HOUSTON (Sept. 20, 2018) – Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke leads the Houston Symphony in an evening celebrating The Music of ABBA, featuring the Swedish pop group’s greatest hits at 8 p.m. Oct. 5-6 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at Jones Hall.
The six members of the international vocal phenomenon Rajaton, known for their boundless capacity to sing music of any genre, join the Houston Symphony and Reineke in the chart-topping program as they perform ABBA’s infectious hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.” and “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight).”
“I’m so excited that we’re going to be joined by one of my favorite vocal groups on the planet,” says Reineke. “They come from Helsinki, Finland. Rajaton is a Finnish word that means boundless because really they can do anything.”
The Music of ABBA takes 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 MUSIC OF ABBA
Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018, at 7:30 p.m.
Steven Reineke, conductor
Rajaton, vocal ensemble
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 Atlanta, Cincinnati, Edmonton and San Francisco.
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.
The Finnish word Rajaton translates as “boundless”—a word that so accurately describes the way this six-voice a cappella ensemble approaches music. Regularly performing around 100 concerts and workshops each year, Rajaton exposes its audiences to the kind of diversity of repertoire, singing style and stage presentation that has made it a phenomenon on the world stage.
Performing at concert halls, churches, jazz and choral festivals, this distinct group of musicians approaches all styles of music with the same level of commitment and integrity, making it difficult to imagine an audience they could not inspire, or a type of music they could not make their own. In their native Finland, Rajaton is a bona fide pop phenomenon, successfully bridging the gap that often exists between classical and mainstream convention.
Rajaton has released 16 different albums. Last year the ensemble celebrated 20 years of music-making with one double platinum, three platinum and eight gold records in Finland under its belt, as worldwide record sales are drawing more than 400,000 copies altogether.
Ever seeking new artistic challenges, the group has grown immeasurably through collaborations with other a cappella artists, including The King’s Singers and The Real Group, as well as productions with film directors and choreographers. But it is perhaps the musicians’ deep passion for choral art, their generosity of spirit and their sheer enjoyment of singing that has won the hearts and acclaim of audiences and critics everywhere. Their energy—infectious; their ability to entertain and inspire—Rajaton!
The voice is boundless.
About the Houston Symphony
During the 2018-19 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fifth 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.