HOUSTON, TX (Nov. 18, 2021) — Honoring and celebrating the legacy of Andrés Orozco-Estrada’s eight-year tenure in his last season as Music Director, the Houston Symphony has announced a two-week festival March 18–27, 2022. “Andrés Fest: A Symphonic Celebration” pays tribute to what Orozco-Estrada has brought to the Houston Symphony and to the city of Houston. Performances feature repertoire associated with the conductor’s time with the organization, works commissioned by the Houston Symphony during his tenure including two world premieres, seven solo performances by Symphony musicians, works by the two composers-in-residence who spanned Orozco-Estrada’s tenure, and an arrangement by Orozco-Estrada himself.
“This festival encapsules all of the excitement and brilliant music-making that characterize Andrés’ music directorship,” said Houston Symphony Executive Director, CEO, and holder of the Margaret Alkek Williams Chair John Mangum, “essentially concentrating eight years into two weeks of performances. It’s a fitting way to celebrate someone who’s brought so much to our organization and to our city’s cultural life.”
Highlights of the festival include the world premiere commission Bruce Broughton’s Horn Concerto with Principal Horn William VerMeulen, and the Houston premiere of Wynton Marsalis’s Tuba Concerto, a Symphony co-commission, featuring Principal Tuba Dave Kirk. More highlights include contemporary works like Escaramuza by former Composer-in-Residence Gabriela Lena Frank, América salvaje by former Composer-in-Residence Jimmy López Bellido, Stomp by John Corigliano, commissioned by the Houston Symphony during Orozco-Estrada’s first year as Music Director, and the world premiere of Kyle Rivera’s arrangement of works by 18th-century composer George Bridgetower.
The festival spotlights Symphony musicians─a hallmark of Orozco-Estrada’s programming─including Principal Keyboard Scott Holshouser alongside piano superstar Emanuel Ax in Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals; Principal Second Violin MuChen Hsieh and Acting Principal Viola Joan DerHovsepian in Bruch’s Concerto in E minor for Violin, Viola, and Orchestra; Principal Clarinet Mark Nuccio in Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs, and Morton Gould’s Derivations for Clarinet and Dance Band; Principal Trumpet Mark Hughes featured in Jolivet’s Concertino; and the aforementioned concertos featuring Dave Kirk and William VerMeulen. And the whole orchestra is featured in works that have played a pivotal role in Orozco-Estrada’s music directorship.
Concerts and program details will be announced in January 2022. For tickets and more information please call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. Livestream performances are available via a private link to ticket holders for $20, as well as tickets to individual concerts and a limited number of all-access passes to all of the events of Andrés Fest: A Symphonic Celebration. Everyone in the audience is required to wear a mask while in Jones Hall. For a comprehensive schedule of safety measures, visit houstonsymphony.org/safety. Socially distanced seats are available in some portions of the auditorium. All programs and artists are subject to change.
About the Houston Symphony
During the 2021–22 Season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its final season under Andrés Orozco-Estrada as Music Director and continues its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring, and recording activities. One of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, the Symphony held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston on June 21, 1913. Today, with an operating budget of $28.8 million (FY22), the full-time ensemble of professional musicians presents nearly 170 (FY19) 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 (FY19) community-based performances each year at various schools, community centers, hospitals, and churches reaching more than 200,000 (FY19) people in Greater Houston annually, prior to COVID-19.
After suspending concert activities in March 2020 and cancelling the remainder of 2019–20 events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Symphony resumed activities in May 2020, opening the 2020–21 Season on schedule in September 2020 with small audiences of 150, which the Symphony gradually increased to 450 audience members per performance. Due to the financial impact of the canceled 2019–20 Season events, plus the reduction of sales capacity due to audience social distancing in 2020–21, the Symphony cut expenses, reducing planned spending from $36.2 million in 2019–20 to $22.7 million in 2020–21. The Houston Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement team continued to fulfill its mission through creative and virtual means throughout this period. The Symphony successfully completed a full season with in-person audiences and weekly livestreams of each performance, making it one of the only orchestras in the world to do so.
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.
Eric Skelly: 713.337.8560, email@example.com