November 23, 2014
Senior Director, Communications
Brinton Averil Smith
GIVE THANKS FOR BEETHOVEN WITH ANDRÉS OROZCO-ESTRADA AND WORLD-CLASS PRINCIPAL CELLIST BRINTON AVERIL SMITH
The Houston Symphony performs Beethoven’s Symphony 1 & 4 to conclude the 3 Weeks of Beethoven series
HOUSTON (November 23, 2014) – After the Thanksgiving dinner dishes are cleared, show gratitude for Beethoven’s First and Fourth Symphonies with family and friends on November 28-30 as Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts the Houston Symphony, featuring principal cellist Brinton Averil Smith.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 was dedicated to an early patron of the composer, Baron Gottfried van Swieten. The complicated composer’s symphonies combine his style with nods to Mozart and Haydn’s Classical tradition. Principal Cellist Brinton Averil Smith will perform Schumann’s Cello Concerto, described by legendary cellist Pablo Casals as “sublime music from beginning to end.” This sunny piece, which is closer to the composer’s beloved First symphony, shows Beethoven’s growth as a composer even though it’s often overshadowed by Beethoven’s more dynamic Third and Fifth symphonies.
Audience members interested in learning more about the background of the music are invited to attend the free Prelude pre-concert discussion led by Carlos Andrés Botero, 45-minutes prior to the start of the concert.
HOUSTON SYMPHONY CLASSICAL CONCERT
Beethoven 1 & 4
Friday, November 28, 2014, 8:00pm
Saturday, November 29, 2014, 8:00pm
Sunday, November 30, 2014, 2:30pm
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Brinton Averil Smith, cello
Beethoven: Symphony No. 1
Schumann: Cello Concerto
Beethoven: Symphony No. 4
Tickets from $25
615 Louisiana St.
Houston, TX 77002
About Andrés Orozco-Estrada
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, born in Colombia and trained in Vienna, is one of the most sought after conductors of his generation. He begins his tenure as the Houston Symphony’s 15th Music Director in September 2014.
In addition to his appointment in Houston, Andrés will take up the position of chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra during the 2014-15 season and will become principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra beginning in the 2015-16 season. Since the 2009-10 season, he has held the post of music director of the Tonkünstler Orchestra Niederösterreich, one of the most important institutions of traditional Austrian music culture, which holds subscription series at the Vienna Musikverein and is orchestra-in-residence at the Grafenegg Festival. He will conclude his tenure with the Tonkünstler Orchestra in summer 2015. From 2009 through 2013, Andrés was also principal conductor at the Basque National Orchestra in San Sebastián, Spain.
As a guest conductor, he regularly works with the world’s most prominent orchestras, including the Vienna, Munich, London, Rotterdam, Royal Stockholm and La Scala Philharmonic Orchestras; Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; Mahler Chamber Orchestra; London, City of Birmingham and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestras; the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome; Radio Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg; the Orchestre National de France; Verbier Festival Orchestra; and the St. Louis and Oregon Symphonies.
Following his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in 2010, Andrés was hailed “a brilliant stand-in” for Esa-Pekka Salonen and celebrated as an “eminent talent” by Austria’s Wiener Zeitung and Die Presse. In November 2012, Andrés stepped in once again with just one rehearsal’s notice to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in the Musikverein for Riccardo Muti and was praised as a “stand-in worth his weight in gold” and “an inspired master of communication” by the Viennese daily newspapers Kurier and Der Standard. In the 2015-16 season, he will make his official debut with the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra on its subscription season.
Born in 1977 in Medellín (Colombia), Andrés began his musical studies on the violin and had his first conducting lessons at age 15. In 1997, he moved to Vienna where he joined the conducting class of Uroš Lajovic, a pupil of the legendary Hans Swarowsky, at the renowned Vienna Music Academy and completed his degree with distinction by conducting the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Vienna Musikverein. The emphasis of his artistic work lies in the Romantic repertoire and Viennese classics. At the same time, Andrés shows a keen interest in contemporary music and regularly performs premieres of Austrian composers as well as compositions of Spanish and South American origin. He currently lives in Vienna.
About Brinton Averil Smith
"Hailed for “stunningly beautiful” performances by the American Record Guide, cellist Brinton Averil Smith continues to garner rave reviews, praising virtuosic performances with musical ideals rooted in the golden age of string playing. His debut recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Cello Concerto with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra won international critical acclaim, with Gramophone praising Smith as a “hugely eloquent, impassioned soloist,” and his recording of chamber music of Fauré with Gil Shaham was chosen by numerous critics as one of the year's best albums. A passionate advocate of compelling unfamiliar repertoire, Mr. Smith recently gave the North American premiers of rediscovered works of Jean Sibelius and Alexander Zemlinsky, and his performances have been broadcast on CBS's Sunday Morning and on the radio throughout the U.S., including American Public Media’s Performance Today and Symphonycast.
Mr. Smith has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Houston Symphony since joining the orchestra as principal cellist in 2005. Prior to this, he was the first musician chosen by Lorin Maazel to join the New York Philharmonic and the principal cellist of the San Diego and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras. In addition to his solo activities, he has collaborated in chamber music performances with musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, Cho-Liang Lin, James Ehnes, Lynn Harrell, Sarah Chang, Dawn Upshaw and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and the Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Berg quartets. Mr. Smith is also a faculty member of the Shepherd School of music at Rice University and the Aspen Music Festival.
The son of a mathematician and a pianist, Brinton Averil Smith was admitted to Arizona State University at age 10, where he took courses in mathematics and German and, at age 17, completed a B.A. in mathematics. He then became a student of Eleonore Schoenfeld at the University of Southern California, where he was also a teaching assistant in the mathematics department and completed work for an M.A. in mathematics at age 19. He subsequently studied with the renowned cellist Zara Nelsova at The Juilliard School, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree, writing on the playing of Emanuel Feuermann. Mr. Smith resides in Houston with his wife, the pianist Evelyn Chen, their daughter, Calista, and two slightly evil, but kind-hearted dogs. For further information, please visit www.brintonaverilsmith.com.
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 www.houstonsymphony.org or call (713) 224-7575.