Press Room

The Houston Symphony Celebrates Beethoven with His Eight Symphony and Violin Concerto Featuring Midori

HOUSTON, TX (Dec. 9, 2020) — In January, the Houston Symphony opens the second half of its 2020–21 Season with two Classical Series programs that celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday. World-renowned violinist Midori joins the Symphony for Beethoven’s only Violin Concerto, Jan. 15–17. Then, the Symphony performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8, as well as Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major featuring Principal Cello Brinton Averil Smith, Jan. 29–31 at Jones Hall. Both concerts are also available via livestream with tickets now available for these performances at houstonsymphony.org/2021season.

Peruvian guest conductor and former Music Director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Miguel Harth-Bedoya returns to the Houston Symphony to lead the orchestra in the program Midori Plays Beethoven, Jan. 15–17. Harth-Bedoya opens the program with Lightspeed by contemporary Texas composer Kevin Day. Then, the evening’s program continues with Elegía Andina by Gabriela Lena Frank, former Houston Symphony Composer-in-Residence and mentor of composer Day. To close out the evening, Midori, one of the world’s most celebrated violinists, brings her graceful precision and intimate expression to Beethoven’s transcendent Violin Concerto—considered by many to be the greatest concerto in the violin repertoire—in celebration of the 250th birthday of the legendary composer. The complex and expressive work features technically challenging cadenzas written by Fritz Kreisler. This performance is livestreamed on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 8 p.m. CST.

Later in the month, the Symphony’s very own Principal Cello Brinton Averil Smith takes center stage in Haydn’s challenging Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major in the program Beethoven 8 + Haydn, Jan. 29–31, under the baton of returning guest conductor Paolo Bortolameolli. “I listened obsessively to this concerto when I was young, so much that it almost seemed like a soundtrack to my childhood, and I’m delighted to be able to share this wonderful work with our audience,” said Smith. Bortolameolli opens the program with El Color del Tiempo by Venezuelan-born, Chilean composer Miguel Farias. Staying on the theme of Beethoven’s 250th birthday celebration, the Symphony closes the month of January, and the evening’s program, with the composer’s playful Symphony No. 8—known to be Beethoven’s personal favorite composition. This performance is livestreamed on Saturday, Jan. 30, 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. Midori Plays Beethoven is part of the Frost Bank Gold Classics Series. Brinton Averil Smith Plays Haydn is part of the Shell Favorite Masters Series. Livestream of Houston Symphony concerts is made possible by Barbara J. Burger.

MIDORI PLAYS BEETHOVEN
Friday, January 15, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, January 16, at 8 p.m. *
Sunday, January 17, at 2:30 p.m.
Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor
Midori, violin
Kevin Day: Lightspeed
Gabriela Lena Frank: Elegía Andina
Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D major

BEETHOVEN 8 + HAYDN
Friday, January 29, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, January 30, at 8 p.m. *
Sunday, January 31, at 2:30 p.m.
Paolo Bortolameolli, conductor
Brinton Averil Smith, cello
Miguel Farias: El Color del Tiempo
Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8

*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.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Eric Skelly: 713.337.8560, eric.skelly@houstonsymphony.org
Mireya Reyna: 713.337.8557, mireya.reyna@houstonsymphony.org

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