HOUSTON, TX (Aug. 26, 2021) — Music Director and holder of the Roy and Lillie Cullen Chair Andrés Orozco-Estrada returns to Houston next month to open the 2021–22 Classical Series, beginning his final season as music director, in the program Andrés Conducts Beethoven’s Fifth, Sept. 17–19.
Orozco-Estrada launches the 2021–22 Classical Series with works by Beethoven, and the world premiere Houston Symphony commission of a new orchestral arrangement of 19th-Century Afro-European composer George Bridgetower’s Henry, a Ballad, for Fortepiano and Voice. This is a new arrangement of Henry by Kyle Rivera, a Houston-area composer who most recently collaborated with the Symphony as part of the Resilient Sounds initiative in 2019. Then, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto showcases the soloist talents of Concertmaster Yoonshin Song, Principal Cello Brinton Averil Smith, and international piano star Yefim Bronfman. Orozco-Estrada concludes the program with one of the best-loved and most popular pieces in the classical music repertoire, Beethoven’s crowd-pleasing Symphony No. 5. Part of the Frost Bank Gold Classics series, this program is supported by The Cullen Foundation’s Maestro’s Fund. This performance is livestreamed on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m. CT.
The following weekend’s concert, Sept. 24–26, celebrates the artistry of violin superstar Augustin Hadelich in a program designed to demonstrate the Grammy winner’s virtuosity and versatility. Hadelich returns as soloist and leader in Bach’s Double Concerto in C minor for Violin and Oboe, BWV 1060 with Principal Oboe Jonathan Fischer, as well as the Preludio of Bach’s Partita No. 3 in E major for Violin. Shostakovich’s Sonata for Violin spotlights the German violinist’s way with music of the 20th century, and the program concludes with the Violin Concerto in A major, Opus 5, No. 2 by 18th-century Afro-European composer, the Chevalier de St. George. These concerts are part of the Shell Favorite Masters series. This performance is livestreamed on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m. CT.
The livestream performance is available via a private link to ticket holders for $20. For patrons attending in person, concerts will have a one-hour run time with or without intermission. Socially distanced seats are now available in the mezzanine and balcony for September and October Classical Series performances. 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. For tickets and more information, please call 713.224.7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. All programs and artists are subject to change.
Livestream of Houston Symphony concerts is made possible by Barbara J. Burger.
ANDRÉS CONDUCTS BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH
Friday, Sept. 17, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m.*
Sunday, Sept. 19, at 2:30 p.m.
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Yefim Bronfman, piano
Yoonshin Song, violin
Brinton Averil Smith, cello
G. Bridgetower/Arr. Kyle Rivera: Henry: A Ballad (HS Commission, world premiere)
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5
THE ARTISTRY OF AUGUSTIN HADELICH
Friday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 25, at 8 p.m.*
Sunday, Sept. 26, at 2:30 p.m.
Augustin Hadelich, violin and leader
Jonathan Fischer, oboe
Bach: Double Concerto in C minor for Violin and Oboe
Shostakovich: Sonata for Violin, Percussion, and String Orchestra, Op. 134
Saint-Georges: Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 5, No. 2
*Livestreamed at 8 p.m. CT
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.