July 3, 2016
Senior Director, Communications
SIR BEN KINGSLEY TO HEADLINE HOUSTON SYMPHONY'S 2016-17 SEASON OPENING NIGHT CONCERT
Sept. 17, 2016
HOUSTON (July 3, 2016) – Academy, Grammy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley will join the Houston Symphony in an unforgettable performance of Peter and the Wolf during its Opening Night Concert and Gala at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17, 2016.
Kingsley is best-known for his titular role in the 1983 film, Gandhi, for which he earned an Academy Award for Best Actor, a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 for his services to the British film industry, he began his professional acting career with his acceptance into the Royal Shakespeare Company starring in productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest and Julius Caesar in addition to playing the title roles of Othello and Hamlet, among others. He went on to star in television and film roles with memorable performances in Bugsy, Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, House of Sand and Fog, and countless more. Most recently, Kingsley starred in Disney’s blockbuster live-action remake of The Jungle Book, where he brings to life Bagheera, the panther who looks over Mowgli.
With his incomparable voice and under the direction of Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Kingsley will serve as the narrator for Prokofiev’s musical tale about Peter, a boy who outsmarts a wolf with the help of a duck, a cat and a bird. Composed in 1936, Prokofiev was commissioned by the Central Children's Theatre in Moscow to write a piece that would familiarize children with the instruments of the orchestra. The resulting work, Peter and the Wolf, has earned its place as a beloved classic for all generations of music lovers.
Peter and the Wolf has been performed by a plethora of orchestras and conductors and has attracted an endless list of distinguished narrators from every field, including Itzhak Perlman, Mia Farrow, Sting, David Bowie, Leonard Bernstein, Patrick Stewart, Sophia Loren, Sean Connery, Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev. Alongside live symphonic performances, the composition has been recorded numerous times, counting one by Kingsley himself. In 1996, he collaborated with the London Symphony Orchestra in a recording of the work led by Sir Charles Mackerras.
A storytelling thread will weave the evening’s program together, as Rossini’s Overture to The Thieving Magpie and Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier will also be performed.
The concert will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.
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.
Vanessa Astros: (713) 337-8560,
Lorena Cozzari: (713) 337-8548,
Kristen Bennett: (713) 337-8557,