The Clara Code: Schumann’s Piano Concerto

This month, the Houston Symphony presents a two-week Schumann Festival featuring the great Romantic composer’s symphonies, concertos, chamber music, songs, and more. In this post, discover how Schumann may have secretly encoded his wife’s name into his passionate Piano Concerto. Composed in a mere two weeks in May 1841 (between the premiere of the First Symphony and … Continued

Back to Bach: Schumann’s Piano Quartet

This month, the Houston Symphony presents a two-week Schumann Festival featuring the great Romantic composer’s symphonies, concertos, chamber music, songs, and more. In this post, discover Schumann’s enchanting Piano Quartet, a work that marries Romantic lyricism with baroque counterpoint. Schumann’s Piano Quartet dates from the autumn of 1842, known as “the year of chamber music.” In this … Continued

Save me from the grave and wise: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7

On January 30 and February 1 and 2, the Houston Symphony presents Beethoven 7, a program featuring one of Beethoven’s most popular symphonies. In this post, discover how Irish folk music may have inspired this “apotheosis of the dance.” Though Beethoven began sketching ideas for a new symphony almost as soon as his Sixth had … Continued

Dance of Death: Liszt’s Totentanz

On January 30 and February 1 and 2, the Houston Symphony presents Beethoven 7, a program featuring world-renowned pianist Kirill Gerstein in not one, but two virtuoso works by Franz Liszt. In this post, discover how Renaissance art inspired Liszt’s macabre masterwork, Totentanz. Much like Leopold Mozart, Adam Liszt served as his son’s agent and manager … Continued

Beyond Virtuoso: Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1

On January 30 and February 1 and 2, the Houston Symphony presents Beethoven 7, a program featuring world-renowned pianist Kirill Gerstein in not one, but two virtuoso works by Franz Liszt. In this post, discover Liszt’s innovative Piano Concerto No. 1, a masterpiece that took 23 years to complete. The first sketches that would wend their … Continued

Northern Light: Outi Tarkiainen’s Midnight Sun Variations

On January 17, 18, and 19, the Houston Symphony presents Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique,” a program of soulful works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and contemporary Finnish composer Outi Tarkiainen. In this post, discover one of Tarkiainen’s latest works, Midnight Sun Variations, a luminous work inspired by nature and motherhood.  Outi Tarkiainen was born in the small town of Rovaniemi, … Continued

THE 2021–22 SEASON

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