July 21, 2015


Vanessa Astros
Senior Director, Communications

(713) 337-8560

Kristen Bennett
PR Coordinator
(713) 337-8557


Houston (July 21, 2015)—Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn, originally scheduled to perform with the Houston Symphony in Fall 2015, has notified the Houston Symphony of her plans to take a short leave to care for her newborn baby due this summer, a decision that would force her to withdraw from her performances at Jones Hall on September 25-27, 2015.

A statement from Hahn’s management agency, IMG Artists, explains her decision further: “Ms. Hahn and her husband are eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child this summer, after which Ms. Hahn will be taking a few short months’ leave. As such, she will not perform with the Houston Symphony this fall. She will spring back into action in mid-November and the rest of the season will continue as originally planned. Ms. Hahn thanks the fans and the orchestras for their understanding and support during this exciting time. She wishes the performers wonderful concerts and looks forward to seeing everyone when she’s back in Houston.”

In Hahn’s place, the Houston Symphony will present Simone Porter, an emerging violinist of impassioned energy, musical integrity and vibrant sound. At 18 years of age, Porter has already appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and with many renowned conductors, including Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Nicolas McGegan, Ludovic Morlot and Donald Runnicles. Porter will be performing Barber’s Violin Concerto. This will be Porter’s debut with the Houston Symphony led by Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada.

Customers who have purchased tickets for this performance will be notified by the Houston Symphony with further details. For more information, patrons may call the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center at (713) 224-7575, Monday-Saturday, 10 am-6pm.

Jones Hall
615 Louisiana St.
Houston, TX 77002

Friday, September 25, 2015, 8:00pm
Saturday, September 26, 2015, 8:00pm
Sunday, September 27, 2015, 2:30pm
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Simone Porter, violin

Dvorák: Slavonic Dances
Barber: Violin Concerto
Dvorák: Symphony No. 6

About Simone Porter

Simone Porter has been recognized as an emerging artist of impassioned energy, musical integrity and vibrant sound. The Los Angeles Times, after referring to her as a “future star,” wrote, “Let’s strike the word ‘future.’ She sounds ready. Now.” Her performances have been described as "bold" (Seattle Times) and "virtuosic" (London Times). At 18 years of age, she has already appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as with many renowned conductors, including Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Nicolas McGegan, Ludovic Morlot and Donald Runnicles. Porter made her professional solo debut at age 10 with the Seattle Symphony and her international debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at age 13.

In March 2015, Simone Porter was named a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant. This prestigious honor comes in a year that includes her upcoming return engagements with the Seattle Symphony (with conductor Mikhail Agrest) and the Aspen Music Festival (with conductor David Robertson). The fall of 2015 also brings her return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, this time on the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage with maestro Gustavo Dudamel. During the 2015–16 season, Porter debuts with the Detroit Symphony (with conductor Andrew Hilary Grams), the Rochester Philharmonic and the Florida Orchestra. She also makes her Ravinia recital debut. During the summer of 2014, Porter made several important and highly acclaimed debuts, starting with her professional debut at the Aspen Music Festival with conductor Thomas Søndergård. She also debuted at the Grand Teton Music Festival with conductor Donald Runnicles and finished her summer at the Hollywood Bowl, debuting with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conductor Ludovic Morlot. The 2014–15 season also included her debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, in addition to return engagements to the Nashville Symphony, among others.

Porter’s 2013–14 season included debuts with the symphony orchestras of Albany, NY; Corpus Christi; and Pasadena; as well as the Pacific Symphony and the Costa Rica Youth Symphony. She also performed two solo recitals in Los Angeles on the South Bay Chamber Music Series. Previous engagements include an appearance with the New York Philharmonic on their Young People’s Concerts series, and performances with the Nashville, New West, Olympia and Utah Symphonies, the Reno Philharmonic, Orchestra Seattle, and the American Youth Symphony and Young Musician Foundation's Debut Orchestra in California, among others. She made her Salt Lake City recital debut at Libby Gardner Hall in 2012 and had the honor of performing for the Dalai Lama at the opening ceremony of a five-day symposium on compassion in Seattle, Washington, in 2008.

Internationally, Porter has performed with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, and the Northern Sinfonia and the Milton Keynes City Orchestra in the United Kingdom. She also appeared in Singapore at the 2010 Great Eastern International Kids Performing Festival.

Porter is an avid chamber musician, having most recently collaborated with violinist James Ehnes at a benefit concert in Zipper Hall in Los Angeles. Additionally, she appeared multiple times on the Colburn Chamber Music Society Series at Zipper Hall with violinists Arnold Steinhardt and Scott St. John, on the South Bay Chamber Music Society with violist Paul Coletti, and at the Miami International Piano Festival.

Porter has been heard on the renowned syndicated NPR radio program From the Top, hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O’Riley and featuring America’s best young classical musicians. Her performance in July 2012 marked her third appearance on the program; her first was in 2007 at the age of 11. She has also been featured on the popular national APM radio program Performance Today, recorded live at Aspen’s Harris Hall in 2011. Porter made her Carnegie Hall debut on the Emmy Award-winning TV show From the Top: Live from Carnegie Hall. Other TV appearances include the BBC documentary The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies, which aired in the United Kingdom in June 2009, and a feature on Seattle’s Kiro 7 TV’s quarterly magazine, In Color.

The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Porter is a 2011 Davidson Fellow Laureate, an award given by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, which carries a $50,000 scholarship to further her musical education. In 2009, she was presented as an Emerging Young Artist by the Seattle Chamber Music Society.
Raised in Seattle, Washington, Porter studied with Margaret Pressley as a recipient of the Dorothy Richard Starling Scholarship, and she was then admitted into the studio of the renowned pedagogue Robert Lipsett, with whom she presently studies at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Her summer studies have included the Aspen Music Festival for seven years, Indiana University's Summer String Academy, and the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy.

Simone Porter plays on a 1745 J.B. Guadagnini violin on generous loan from The Mandell Collection of Southern California.

About Andrés Orozco-Estrada

Andrés Orozco-Estrada began his tenure as Music Director of the Houston Symphony in the 2014-2015 season, and immediately established a dynamic presence on the podium and a deep connection with musicians and audiences. In addition to his Houston post, he is chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and in the 2015-16 season, will become principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Next season will also mark his official subscription debut with the Vienna Philharmonic, as well as debuts with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra.

Born in Medellin, Colombia, Orozco-Estrada began his musical studies on the violin, and started conducting at age 15. At the age of 19 he entered the Vienna Music Academy, where he studied with Uroš Lajovic (pupil of the legendary Hans Swarowsky), and went on to complete 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-PekkaSalonen, and then in 2012 stepping in for Riccardo Muti at the Musikverein. He has worked with the most prominent European orchestras, most recently Munich Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, City of Birming¬ham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre National de France and Oslo Philharmonic. Highlights of the 2014-15 season include debuts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam as well as at the Salzburg Festival.

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 or call (713) 224-7575.