October 2, 2015
Senior Director, Communications
PIANO VIRTUOSO EMANUEL AX JOINS THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY FOR A PERFORMANCE OF BRAHMS' PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2
October 16-18, 2015
HOUSTON (October 2, 2015)—The Houston Symphony will perform Ives’ American-inspired Symphony No. 2 and Brahms’ unparalleled Piano Concerto No. 2 with guest pianist Emanuel Ax at 8 p.m. on October 16-17 and 2:30 p.m. on October 18.
Led by music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, the orchestra will commence the program with Ives’ second symphony, which was premiered by the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein in 1951. The five-movement piece alludes to many popular American tunes, including “Camptown Races,” “Turkey in the Straw” and “America the Beautiful.” In an attempt to bring more recognition to this great American composer, the Houston Symphony is in its second year of a four-year cycle to perform all of Ives’ symphonies.
Ax will join the orchestra for a grand performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 after intermission. Often considered one of the most amazing – and difficult – piano works ever written, the piece is comprised of five movements, all enchanting and emotional. Ax, the recipient of several GRAMMY Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize and two honorary doctorates from Yale and Colombia, is an internationally-acclaimed artist and has performed all over the globe.
In addition to his busy performance schedule, Ax has been a faculty member at The Juilliard School in New York City since 1990. An engaging and dynamic instructor, he will take time to present a master class to student pianists at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, on Thursday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m.
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.
Emanuel Ax Plays Brahms is generously underwritten by Max and Rochelle Levit, guarantors.
EMANUEL AX PLAYS BRAHMS
Friday, October 16, 2015, 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 17, 2015, 8 p.m.
Sunday, October 18, 2015, 2:30 p.m.
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
Ives: Symphony No. 2
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2
Tickets from $25
About Emanuel Ax
Born in Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax captured public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition; he went on to win the Young Concert Artists Michaels Award (1975) and the Avery Fisher Prize (1979).
Three prominent duo collaborations will be carried through Mr. Ax's current season. Beginning with the release of sonatas by Fauré and Strauss on the Deutsche Grammophon label, Mr. Ax will partner with long-time friend and colleague Itzhak Perlman for concerts in Kansas City, Ravinia, Dallas, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara and La Jolla in the first half of the season. A return visit to Japan will be followed by concerts in Paris, Berlin, Rome, Tel Aviv and Amsterdam. As an annual guest with the New York Philharmonic he will play Brahms with Alan Gilbert in addition to return visits to orchestras in Houston, Chicago, and Pittsburgh as well as duos in Philadelphia and New York with violinist Pamela Frank in a program of Mozart sonatas. Long-standing partner Yo-Yo Ma will join him in Norfolk, VA, Washington, DC and Carnegie Hall where they will program all the Beethoven sonatas for cello and piano. Solo recitals in Tokyo, Arizona, Florida, Texas and Boston will culminate in Carnegie Hall as part of the hall's 125th anniversary celebrations in May.
A GRAMMY® winning artist exclusive to Sony Classical since 1987, his most recent release is a recital disc exploring “variations” by composers including Haydn, Schumann, and Copland. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates from Yale and Columbia Universities.
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 330,000 people, including 97,000 children, annually. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.