HOUSTON, TX (Mar. 3, 2021) — Today, the Houston Symphony announces its April concerts for the 2020–21 Season, which feature an all-Bach program on Easter weekend with conductor Jane Glover, as well as star vocal and Symphony soloists, Apr. 2 & 3; violinist Caroline Campbell returns to Houston for a fun-filled Bank of America POPS program, Apr. 16–18; and Brahms’ delightful Serenade No. 2 alongside Houston Symphony Principal Percussion Brian Del Signore as marimba soloist in a concerto written by Del Signore himself, Apr. 30–May 2. In-person and livestream tickets for these concerts are now available at houstonsymphony.org/2021season.
Conductor, scholar, and specialist in Baroque-era repertoire Glover returns to the Symphony to celebrate Easter weekend in the all-Bach program A Bach Easter, Apr. 2 & 3. The program, part of the Shell Favorite Masters series, opens with a work by Bach adapted from a concerto for two harpsichords, his Concerto in C minor for Oboe, Violin, Strings, and Continuo showcasing Principal Oboe Jonathan Fischer and Concertmaster Yoonshin Song as soloists. Then, the evening continues with two cantatas by Bach: his Cantata No. 51, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen (Exult God in Every Land), and excerpts from his Cantata No. 170, Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust (Delightful Rest, Beloved Pleasure of the Soul). First, Russian-American soprano Yulia Van Doren, renowned for Baroque-era works, joins Glover and the orchestra in Bach’s joyous Cantata No. 51, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen. In addition, Principal Trumpet Mark Hughes serves as soloist challenging Van Doren throughout the piece—a Baroque-era opera style that Bach often included many of his cantatas. The program continues with excerpts from Cantata No. 170, Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, the second cantata on the program, with celebrated mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong returning to the Symphony to perform the alto solo in this piece. The peaceful and lively church cantata was written for the sixth Sunday after Trinity. To conclude, Glover leads a small selection of strings and harpsichord in Bach’s beloved seven-movement Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067, which includes Principal Flute Aralee Dorough in elaborate flute solo parts. This performance is livestreamed on Saturday, Apr. 3, at 8 p.m. CST.
Apr. 16–18, the Houston Symphony continues its Bank of America POPS Series with violinist Caroline Campbell in the program Hollywood Serenade: The Artistry of Caroline Campbell. Campbell’s virtuosity and passion have led to recordings and live performances of film and pop music around the globe. Led by Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke, Campbell’s virtuosity is on full display with performances of recognizable tunes from Hollywood’s biggest films like “Love Theme” from The Godfather, the popular tango “Por una Cabeza” (as heard in Scent of a Woman), “America” from West Side Story, the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean, and more alongside the Symphony. This performance is livestreamed on Saturday, Apr. 17, at 8 p.m. CST and is part of the Spec’s End of Season Celebration.
Guest conductor Robert Spano, recently appointed Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, returns to Houston to close out the month of April with the program Brian Del Signore Plus Brahms, Apr. 30–May 2. Spano opens the program, also part of the Shell Favorite Masters series, with the “Celestial Blue” movement from Dance Card by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Hidgon. According to Hidgon, “This piece is made up of five movements, each of which is designed so that it can be played as a separate work.” “Celestial Blue” features slow and gentle solos among members of the orchestra. The program continues with Britten’s Sinfonietta, Opus 1, and then, Houston Symphony Principal Percussion Brian Del Signore joins the program as a marimba soloist and composer in the second movement of his Percussion Concerto. “I am very excited for the opportunity to bring some of my music to our audiences,” said Del Signore. “The second movement of my concerto, which involves a chamber orchestra and marimba, is the calm within the storm of the two larger outer movements of the work. The desired effect is one of serenity, happiness, and perhaps, euphoria.” The evening closes with Brahms’ Serenade No. 2, one of only two serenades ever written by the composer. Dedicated to Clara Schumann, Brahms’ five-movement serenade is full of warm and gracious melodies, which offers a delightful ending for concertgoers. This performance is livestreamed on Saturday, May 1, at 8 p.m. CST.
In-person and livestream tickets are now available for these performances at houstonsymphony.org/2021season. Each livestream performance is available via a private link to ticket holders for $20, and livestream subscribers who purchase a package of tickets receive an additional 25% discount. For patrons attending in person, concerts will continue to have a one-hour run time with no intermission, and food and beverage service will be suspended to eliminate crowding. For a comprehensive list of safety measures, visit houstonsymphony.org/safety. For tickets and information, please call 713.224.7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. All programs and artists are subject to change.
The Classical Series, sponsored by the Robert Cizik Family, is endowed by the Wortham Foundation, Inc., in memory of Gus S. and Lyndall F. Wortham. Livestream of Houston Symphony concerts is made possible by Barbara J. Burger.
A BACH EASTER
Friday, April 2, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 3, at 8 p.m. *
Jane Glover, conductor
Jonathan Fischer, oboe
Yoonshin Song, violín
Yulia Van Doren, soprano
Elizabeth DeShong, mezzo-soprano
Bach: Concerto in C minor for Oboe, Violin, Strings, and Continuo
Bach: Cantata No. 51, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!
Bach: Cantata No. 170, Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust [excerpts]
Bach: Suite No. 2 in B minor, BWV 1067
HOLLYWOOD SERENADE: THE ARTISTRY OF CAROLINE CAMPBELL
Friday, April 16, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 17, at 8 p.m. *
Sunday, April 18, at 2:30 p.m.
Steven Reineke, conductor
Caroline Campbell, violin
BRIAN DEL SIGNORE PLUS BRAHMS
Friday, April 30, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 1, at 8 p.m. *
Sunday, May 2, at 2:30 p.m.
Robert Spano, conductor
Brian Del Signore, marimba
Jennifer Higdon: Celestial Blue from Dance Card
Britten: Sinfonietta, Opus 1
Brian Del Signore: Percussion Concerto, Movement II
Brahms: Serenade No. 2
*Livestreamed at 8 p.m. CST
About the Houston Symphony
During the 2020–21 Season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its seventh 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 on Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $25.8 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 two Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 1,000 community-based performances each year at various schools, community centers, hospitals, and churches reaching more than 200,000 people in Greater Houston annually.
The Grammy Award-winning Houston Symphony has recorded under various prestigious labels, including Koch International Classics, Naxos, RCA Red Seal, Telarc, 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.