Newsroom

June 2, 2015



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


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Miller Outdoor Theatre 


THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY BRINGS MORE THAN A DOZEN FREE SUMMER COMMUNITY CONCERTS TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

16 free performances at 11 venues including churches, schools and community centers across Houston, all led by Associate Conductor Robert Franz

ExxonMobil’s “Summer Symphony Nights” presents a wide-range of concerts, including the popular July 4th Star-Spangled Salute celebration led by Principal POPS Conductor Designate Steven Reineke

Guest performers featured this summer include the Mariachi Los Gallitos the CityWide Grassroots Chorus, and Sugar Land-based Chinese instrumental virtuoso Changlu Wu

HOUSTON (June 2, 2015)—The Houston Symphony will embrace this summer with a fun and diverse line-up of free concerts June 2-July 7, including 10 performances in various neighborhoods around Houston as part of its Summer Community Concert Series, five performances as part of the ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights at Miller Outdoor Theatre, and a free July 3rd performance at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

These free performances are relaxed, dynamic and designed for the whole family. This summer, the Houston Symphony features an array of guest performers from the many diverse communities of Houston, including Mirron Willis (The Ensemble Theatre and Houston Shakespeare Festival) narrating Copland's Lincoln Portrait; The CityWide Grassroots Chorus; traditional Chinese instrumental virtuoso, Changlu Wu; and the well-known local Mariachi ensemble Mariachi Los Gallitos.

“In alignment with the Symphony's vision to become America's most successful and relevant top-ten orchestra, we are delighted to bring the full Houston Symphony out into the community for these free performances at many of the area's churches, schools and community centers,” said Steve Wenig, Director of Community Partnerships. “This year's program more deeply reflects our commitment to inclusivity by featuring many guest artists from the community including Mariachi Los Gallitos, The CityWide Grassroots Chorus and Pipa virtuoso Changlu Wu.”

The summer concerts follow an electric inaugural season from music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, during which time his dynamic “Musically Speaking” concert series was conceived. During his inaugural year, the symphony welcomed guest renowned artists including Alison Balsom, Itzhak Perlman, and André Watts. Additionally, the organization received its largest donation from an individual since 2006, a $5 million gift from Margaret Alkek Williams.

Summer Community Concerts
(Performed at various venues across Greater Houston)

Orchestral music is a blend of musical sounds and ideas that stem from a vast variety of cultures, many of which are highly represented in Houston. For that reason, this year’s Summer Community Concerts celebrate and honor Houston’s diversity by recognizing the musical contributions of its diverse population. The concerts will feature culturally relevant programs held at various community centers in greater Houston, including several presentations in honor of the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, a significant milestone and holiday that celebrates freedom.

Included at each performance is the ever-popular instrument petting zoo, a hands-on, interactive activity that allows children and adults of all ages to touch and play instruments that represent each of the orchestra’s instrument families. The instrument petting zoo will be open 45 minutes prior to each concert.
(Full concert schedule follows below).

ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights at Miller Outdoor Theatre
(Miller Outdoor Theatre, 6000 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030)

The Houston Symphony has been performing during the summer months at Miller Outdoor Theatre for more than 70 years. Sponsored in part by the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, these concerts are free and open to the public. This summer, Houstonians can hear great classical music under the stars on June 18, 20, 23, 26, and 27, in addition to the annual July 4th Star-Spangled Salute concert. Admission is free, but tickets are required for the seated area. Visit www.milleroutdoortheatre.com for more information.
(Full concert schedule follows below).

July 3rd Concert @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
(The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77380)

The Houston Symphony is honored to help the city celebrate America’s birthday with a bang at the annual Star-Spangled Salute on July 3. The free Independence Eve performance, which has been a tradition at The Pavilion for 25 years, features a selection of patriotic favorites.

The Symphony will also appear at The Pavilion for eight other concerts from May through October, with free mezzanine and lawn seating. A full concert schedule can be found at www.woodlandscenter.org.

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. 


