Press Room

Steven Reineke

Houston Symphony Showcases Hollywood Sound with Academy Award-Winning Scores in Star-Studded Evening

HOUSTON (Feb. 13, 2018) — Houston Symphony Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke brings the glamour and sounds of Hollywood’s biggest night to Jones Hall with The Oscars®: Best Original Songs March 1-3, 2018 at 8 p.m., just days before the 90th Annual Academy Awards, which will be held March 4, 2018.

Broadway vocalists Ashley Brown and Hugh Panaro join the orchestra for the star-studded evening packed with Academy Award-winning film scores and music by composers like Erich Korngold and John Williams. The program includes over 80 years of cinematic sounds, including “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz, “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and more recently, “Let it Go” from Disney’s animated film Frozen.

“Our concert of Best Original Songs will be a really glamorous, star-studded evening as we pay tribute to the Oscars, which are going to happen March 4, just after our concerts,” said Reineke. “We’re looking forward to celebrating the last 80 years of songs who have won the coveted Academy Award.”

The concert will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.

THE OSCARS®: BEST ORIGINAL SONGS
Thursday, March 1, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Friday, March 2, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 3, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Steven Reineke, conductor
Ashley Brown, vocalist
Hugh Panaro, vocalist

About Steven Reineke
Steven Reineke has established himself as one of North America’s leading conductors of popular music. In addition to being Principal POPS Conductor at the Houston Symphony, Steven is the music director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and principal pops conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He previously held the posts of principal pops conductor of the Long Beach and Modesto Symphony Orchestras and associate conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

Steven is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include San Francisco, Seattle, Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Ottawa (National Arts Centre), Detroit, Milwaukee and Calgary.

On stage, Steven has created programs and collaborated with a range of leading artists from the worlds of hip hop, Broadway, television and rock, including Common, Kendrick Lamar, Nas, Sutton Foster, Megan Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, Wayne Brady, Peter Frampton and Ben Folds, among others. In 2017, he was featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered leading the National Symphony Orchestra—in a first for the show’s 45-year history—performing live music excerpts between news segments.

As the creator of more than 100 orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Steven’s work has been performed worldwide and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America, including performances by the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic. His Sun Valley Festival Fanfare was used to commemorate the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s pavilion, and his Festival Te Deum and Swan’s Island Sojourn were debuted by the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops Orchestras. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C.L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands worldwide.

A native of Ohio, Steven is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned Bachelor of Music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City with his husband, Eric Gabbard.

About Ashley Brown
Ashley Brown originated the title role in “Mary Poppins” on Broadway for which she received Outer Critics, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations for Best Actress. Ms. Brown also starred as Mary Poppins in the national tour of Mary Poppins where she garnered a Garland award for “Best Performance in a Musical”. Ms. Brown’s other Broadway credits include Belle in “The Beauty and The Beast”, and she has starred in the national tour of Disney’s”On The Record”.
Ms. Brown most recently has been starring as Mother Abbess in multiple Tony award winner Director Jack O’Brien’s new production of “The Sound of Music”. Ms. Brown returned to critical acclaim starring in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of “Oklahoma”. She previously played Magnolia opposite Nathan Gunn in Francesca Zembello’s “Showboat” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Ms. Brown has performed with virtually all of the top orchestras in North America including the Boston Pops, the New York Philharmonic, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at Disney Hall, The Pittsburgh Symphony, the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall (four times), Fort Worth Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, Philadelphia Orchestra (two times), the Milwaukee Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony (three times), Seattle Symphony, the Houston Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Jacksonville (two times) and the Philly Pops. She has also performed with the BBC orchestra opposite Josh Groban.

Ms. Brown made her solo concert debut at The Kennedy Center as part of Barbara Cook’s Spotlight Series, and has appeared in New York City at prestigious venues including Feinstein’s at the Regency and Birdland. Other projects include star turns in “The Golden Apple” at City Center Encores, “Hello Dolly” at The Goodspeed Opera House, “Sound of Music” at the St. Louis MUNY which garnered her a Kevin Kline award, “Limelight” at the La Jolla Playhouse, and her own PBS special called “Ashley Brown: Call Me Irresponsible” which received a PBS Telly Award. Other television credits include NBC’s “The Sound of Music”. Ms. Brown is the voice of Disneyland celebrating its 60th anniversary singing the newly penned Richard Sherman song, “A Kiss Goodnight”. Ms. Brown’s long awaited album of Broadway and American Songbook standards is available on Ghostlight/Sony. Ashley is a graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

About Hugh Panaro
Hugh Panaro is perhaps best known for having played the coveted role of the Phantom in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times, including the 25th Anniversary production. In fact, Hugh is one of the few actors to be cast by Harold Prince as both The Phantom and Raoul in the show’s Broadway production and is currently starring as the titular role in the immersive Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd.

Hugh made his Broadway debut in the original production of Les Misérables as Marius, the role he originated in the First National Company. He also created the roles of Buddy in the original Side Show (Sony cast recording); Julian Craster in Jule Styne’s last musical, The Red Shoes; and the title role in the American premiere of Cameron Mackintosh’s Martin Guerre. Hugh was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance in the title role of Elton John’s Lestat, based on Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.

He made his West End debut in the original London company of Harold Prince’s Show Boat as Gaylord Ravenal, the role he previously played in the Broadway and Toronto productions. At the prestigious 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle, Hugh played George Seurat in Sam Buntrock’s Tony Award-winning production of Sunday in the Park with George, and Robert in Stephen Sondheim’s Company. Hugh’s performance as Jean Valjean in the Walnut Street Theater’s production of Les Misérables earned him the prestigious Barrymore Award, for which he was again nominated after a turn as Fagin in Oliver! In 2012, Hugh was honored with the Edwin Forrest Award for his long-term contribution to the theater.

An active concert artist, Panaro has performed with numerous symphony orchestras including Dallas, Detroit, San Francisco, Seattle Utah Symphonies, and the London Sinfonietta, among many others. He had the privilege of performing in the world premiere of Penderecki’s Te Deum at Carnegie Hall and was a guest soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, conducted by Marvin Hamlisch. His recordings include Jerome Kern Treasury, the original cast recording of Side Show, Tap Your Troubles Away (Herman), The Centennial (Weil), and Life On The Wicked Stage (Kern). His first solo CD, recorded with Sony/BMG, was released in the summer of 2007. In addition, he toured throughout Europe with the legendary Barbra Streisand. A native of Philadelphia, Panaro graduated from Temple University and was awarded the Boyer College of Music Certificate of Honor.

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.

For tickets and more information, please visit houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Vanessa Astros: (713) 337-8560, vanessa.astros@houstonsymphony.org
Mireya Reyna: (713) 337-8557, mireya.reyna@houstonsymphony.org

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