Newsroom

July 12, 2017



MUSIC DIRECTOR ANDRÉS OROZCO-ESTRADA TO LEAD HOUSTON SYMPHONY IN EIGHT-CONCERT TOUR THROUGH EUROPE 

HOUSTON (July 12, 2017) —Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada will lead the Houston Symphony on a four-country, eight-city European Tour through some of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls and festivals, March 9–March 19, 2018. World-renowned violinist and three-time Grammy Award-winner Hilary Hahn joins the Houston Symphony for all performances. The high-profile tour, which features concerts in Belgium, Germany, Poland and Austria, is Orozco-Estrada’s first international tour with the orchestra and the Houston Symphony’s first major European tour in more than 20 years.

Central to the tour repertoire will be Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7, a work that was featured in Orozco-Estrada’s critically-acclaimed inaugural recording with the Houston Symphony. The program also celebrates the 100th birthday of legendary conductor, composer and musical ambassador Leonard Bernstein, including Bernstein’s Serenade for Violin (featuring Hilary Hahn); Overture to West Side Story; and Three Dance Episodes from On the Town. Rounding out the tour repertoire will be Dvorák’s The Noon Witch.

The tour opens at the distinguished Klarafestival at BOZAR in Brussels, Belgium (March 9), followed by two performances in Germany, one at Philharmonie Essen (March 11) and one at Konzerthaus Berlin (March 12). The orchestra then travels to Warsaw, Poland, to perform at the Filharmonia Narodowa (March 14) before heading to Vienna, Austria (March 15) to perform at the Wiener Konzerthaus. The orchestra returns to Germany for the last leg of the tour to perform at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg (March 17), the Hannover Congress Centrum (March 18), and Gasteig München (March 19).

As a cultural ambassador for the city and the region, the Houston Symphony has toured extensively, from regional tours to military bases in Texas and Louisiana, to international
appearances in Singapore, Moscow and Japan in addition to various parts of Europe. The 2018 European Tour marks the first major international touring activity since the 1990s under the artistic leadership of Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, whose last tour with the orchestra was the European Festival Tour in 2000, with appearances in Germany and Switzerland.

Since becoming music director in 2014, Orozco-Estrada, who holds the Roy and Lillie Cullen
Chair, has quickly forged a strong artistic bond with the musicians of the Houston Symphony. This 2018 tour marks the next step in a dynamic artistic partnership that has included a series of critically-acclaimed recordings of the last four Dvorák symphonies under the Dutch recording label PENTATONE. Orozco-Estrada and the Houston Symphony will soon release a Music of the Americas disc, featuring Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Revueltas’ Sensemayá, Piazzolla’s Tangazo and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Additional recording projects with PENTATONE include Haydn’s The Creation.

“It is very special for me to take the orchestra to some of the most distinguished halls in the
world with major works that are essential to the classical repertoire, such as Dvorák’s
Symphony No. 7, which we recently recorded and released to international audiences,” said
Orozco-Estrada. “Touring is an important part of our artistic growth that helps us connect
with audiences in other parts of the world and represent our city of Houston well.”

“This is an opportunity for us to showcase not only our musicians and Andrés, but to reinforce to European audiences that Houston is the Cultural Capital of the South,” said Mark C. Hanson, Executive Director and CEO, Margaret Alkek Williams Chair. “We’re confident that
both audiences in Europe and in Houston following the tour will be moved and inspired by
the performances of the Houston Symphony.”

The European Tour is made possible through the generosity of 34 generous individuals,
foundations and corporations, including the following leadership donors: Rochelle & Max
Levit, Barbara J. Burger, Janet F. Clark, Barbara & Pat McCelvey, The Brown Foundation,
Inc., Drs. Dennis & Susan Carlyle, Mr. John N. Neighbors, Bobby & Phoebe Tudor, John &
Lindy Rydman/Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods/Spec’s Charitable Foundation, Ron
Franklin & Janet Gurwitch, The Joan & Marvin Kaplan Foundation, Carol & Michael Linn &
The Michael C. Linn Family Foundation, Beth Madison, Nancy & Robert Peiser, Dave & Alie
Pruner, Mr. Jay Steinfeld & Mrs. Barbara Winthrop, Judith Vincent, Viviana & David
Denechaud, Cora Sue & Harry Mach, Brad & Joan Corson, and Steve & Joella Mach.

Houstonians can get a sneak peek of the tour when repertoire is featured Feb. 15, 17 and 18
and Feb. 23-25 at Jones Hall. Single tickets for these preview performances go on sale to public on August 27, 2017. For more information, visit houstonsymphony.org.

