Press Room

Sami Junnonen

Houston Audiences to Get a Sneak Peek of the Houston Symphony’s Upcoming European Tour at Jones Hall

HOUSTON (Jan. 31, 2018) – Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada leads the orchestra in Andrés Conducts Dvořák 7 Feb. 15 and 17 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. at Jones Hall. This is the second to last subscription concert in Houston before the orchestra embarks on an eight-city tour through Europe.

Orozco-Estrada will lead the orchestra in incredible masterworks that will be featured in the tour including Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, a work that was featured in Orozco-Estrada’s critically-acclaimed inaugural recording with the Houston Symphony, and Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from On the Town as the orchestra continues the season-long centennial celebration of this iconic composer.

Also on the program is Composer-in-Residence Jimmy López’ unforgettable Lago de Lágrimas (Lake of Tears) Concerto for Flute, a work inspired by an ancient Peruvian legend that tells about the origins of the highest mountains of Peru. The concerto highlights Finnish flute virtuoso Sami Junnonen in his Houston Symphony debut.

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 houstonsymphony.org. 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.

ANDRÉS CONDUCTS DVOŘÁK 7
Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, at 2:30 p.m.
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Sami Junnonen, flute
Bernstein: Three Dance Episodes from On the Town
J. López: Lago de Lágrimas (Lake of Tears), Concerto for Flute
Dvořák: Symphony No. 7

About Andrés Orozco-Estrada
Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada began his tenure in the 2014–15 season. He immediately established a dynamic presence on the podium and a deep bond with the musicians of the orchestra. Andrés carefully curates his programs to feature engaging combinations of classical masterworks paired with the music of today, significant artistic collaborations with composers and guest artists, and innovative use of multimedia and visual effects, all in order to make meaningful connections with the audience.

In the 2017–18 season, Andrés continues to engage with audiences both with casual commentary from the stage and discussions with guests in “Behind the Scenes with Andrés” videos. On the recording front, he and the orchestra will soon release a Music of the Americas disc, featuring Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Revueltas’ Sensemayá, Piazzolla’s Tangazo and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, recorded in early 2017. Additional projects with Pentatone include Haydn’s The Creation. In the 2016–17 season, Andrés and the Symphony released the third disc in their critically acclaimed series featuring Dvořák’s last four symphonies, his first commercial recording project with the orchestra.

Born in Medellín, Colombia, Andrés began his musical studies on the violin and started conducting at age 15. At 19, he entered the renowned Vienna Music Academy, where he studied with Uroš Lajovic (pupil of the legendary Hans Swarowsky), and completed his degree with distinction conducting the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Musikverein. Andrés burst onto the international scene with two substitutions with the Vienna Philharmonic: the first, his debut in 2010, standing in for Esa-Pekka Salonen, and then in 2012, substituting for Riccardo Muti at the Musikverein. Andrés now regularly appears with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the Orchestre National de France, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

His engagements for the 2016-17 season featured débuts with the San Francisco Symphony in April and the Berlin Philharmonic in May. Orozco-Estrada and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony gave a series of concerts as orchestra-in-residence in Vienna and Salzburg, in addition to undertaking tours to Budapest, Warsaw, Monte Carlo, the Dresden Music Festival and across Spain. He also accompanied Colombia’s outstanding youth orchestra, the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia, on their first European tour, conducting eight concerts in Berlin and Stuttgart, at the Rheingau Music Festival, at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and at the styriarte in Graz. Andrés will lead the Houston Symphony on a four-country, eight-city European Tour in March 2018, taking the orchestra through some of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls and festivals. World-renowned violinist and three-time Grammy Award-winner Hilary Hahn will join Andrés and orchestra for all performances.

In addition to his post in Houston, Andrés is chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

About Sami Junnonen
SAMI JUNNONEN (b. 1977 in Tampere, Finland) has established a versatile international career by performing as a flute soloist with a wide repertoire from early music to contemporary works. Junnonen collaborates frequently with many of the most significant composers of our time. His 2012 Debut Recital at the Helsinki Music Centre of Finland received outstanding reviews.

Junnonen has worked as a principal flutist in various orchestras, e.g. the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and the Royal Northern Sinfonia, UK. He has also worked as a performance teacher in flute and chamber music at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
Since 2017 Junnonen has worked as the Artistic Director of The Sea Lapland International Flute Festival of Finland. Junnonen releases music through Resonus Classics, Alba Records, and SibaRecords. He has recorded for the Finnish Broadcasting Company, Radio Television Hong Kong, and Radio New Zealand, as well as for the labels Sony BMG, Bayerische Rundfunk, Naxos, and Ondine.

Junnonen is a multiple prize winner in international music competitions, and his artistic work has been sponsored by several cultural institutions. Junnonen has been academically trained at the Sibelius Academy, the Conservatoire national musique et danse de Lyon, the Royal Danish Academy of Music, and various masterclasses.
He holds a Master of Music with Distinction from the Sibelius Academy, completed in 2008. Junnonen performs on 24-carat and 14-carat gold flutes, handcrafted by his sponsor, the Muramatsu Flute MFG. Co., Ltd.

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 houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Vanessa Astros: (713) 337-8560, vanessa.astros@houstonsymphony.org
Mireya Reyna: (713) 337-8557, mireya.reyna@houstonsymphony.org

###

Give the gift of music

Symphony on Demand vouchers are redeemable for 60+ Classical, Bank of America POPS, and PNC Family Series performances.