Summer Community Concerts

June 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Fallbrook Church
12512 Walters Rd.
Houston, TX 77014

June 3 at 7:30 p.m.
The Fountain of Praise
13950 Hillcroft Ave.
Houston, TX 77085

Robert Franz, conductor
Mirron Willis, narrator
Citywide Grassroots Chorus
     Adavion Wayne, director
Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
Beethoven: Overture to Fidelio, Opus 72c
Copland: Lincoln Portrait
J. Williams: The Cowboys Overture
W.L. Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony
     III. O, Le’ Me Shine, Shine Like a Morning Star!: Allegro con brio
Williams: Hymn to the Fall from Saving Private Ryan
R.L. Smallwood/H. Panion: Total Praise 
J.R. Johnson/R. Carter: Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing (lyrics by James Weldon Johnson) 
Shostakovich: Festive Overture, Opus 96

The Houston Symphony performs works that celebrate freedom for all in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth including works by African-American Composers such as William Dawson's O' Let Me Shine and Roland Carter's Lift Every Voice and Sing. This concert will also feature the CityWide Grassroots Chorus singing with the Houston Symphony.

June 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Morton Ranch High School
21000 Franz Rd
Katy, TX 77449

June 11 at 7:30 p.m.
The Centrum—Spring
6823 Cypresswood Dr.
Spring, TX 77379

Robert Franz, conductor
Mirron Willis, narrator
Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
Tchaikovsky: Marche slave, Opus 31
Beethoven: Overture to Fidelio, Opus 72c
Copland: Lincoln Portrait
J. Williams: The Cowboys Overture
Williams: Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan
Shostakovich: Festive Overture, Opus 96

This program will feature Lincoln Portrait (narrated by Mirron Willis) as well as works by John Williams, Beethoven, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and more.

June 30 at 7:30 p.m.
North Shore Senior High School
353 N Castlegory
Houston, TX 77049

July 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Dobie High School
10220 Blackhawk Blvd
Houston, TX 77089

Robert Franz, conductor
Mirron Willis, narrator
*Mariachi Los Gallitos

Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
Beethoven: Overture to Fidelio, Opus 72c
Copland: Lincoln Portrait
J. Williams: The Cowboys Overture
Williams: Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan
A. Marquez: Conga del Fuego Nuevo
Arr. R. Nelson: Mariachi Medley
Shostakovich: Festive Overture, Opus 96

Joining the program and celebrating Houston's Hispanic Community is Mariachi Los Gallitos, a local Mariachi group that will perform alongside the Houston Symphony.

July 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Dulles High School—Rogers Auditorium
550 Dulles Avenue
Sugar Land, TX 77478

July 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Chinese Community Center
9800 Town Park Dr.
Houston, TX 77036

Robert Franz, conductor
Mirron Willis, narrator
Changlu Wu, pipa
Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man
Beethoven: Overture to Fidelio, Opus 72c
Copland: Lincoln Portrait
J. Williams: The Cowboys Overture
Williams: Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan
Lan Kui Han: Qilian Rhapsody for Pipa and Orchestra
Shostakovich: Festive Overture, Opus 96

The program includes Hui-Ran Wang's Qilian Rhapsody, a concerto for Pipa, featuring Sugar Land's own Chinese traditional instrument virtuoso Changlu Wu.


ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights at Miller Outdoor Theatre: Details & Programs

Thursday, June 18, 2015, 8:30 p.m.
Gergely Madaras, conductor 
Eduardo Rios, violin
Kodaly: Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor, Opus 64
Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Opus 88

Saturday, June 20, 2015, 8:30 p.m.
Teddy Abrams, conductor
Charlie Albright, piano
Abrams: Kentucky Royal Fanfare
Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances, Opus 45

Friday, June 26, 2015, 8:30 p.m.
Robert Franz, conductor
Changlu Wu, pipa
Liu Tieshan-Mao Yuan: Dance of the Yao People
Griffes: The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan, Opus 8
Smetana: Vltava (The Moldau) from Má vlast (My Fatherland)
Han Lan Kui: Qilian Rhapsody for Pipa and Orchestra
Debussy: La mer

Saturday, June 27, 2015, 8:30 p.m.
Anu Tali, conductor
Silver medalist of the 2015 Ima Hogg Concerto Competition
Shostakovich/L. Atovmyan: Suite from The Gadfly, Opus 97a
TBA: Concerto TBA (Ima Hogg silver medalist)
Elgar: Enigma Variations, Opus 36 


Star-Spangled Salute at Miller Outdoor Theatre

Friday, July 3, 2015, 8:00 p.m., The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Saturday, July 4, 2015 8:30 p.m., Miller Outdoor Theatre

Star-Spangled Salute, a Houston tradition, features an evening with Principal POPS Conductor Designate Steven Reineke and the Houston Symphony listening to patriotic, toe-tapping music. The booming cannons of the 1812 Overture and the magnificent firework display provided by the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board will make for a true celebration.

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