HOUSTON (March 9, 2018) – The Houston Symphony and Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada began the first leg of their eight-city European tour Friday, March 9, during the opening concert of the renowned Klarafestival, a music festival held each March in Brussels, Belgium.
Orozco-Estrada and the orchestra performed in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 2,000 people at BOZAR during the festival’s opening concert featuring works by legendary composer Leonard Bernstein. The first half of the program featured Bernstein in his Overture to West Side Story and his lyrical Serenade for Violin featuring three-time Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn. Both works will continue to be performed throughout the tour in celebration of the composer’s centennial year celebration.
“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 concert was broadcast live by Klara radio, the main classical music station of Flemish Public Radio. The evening’s broadcast began an hour before the concert start time featuring commentary from Klara radio announcer Lut Van der Eycken and comments from the stage by Klara radio host Greet Samyn.
The Houston Symphony’s next stops on the European tour are two performances in Germany: one at Philharmonie Essen (March 11) and one at Konzerthaus Berlin (March 12). The orchestra then travels to Warsaw, Poland, to perform at the Filharmonia Narodowa (March 14) before heading to Vienna, Austria (March 15) to perform at the Wiener Konzerthaus. The orchestra returns to Germany for the last leg of the tour to make their debut at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg (March 17), the Hannover Congress Centrum (March 18), and Gasteig München (March 19).
For more information about the European tour, visit /european-tour.
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 (hilaryhahn.com) and published articles in mainstream media. She is also active on YouTube (youtube.com/hilaryhahnvideos), 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 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.
For tickets and more information, please visit houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.