HOUSTON (July 1, 2020) — National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $25,000 to the Houston Symphony to support concerts in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday. This is one of 1015 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category.
“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We celebrate organizations like the Houston Symphony for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.”
“The Houston Symphony looks forward to our return to the stage and our celebration of the 250th birthday celebration of Beethoven’s birth,” said Houston Symphony Executive Director, CEO and holder of the Margaret Alkek Williams Chair, John Mangum. “We are incredibly grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for this grant that will support our performances during our season.”
There are few individuals who truly change the course of history. In 2020, the world will celebrate one of those individuals when it marks the 250th birthdays of one of classical music’s singular artists, Ludwig van Beethoven. Born in 1770, the composer influenced the development of music in remarkable and definitive ways. There is music before Beethoven and music after Beethoven; the revolution wrought by his works continues to resonate through music made today. From later classical composers to Hollywood film scores and even rock ’n’ roll, Beethoven’s influence is everywhere.
As part of the global celebrations, the Houston Symphony will mark this milestone anniversary with a season-long exploration of the musical genius of Beethoven with a fresh, innovative deep dive into Beethoven that will allow audiences a unique study of the artistry of a master.
For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.
About the Houston Symphony
During the 2019–20 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its sixth 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 $35.2 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 1,000 community-based performances each year at various schools, community centers, hospitals, and churches reaching more than 200,000 people in Greater Houston annually.
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.