Press Room

Houston Symphony, Hamburg

Houston Symphony Makes its Debut at the Acclaimed Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

HOUSTON (March 18, 2018) – The Houston Symphony and Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada performed the sixth concert in their multicity European tour Saturday, March 17, in front of a sold-out crowd at the state-of-the-art Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany.

The newest of the European concert halls – which officially opened Jan. 11, 2017 – the Elbphilharmonie is considered one of the most acoustically-advanced concert halls in the world. It was designed by the architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron with acoustics designed by Yasuhisa Toyota. The new glassy construction sits on top of an old warehouse building near the historical Speicherstadt surrounded by water from the Grasbrook peninsula of the Elbe River.

The concert took place at the Grand Hall which boasts 10,000 unique acoustic panels lining the ceiling, walls, and balustrades that surrounds the viewer with an organic, rippling visual effect. The first half of the program began with Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from On The Town, followed by the composer’s lyrical Serenade for Violin featuring three-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn. Bernstein’s works are featured predominantly in tour repertoire in celebration of the composer’s 100th birthday. The attentive audience responded with enthusiastic applause to the virtuosic performance under the confident direction of Orozco-Estrada.

“The Houston Symphony has a very special sound and a very interesting way to approach these different composers, and particularly the symphonies we’re playing on the tour like Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5,” said Orozco-Estrada. “We share a very strong and special connection with these works, which at the end is what matters the most; that we connect ourselves with the music and with the audience.”

The evening concluded with Dvořák’s dramatic Seventh Symphony, a work that was featured in Orozco-Estrada’s critically-acclaimed inaugural recording with the Houston Symphony. The Houston Symphony’s last two stops on the European tour are performances at the Hannover Congress Centrum (March 18) and Gasteig München (March 19).

For more information about the European tour, visit

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, Orozco-Estrada continues to engage with audiences both with casual commentary from the stage and discussions with guests in “Behind the Scenes with Andrés” videos. Upon the commercial release of the critically acclaimed Dvořák series featuring the composer’s last four symphonies, he and the orchestra recently released 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. An additional recording project on the Pentatone label, Haydn—The Creation, will be released April 2018.

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 Hilary Hahn
Three-time Grammy® Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn is renowned for her virtuosity, expansive interpretations and creative programming. Her 16 feature recordings have received every critical prize in the international press. Her 17th album will be a retrospective collection that also contains new live material and art from her fans, in keeping with a decades-long tradition of collecting fan art at concerts.

Over the past two seasons, in recital tours across the United States, Europe and Japan, she premiered six new partitas for solo violin by composer Antón García-Abril. The works were Hilary’s first commissioning project for solo violin and her first commission of a set of works from a single composer. García-Abril was also one of the composers for “In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores,” Hilary’s multi-year commissioning project to revitalize the genre.

In addition to joining the Houston Symphony on its European Tour, during this season Hilary performs violin concertos by Tchaikovsky, Dvořák and Prokofiev and Bernstein’s Serenade for Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussion (after Plato’s Symposium) for Bernstein’s centennial season. As part of recent residencies at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Seattle Symphony and National Orchestra of Lyon, she piloted free—and sometimes surprise—concerts for parents with their babies, a knitting circle, a community dance workshop, a yoga class and art students. She will continue to create these community-oriented concerts as artist-in-residence at the Philadelphia Orchestra. She also plays a free concert to promote a college membership program and participates in the Philadelphia Orchestra’s ongoingeducational activities. Other 2017-18 engagements include a tour in Australia and New Zealand and sitting on the jury of the Bach Competition in Leipzig.

An avid writer, Hilary has posted journal entries for two decades on her website ( and published articles in mainstream media. She is also active on YouTube (, Twitter and Instagram (@violincase). In 2001, she was named “America’s Best Young Classical Musician” by Time magazine; and in 2010, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. She was featured in the Oscar-nominated soundtrack to The Village and has participated in a number of non-classical productions, collaborating on two records with the band ….And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, on the album Grand Forks by Tom Brosseau, on tour with Josh Ritter and on the entirely improvised album Silfra with experimental prepared pianist Hauschka.

Hilary Hahn appears by arrangement with IMG Artists, 7 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019. Ms. Hahn’s recordings are available on Deutsche Grammophon and on Sony Classical/Sony BMG Masterworks.

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.

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.

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