Press Room

The Houston Symphony Serves Up a Cornucopia of Holiday Season Offerings at Jones Hall

HOUSTON (Nov. 7, 2019) – Every year, the Houston Symphony offers numerous festive programs during the holiday season. An annual attraction, the Symphony’s holiday concerts range from traditional and classical music, popular festive tunes, and family-friendly Christmas music. The Houston Symphony’s holiday programming is supported by a generous Cultural Districts Project grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts

Nov. 29–Dec. 1, 2019
Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada opens the holiday season at Jones Hall with an all-Strauss program this Thanksgiving weekend. A classical concert to enjoy with the whole family and out-of-town guest, the program features some of Strauss’s greatest masterpieces: Death and Transfiguration, Don Juan, and Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks. Also joining the orchestra and Orozco-Estrada in the festivities is Swedish soprano Miah Persson singing Strauss’ Four Last Songs. This debut performance with the Houston Symphony has her luxuriating in the sumptuous soprano vocal lines Strauss is known for. “It is so well written for the voice that you can sing his music for hours without getting tired,” says Persson. “Sometimes I even get dizzy when I sing his long, high phrases.” A Musical Feast: All-Strauss Thanksgiving is sponsored by Rand Group Great Performers and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Dec. 13–15 & 17, 2019
Former Houston Symphony Principal POPS Conductor Michael Krajewski returns to Jones Hall to lead the orchestra and Houston Symphony Chorus in this cherished musical holiday tradition: an evening full of holiday tunes like “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.” The program includes the Symphony’s commissioned holiday piece Glad Tidings, a musical and narrative telling of the Christmas story packed with classic carols and an audience sing-along. Very Merry Pops is sponsored by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Dec. 14, 2019
Families and children of all ages are invited to join Associate Conductor Robert Franz in a program that includes holiday tunes such as “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Sleigh Ride.” The seasonal performance includes a visit from Santa Claus and concludes with a festive sing-along. Part of the BBVA Family Series, the Houston Symphony along with students from the Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) Handbell Choir celebrate the season with beloved holiday classics. Additional support for ’Twas the Night Before Christmas comes from the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Dec. 20–22, 2019
A beloved Houston holiday tradition, performances of Handel’s timeless oratorio about the Nativity, Passion, and Resurrection of Jesus bring together the orchestra, Houston Symphony, and star guest soloists this holiday season. Hailed as “one of the finest baroque conductors” (London “Independent”), Nicholas McGegan leads vocalists Sherezade Panthaki (soprano), Diana Moore (mezzo-soprano), Benjamin Butterfield (tenor), and Hadleigh Adams (bass). Handel’s “Messiah” is sponsored by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Jan. 3–5, 2020
Closing out the holiday season, Houston Symphony Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke welcomes the New Year with an all-Frank Sinatra program with vocalist and jazz pianist Tony DeSare. Reineke, DeSare, and the Houston Symphony ring in 2020 with Sinatra’s greatest hits, including “Come Fly with Me” and “New York, New York.” “Really, any great pop vocalist who has held a mic and fronted a band in the last 80 years owes a debt to Frank Sinatra,” says DeSare. “The real greatness in his art was the perfection of a phrase, breath control, and an overarching musical taste that rarely ever failed him. He knew what material worked for him and it has stood the test of time.”

About the Houston Symphony
During the 2019–20 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its sixth 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, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $35.2 million, the full-time ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 1,000 community-based performances each year at various schools, community centers, hospitals, and churches reaching nearly 200,000 people in Greater Houston annually.

The Grammy Award-winning Houston Symphony has recorded under various prestigious labels, including Naxos, Koch International Classics, Telarc, RCA Red Seal, Virgin Classics and, most recently, Dutch recording label Pentatone. In 2017, the Houston Symphony was awarded an ECHO Klassik award for the live recording of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck under the direction of former Music Director Hans Graf. The orchestra earned its first Grammy nomination and Grammy Award at the 60th annual ceremony for the same recording in the Best Opera Recording category.

Eric Skelly: 713.337.8560,
Mireya Reyna: 713.337.8557,


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