ABOUT ANDRÉS OROZCO-ESTRADA
Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada began his tenure in the 2014–
15 season. He immediately established a dynamic presence on the podium and a deep bond
with the musicians of the orchestra. Orozco-Estrada carefully curates his programs to
feature engaging combinations of classical masterworks paired with the music of today,
significant artistic collaborations with composers and guest artists, and innovative use of
multimedia and visual effects, all in order to make meaningful connections with the
audience.

In the 2016–17 season, Orozco-Estrada continued to engage with audiences both
with casual commentary from the stage and discussions with guests in “Behind the Scenes
with Andrés” videos. On the recording front, Andrés and the Symphony released the third
disc in their critically-acclaimed series featuring Dvorák’s last four symphonies. The series
marks Andrés’ first commercial recording project with the orchestra.

Born in Medellín, Colombia, Orozco-Estrada began his musical studies on the violin
and started conducting at age 15. At 19, he entered the renowned Vienna Music Academy,
where he studied with Uroš Lajovic (pupil of the legendary Hans Swarowsky), and
completed his degree with distinction conducting the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at
the Musikverein. Orozco-Estrada burst on the international scene with two substitutions
with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra: the first, his debut in 2010, standing in for Esa-
Pekka Salonen, and then in 2012, substituting for Riccardo Muti at the Musikverein. Orozco-
Estrada now regularly appears with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the
Vienna Philharmonic, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the Orchestre National de
France, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Mahler
Chamber Orchestra.

He recently debuted with the Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, San Francisco and
Chicago Symphony as well as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Following a thrilling debut
the previous year, summer 2016 marked his return to the Salzburg Festival with Nicolai's
opera Il Templario and – in place of Nikolaus Harnoncourt – Beethoven's Ninth with the
Concentus Musicus Wien.

In addition to his post in Houston, Orozco-Estrada is chief conductor of the
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the London
Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2016, Andrés and the Frankurt Symphony Radio released two
recordings on Pentatone to great acclaim: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Richard
Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben.

ABOUT HILARY HAHN
Three-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn is renowned for her virtuosity,
expansive interpretations and creative programming. Her dynamic approach to music-making and her commitment to sharing her musical experiences with a broad global community have made her a fan favorite.

Hahn’s distinct stylistic choices honor the traditional violin literature while delving into
the unexpected. Since last season, in recital tours across the United States, Europe and Japan, Hahn has been premiering six new partitas for solo violin by composer Antón García Abril. The works are Hahn’s first commissioning project for solo violin and her first commission of a set of works from a single composer. “In 27 Pieces: the Hilary Hahn Encores” is Hahn’s multi-year commissioning project, started in 2011, to revitalize the duo encore genre. Hahn’s album of those encores won a Grammy for Best Chamber Music/ Small Ensemble Performance in 2015, and the print edition of the complete sheet music will be released by Boosey & Hawkes. Complete with Hahn’s fingerings, bowings and performance notes, the sheet music will ensure the encores become part of the active violin repertoire. A special vinyl edition of the recording will also be released.

Hahn’s 2015-16 artist residency at Vienna’s Konzerthaus featured her performing
Mozart with the Camerata Salzburg, Dvorák with the Vienna Symphony and Vieuxtemps with
the Vienna Philharmonic, plus a solo recital. As part of her residency Hahn piloted free – and
sometimes surprise – concerts for parents with infants, a knitting circle and a community
dance workshop as the live music for their end-of-year performance. The 2016-17 season
saw Hahn in residence with both the Seattle Symphony and the Orchestre National de Lyon.
In conjunction with her performances with those orchestras and her recitals in Seattle and
Lyon, Hahn created outreach activities customized to each city. She continued her free
community-oriented concerts, encouraging music lovers to combine live performance with
their interests outside the concert hall. Other activities in the 2016-17 season included
European concerto tours with the Czech Philharmonic, the Orchestre Philharmonique de
Radio France and the Orchestre National de Lyon; appearances with the Cincinnati, Detroit,
Indianapolis and National Symphony Orchestras, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the
Frankfurt Radio and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestras, and the Spanish National
Orchestra; and recital tours with pianist Robert Levin throughout North America and Europe.

