Press Room

Houston Symphony Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke Opens 2021–22 Season Leading Opening Night Concert with Renée Fleming, and Alan Menken’s Broadway

HOUSTON, TX (Aug. 17, 2021) — Next month, the Houston Symphony and Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke open the 2021–22 Season with two sensational programs at Jones Hall: the Bank of America POPS program, Once Upon a Time: Alan Menken’s Broadway, Sept. 3–5, and the one-night only Opening Night Gala and Concert with Renée Fleming, sponsored by ConocoPhillips, on Sept. 11.

Once Upon a Time: Alan Menken’s Broadway, Sept. 3–5, celebrates the music of eight-time Academy Award-winning and eleven-time Grammy Award-winning composer Alan Menken, best known for his scores and songs that ushered in the Disney Renaissance era. Reineke and the orchestra are joined by Broadway vocalists Matt Doyle and Montego Glover, Houston native Katie Rose Clarke, and Jordan Donica, who currently is seen on the CW’s Charmed series. The program features hits from musicals like Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors, Aladdin, Newsies, and more. The Saturday, Sept. 4, 8 p.m. CT performance is also available for livestream. Audiences attending this family-friendly performance in person are encouraged to dress as their favorite Disney Renaissance character.

The following week, Reineke once again takes the podium for the glamorous Opening Night Concert and Gala on Sept. 11, 2021. The much-anticipated event features superstar soprano Renée Fleming with Steven Reineke leading the orchestra in a program of opera arias and songs from composers such as Handel, Corigliano, Leoncavallo and Cilea, as well as musical theater songs and classic Broadway overtures from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel and The King and I, and Kander and Ebb’s The Visit. Following the concert, the celebration continues at The Corinthian Houston with an elegant, seated dinner by City Kitchen, featuring wine pairings by Lindy & John Rydman and Lisa Rydman of Spec’s Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods, and musical entertainment by Houston’s own Richard Brown Orchestra. The Opening Night Concert and Gala, chaired by long-time Symphony supporters and family members Robin Angly and Miles Smith, is generously supported by ConocoPhillips, the lead concert sponsor and corporate gala underwriter for the 35th consecutive year.

ONCE UPON A TIME: ALAN MENKEN’S BROADWAY

Friday, Sept. 3, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 4, at 8 p.m. *
Sunday, Sept. 5, at 2:30 p.m.
Steven Reineke, conductor
Katie Rose Clarke, vocalists
Matt Doyle, vocalist
Jordan Donica, vocalist
Montego Glover, vocalist

OPENING NIGHT WITH RENÉE FLEMING

Saturday, Sept. 11, 7:30 p.m. (not livestreamed)
Steven Reineke, conductor
Renée Fleming, soprano

*Livestreamed at 8 p.m. CT

The livestream performance is available via a private link to ticket holders for $20. For patrons attending in person, these concerts will have a one-hour run time with no intermission. For tickets and information, please call 713.224.7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. All programs and artists are subject to change. To purchase tickets to attend the gala, contact Stacey Swift, Director, Special Events, at stacey.swift@houstonsymphony.org.

Livestream of Houston Symphony concerts is made possible by Barbara J. Burger.

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.

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

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THE 2021–22 SEASON

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