Press Room

Colin Currie

Percussion Rock Star Colin Currie Returns to Perform with the Houston Symphony

HOUSTON (Jan. 23, 2018) – Fabien Gabel, music director of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, returns to Houston to lead the Houston Symphony in Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé on Feb. 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 4 at 2:30 p.m. in Jones Hall.

Recognized internationally as one of the stars of the new generation, Fabien Gabel is a regular guest of the Houston Symphony and an audience favorite. Known for conducting music with French influences, Gabel leads the Symphony in a program of French and American classics, including the breathtaking musical sunrise from Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé and Bernstein’s comic operetta Overture to Candide as the Symphony joins other orchestras around the world for Leonard Bernstein at 100, a worldwide celebration of the composer’s 100th birthday. Also on the program is Habanera, a piece by French composer Louis Aubert.

The evening’s featured soloist, Colin Currie, is hailed as “the world’s finest and most daring percussionist” (Spectator). He performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. Currie returns to Houston to perform Conjurer for Percussionist, Strings and Brass by leading American composer John Corigliano.

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 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.

Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, at 2:30 p.m.
Fabien Gabel, conductor
Colin Currie, percussion
Bernstein: Overture to Candide
Corigliano: Conjurer for Percussionist, String and Brass
Ibert: Ports of Call
Aubert: Habanera
Ravel: Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloé

About Fabiel Gabel
Recognized internationally as one of the stars of the new generation, Fabien Gabel is a regular guest of major orchestras in Europe, North America and Asia. He has been music director of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra since September 2013, and was recently appointed music director of the Orchestre Français des Jeunes (French Youth Orchestra).

Following a highly-anticipated debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, Fabien embarks on an exciting 2017-18 season that will take him across the United States and Europe, including high-profile performances with the National Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt’s Hessischer Rundfunk Orchester and the Orchestre de Paris. Additional American appearances include performances with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, and the San Diego Symphony. After an acclaimed debut with the Deutsches Sinfonie Orchestra last season, Gabel’s European engagements will again feature concerts throughout Germany (Staatskapelle Weimar in addition to Frankfurt), and welcome returns to the Orchestre de Paris, Helsinki Philharmonic, Antwerp Philharmonic and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Gabel has conducted leading orchestras around the world, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester in Hamburg, the DSO Berlin, Staatskappelle Dresden, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestra dell’Accademia Santa Cecilia di Roma, and the Seoul Philharmonic, among others. His rapidly-expanding U.S. presence has seen him leading the Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony Orchestra and more.

Fabien Gabel has worked with soloists like Emmanuel Ax, Gidon Cremer, Christian Tetzlaff, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Julian Steckel, Johannes Moser, Antonio Meneses, Marc-André Hamelin, Beatrice Rana, Gautier Capuçon, and Simone Lamsma, or singers like Jennifer Larmore, Measha Bruggergosman, Danielle de Niese, Natalie Dessay, and Marie- Nicole Lemieux.
Fabien had first attracted international attention in 2004 winning the Donatella Flick competition in London, which subsequently led to his appointment as the LSO’s assistant conductor for the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 seasons. Since then, the LSO has engaged him regularly as a guest conductor.

He made his professional conducting debut in 2003 with the Orchestre National de France and has since returned frequently. He now regularly conducts this orchestra in subscription concerts at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and recently recorded a French opera aria CD with them and mezzo Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Naïve).

Born in Paris and a member of a family of accomplished musicians, Fabien Gabel began studying trumpet at the age of six, honing his skills at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, which awarded him a First Prize in trumpet in 1996, and later at the Musik Hochschule of Karlsruhe. He went on to play in various Parisian orchestras under the direction of prominent conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Sir Colin Davis, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Simon Rattle and Bernard Haitink. In 2002 Fabien Gabel pursued his interest in conducting at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, where he studied with David Zinman, who invited him to appear as a guest conductor at the Festival in 2009. He has worked with Bernard Haitink and Sir Colin Davis as their assistant.

About Colin Currie
Hailed as “the world’s finest and most daring percussionist” (Spectator), Colin Currie performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. From his earliest years Currie forged a pioneering path in commissioning and creating new music for percussion. In recognition of this commitment, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award in 2000, a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in 2005 and the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist Award in 2015. Currie has premiered works by Steve Reich, Elliott Carter, Louis Andriessen, HK Gruber, James MacMillan, Anna Clyne, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Jennifer Higdon, Kalevi Aho, Rolf Wallin, Kurt Schwertsik, Alexander Goehr, Andrew Norman, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Julia Wolfe and Nico Muhly. Currie’s 2017-18 season includes premieres of works by Andy Akiho, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Brett Dean, Joe Duddell and Dave Maric. In the coming seasons Currie will premiere works by Helen Grime and Simon Holt.

Currie currently serves as Artist in Association at London’s Southbank Centre, where he was the focus of a major percussion festival in 2014, and this season Currie completes his three year term as Artist in Residence with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. The 2017-18 season also features a series of solo recitals at the Schubert Club, Budapest’s Liszt Academy, Lawrence University and Sir James MacMillan’s The Cumnock Tryst Music Festival. Orchestral engagements include performances here and with the Antwerp Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Het Gelders Orkest, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and the Scottish Chamber and Brno Contemporary Orchestras.

Currie’s ensemble the Colin Currie Group was formed in 2006 to celebrate the music of Steve Reich and made its five-star debut at the BBC Proms. With Reich’s personal endorsement, Currie and his ensemble have become ambassadors for Reich’s Drumming, a work they have performed many times internationally. The group’s debut recording of Drumming is scheduled for release this season. Currie has recorded many concertos, solos and chamber works, including most recently works by Elliott Carter (Ondine) and Simon Holt (NMC). His recording of Rautavaara’s Incantations with the Helsinki Philharmonic and John Storgårds (Ondine) won a 2012 Gramophone Award, and his recording of Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto with the London Philharmonic and Marin Alsop won a 2010 Grammy Award.

Colin Currie plays Zildjan cymbals and is a MarimbaOne Artist. To learn more, visit

About the Houston Symphony
During the 2017-18 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fourth 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 $33.9 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 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston. For tickets and more information, please visit or call 713-224-7575.

Vanessa Astros: (713) 337-8560,
Mireya Reyna: (713) 337-8557,


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