation Südwestrundfunk wrote of the recording, “It is full of fiery energy and finely worked details. It is wonderfully balanced, exciting and – perhaps the most important in Dvorák – played with joy and musicality.”
The recordings in the mini-series are especially significant to Orozco-Estrada – they are not only his first with the Houston Symphony, but feature the performances of several orchestra musicians that have been appointed during his Houston tenure, including Principal Bass Robin Kesselman and Principal Clarinet Mark Nuccio.
“Maestro Orozco-Estrada and the musicians in the orchestra have an excellent chemistry,” said General Manager Vicky Dominguez. “This is evident to audiences during live performances and adds a layer of vitality and exuberance to the recordings.”
The final recording in the series, expected to be released in the spring of 2017, will feature Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 paired with two other Slavonic Dances. All three albums will be released on stereo SACD and through select digital channels, including Spotify, iTunes and Amazon.
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 September 2015. 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 Classical 91.7. The classical season is endowed by The Wortham Foundation, Inc. in memory of Gus S. and Lyndall F. Wortham.
Other upcoming recording activity under Orozco-Estrada’s direction will include a series of discs featuring the music of the Americas, to be recorded in early 2017, as well as Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Denis Kozhukhin and Haydn’s The Creation featuring the Houston Symphony Chorus.
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, Andrés 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,