Press Room

Dynamic Pianist Garrick Ohlsson Returns to the Houston Symphony in Beethoven’s Challenging Piano Concerto No. 3

HOUSTON (Nov. 16, 2018) – The Houston Symphony brings back two stellar guest performers: legendary pianist Garrick Ohlsson and world-renowned conductor Edo de Waart. Both mark their returns to the Jones Hall stage in the program Ohlsson Plays Beethoven at 8 p.m. Nov. 29 – Dec. 1, and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 2.

Ohlsson joins de Waart and the Houston Symphony to bring his technical prowess to Beethoven’s sweeping Piano Concerto No. 3. Composed as a showcase for his own staggering talents and the new technical improvements made to the piano in his time, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 runs the gamut from the athletic, stormy opening, to the tender, lyrical second movement, to the fun-filled rondo that closes the work. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 requires a true virtuoso to give the work its due, and in Ohlsson it’s getting one.

Leading Ohlsson and the Houston Symphony in this concert is the revered international conductor de Waart, who currently holds the title of music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He also leads the Houston Symphony in Sir Edward Elgar’s heartfelt Symphony No. 1, a work that immerses listeners in a vast and deeply personal world of intimacy and intense emotions.

Prior to each concert, audience members can enjoy an intimate chamber music performance of Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18 No. 4, Movements 1 and 4.

Ohlsson Plays Beethoven sponsored by Frost Bank takes 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.

Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, at 2:30 p.m.
Edo de Waart, conductor
Garrick Ohlsson, piano
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3
Elgar: Symphony No. 1

About Edo de Waart
Music director of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Edo de Waart also holds the positions of conductor laureate of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his existing posts, he was previously music director of the San Francisco Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor of De Nederlandse Opera.

The 2018-19 season sees Edo conduct his former orchestras and make his annual appearance with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to these Houston Symphony concerts, he will conduct San Diego Symphony’s opening two weeks where he will be joined by Lang Lang for a gala performance, and return later in the season with Joélle Harvey. He will also conduct the Kansas City Symphony as well as return to NHK Symphony Orchestra. Other guest conducting appearances this season include Finnish Radio and Iceland Symphony Orchestras and Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra as part of a season-long Mahler cycle.

As an opera conductor, Edo has enjoyed success in a large and varied repertoire in many of the world’s greatest opera houses. As music director in Milwaukee, Antwerp and Hong Kong, in an attempt to bring the operatic canon to broader audiences where stage limitations prevent performances, he has often conducted semi-staged operas in concert performances. He continues this mission this season with both Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (The Flying Dutchman) and Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (Die Walküre).

A renowned orchestral trainer, he has worked with talented young players at the Juilliard and Colburn Schools and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.

His extensive catalogue includes recent recordings of Henderickx Symphony No.1 and Oboe Concerto, Mahler’s Symphony No.1 and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, both with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic.

Beginning his career as an assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein at the New York Philharmonic, Edo returned to Holland where he was appointed assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 1973, he was appointed chief conductor and artistic director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

Edo de Waart has received a number of awards for his musical achievements, including becoming a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion and an Honorary Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

About Garrick Ohlsson
Pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself worldwide as a musician of magisterial interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world’s leading exponents of the music of Chopin, he commands an enormous repertoire ranging over the entire piano literature, and he has come to be noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. To date, he has at his command more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century.

This season, he launches an ambitious project spread over two seasons exploring the complete solo piano works of Brahms in four different programs. The cycle will be heard in New York, San Francisco and Montreal with individual programs in London, Warsaw and a number of cities across North America. In concerto repertoire ranging from Beethoven to Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Barber and Busoni, he returns here and to the New York Philharmonic; Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; Boston and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Seattle Symphony; and concludes the season in Indianapolis with all the Rachmaninoff concerti programmed in one weekend.

An avid chamber musician, Garrick has collaborated with the Cleveland, Emerson and Tokyo string quartets. In the spring, he will tour with the Takács Quartet and the Boston Chamber Players in Istanbul, Berlin, Munich, Warsaw, Luxembourg and Prague. Together with violinist Jorja Fleezanis and cellist Michael Grebanier, he is a founding member of the San Francisco-based FOG Trio. He can be heard on the Arabesque, RCA Victor Red Seal, Angel, BMG, Delos, Hänssler, Nonesuch, Telarc, Hyperion and Virgin Classics labels.

A native of White Plains, N.Y., Garrick began his piano studies at age 8, at the Music Conservatory of Westchester; at 13, he entered The Juilliard School, in New York City. He has been awarded first prizes in the Busoni and Montreal international piano competitions, the Gold Medal at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1970), the Avery Fisher Prize (1994), the University Musical Society Distinguished Artist Award in Ann Arbor, MI (1998) and the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music (2014).

About the Houston Symphony
During the 2018-19 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fifth 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.

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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