Hahn took her first violin lessons in the Suzuki program of the Peabody Institute in
her hometown of Baltimore at age 3; and at 5, she began lessons with Klara Berkovich, who
had just emigrated from St. Petersburg. At 10, Hahn was admitted to the Curtis Institute of
Music in Philadelphia to study with Jascha Brodsky, a former pupil of Eugène Ysaÿe and
Efrem Zimbalist. Hahn completed her university requirements at 16, having already made her solo debuts with the Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Utah and Bavarian Radio symphony orchestras; the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Budapest Festival orchestras; and the New York
Philharmonic, among others. Hahn continued her studies for three more years, delving into
languages, literature and writing, and received her bachelor’s degree at 19. She spent four
summers at the Marlboro Music Festival and another four in the total-immersion German,
French and Japanese programs at Middlebury College. She holds honorary doctorates from
Ball State University and Middlebury College. Hahn has released 16 albums on the Deutsche Grammophon and Sony labels, in addition to three DVDs, an Oscar-nominated movie soundtrack, an award-winning recording for children, and various compilations. Spanning an extremely wide range of repertoire, including Bach, Stravinsky, Elgar, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Mozart, Schoenberg, Paganini, Spohr, Barber, Bernstein, Ives, Higdon and Tchaikovsky, her recordings have received every critical prize in the international press and have met with equal popular success. All have debuted in the top ten of the Billboard classical chart.

Hahn’s first Grammy came in 2003 for her Brahms and Stravinsky concerto album. A
pairing of the Schoenberg and Sibelius concerti spent 23 weeks on the charts and earned Hahn her second Grammy. In 2010, she premiered her recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Violin
Concerto along with the Tchaikovsky concerto. Higdon’s composition, written for Hahn,
went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. In 2012, Hahn launched Silfra with experimental preparedpianist Hauschka. The album was produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson and was entirely improvised by Hahn and Hauschka following an intensive period of development. Her latest album, Mozart 5, Vieuxtemps 4 – Violin Concertos, pairs concerti that have played an active part in her repertoire for more than 25 years.

Hahn is an avid writer, having posted journal entries for two decades on her
website, hilaryhahn.com, and published articles in mainstream media. On her YouTube
channel, youtube.com/hilaryhahnvideos, she interviews colleagues about their experiences in
music. Her violin case comments on life as a traveling companion, on Twitter and Instagram
at @violincase. In 2001, Hahn was named “America’s Best Classical Musician”
by Time magazine, and in 2010, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Hahn was featured in the Oscar-nominated soundtrack to The Village and has participated in a number of non-classical productions, collaborating on two records by the alt-rock band
….And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, on the album Grand Forks by Tom Brosseau,
and on tour with folk-rock singer-songwriter Josh Ritter.

ABOUT THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY
During the 2017-18 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fourth 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, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the fulltime ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 communitybased performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

HOUSTON SYMPHONY TOUR ITINERARY IN EUROPE, MAY 9-19, 2018

Friday, March 9
BOZAR
Brussels, Belgium
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
BERNSTEIN Overture to West Side
Story
BERNSTEIN Serenade for Violin
DVORÁK Symphony No. 7

Sunday, March 11
Philharmonie Essen
Essen, Germany
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
BERNSTEIN Overture to West Side
Story
BERNSTEIN Serenade for Violin
DVORÁK Symphony No. 7

Monday, March 12
Konzerthaus Berlin
Berlin, Germany
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
DVORÁK The Noon Witch
BERNSTEIN Serenade for Violin
DVORÁK Symphony No. 7

Wednesday, March 14
Filharmonia Narodowa
Warsaw, Poland
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
BERNSTEIN Three Dance Episodes
from On the Town
BERNSTEIN Serenade for Violin
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5

Thursday, March 15
Wiener Konzerthaus
Vienna, Austria
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
BERNSTEIN Three Dance Episodes
from On the Town
BERNSTEIN Serenade for Violin
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5

Saturday, March 17
Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
BERNSTEIN Three Dance Episodes
from On the Town
BERNSTEIN Serenade for Violin
DVORÁK Symphony No. 7

Sunday, March 18
Hannover Congress Centrum Kuppelsaal
Hanover, Germany
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
BERNSTEIN Three Dance Episodes
from On the Town
BERNSTEIN Serenade for Violin
DVORÁK Symphony No. 7

Monday, March 19
Gasteig München
Munich, Germany
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
BERNSTEIN Overture to West Side
Story
BERNSTEIN Serenade for Violin
DVORÁK Symphony No. 7 

MEDIA CONTACT:           
Vanessa Astros
vanessa.astros@houstonsymphony.org
(713) 337-8560                                                   

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