October 1, 2014
THE EVELYN RUBENSTEIN JCC, IN COLLABORATION WITH THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY, PRESENT JEFFREY SIEGEL’S KEYBOARD CONVERSATIONS®
Three-Part Concert Series to Demystify Classical Music and Preview Symphony Season Repertoire
HOUSTON (October 1, 2014)—Hailed by The New York Times as “an artist who means every note he plays,” internationally renowned concert pianist Jeffrey Siegel brings Keyboard Conversations® back to Houston. This three-part concert series will span the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC music season, and as collaboration between the two organizations, will preview elements of the Houston Symphony season. The concerts will take place on the Kaplan Theatre Stage at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston. This marks the fourth continuous year Siegel brings Keyboard Conversations® to Houston. For the past three years, Siegel has performed at the Shepherd School at Rice University.
Primarily a concert with each work performed in its entirety, Keyboard Conversations® are concerts with commentary as Mr. Siegel speaks briefly and informally to the audience before performing each composition, making the music more accessible and the listening experience more focused and meaningful. His commentary will help create connections with various concerts in the Houston Symphony’s 2014-2015 Season. Each concert concludes with a lively Q & A.
“In Keyboard Conversations, I talk in non-technical language so the audience can listen actively and not passively,” said Siegel. “My object is to prime the ear of listeners so they can attend symphony concerts and understand them as insiders.”
The series opens with The Power and Passion of Beethoven on Sunday, October 12 at 4:00PM, which previews the Houston Symphony’s forthcoming 3 Weeks of Beethoven on November 13-30. Among other insights, music lovers will be led by Siegel into an exploration of the "Moonlight Sonata" and the "Farewell Sonata" to better understand the backstory and motivations behind each work. Later, the three-part Keyboard Conversations® series continues with The Romanticism of the Russian Soul: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich on Sunday, December 14, 2014, 4:00PM and Great Jewish Composers on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 4:00 PM. These two performances preview the Houston Symphony’s Mozart and Shostakovich on January 15-18, 2015, and Copland and Dvorák on March 12-15, 2015.
“The Houston Symphony is happy to collaborate with one of our great partners in the community, the Jewish Community Center, for the presentation of compelling pianist and commentator Jeffrey Siegel,” says Symphony Executive Director/CEO Mark Hanson. “As an organization focused on connecting more and more of Houston’s diverse population to the power of orchestral music, we enthusiastically encourage Houstonians to experience Jeffrey’s ability to ‘demystify’ classical repertoire and thus better prepare themselves to be active listeners for upcoming Symphony performances.”
THE EVELYN RUBENSTEIN JCC, IN COLLABORATION WITH THE
HOUSTON SYMPHONY, PRESENT:
Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel
The Power and Passion of Beethoven
Sunday, October 12, 2014, 4:00pm
Complements the Houston Symphony’s 3 Weeks of Beethoven (November 13-30, 2014)
The Romanticism of the Russian Soul: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich Sunday, December 14, 2014, 4:00pm
Complements the Houston Symphony’s Symphony No. 12 and The Year 1917 (January 15-18, 2015)
Great Jewish Composers
Sunday, March 1, 2015, 4:00pm
Complements the Houston Symphony’s Copland’s Clarinet Concerto (March 12-15, 2015)
Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center
5601 S. Braeswood
Houston, TX 77096
About Jeffrey Siegel
Born into a musical family, Jeffrey Siegel studied with Rudolf Ganz in his native Chicago, with the legendary Rosina Lhévinne at The Juilliard School and, as a Fulbright Scholar, and with Ilona Kabos in London. Siegel has also been a featured soloist with the world's great orchestras including the Houston Symphony under former Musical Director, Sergiu Comissiona. Abroad, these have included the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, Philharmonic and Philharmonia, Moscow State Symphony, Munich's Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Amsterdam, Oslo and Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestras, Orchestra of La Scala and NHK Symphony of Japan. In the United States, engagements have included the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
A familiar face at Dallas’ Eisemann Center, Keyboard Conversations® has been an ongoing series for twenty-nine years. “So many of us feel intimidated by our lack of knowledge about classical music. Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations® is a very entertaining way to gain insights into various aspects of classical music and explore the composer’s life, the music itself, and the historical context for the music. It is such a refreshing and entertaining way to listen to and learn about classical music,” said music devoté and arts patron, Gloria Pryzant. If you're a newcomer to classical music, you'll be captivated to hear pianist Jeffrey Siegel talk about the great composers' lives and illustrate musical themes from each featured work. If you're a seasoned listener, you'll delight in Siegel's fresh and intriguing insights into the music and be thrilled by his virtuoso performances.
About the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston
Established in 1936, The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center is a member based social, recreational, and cultural organization. When you step into the J, you'll find a center filled with remarkable people, dedicated volunteers and a wide-array of year-round programs, activities and special events. The membership is made up of different ages, lifestyles, ethnicities and religious observance. Many programs and events are open to the public benefiting the entire community. Learn more by visiting erjcchouston.org.
About the 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 $30.7 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.