Press Room

Grammy Award-Winning Pianist Yefim Bronfman Returns to the Houston Symphony

HOUSTON (Sept. 7, 2018) – The Houston Symphony and Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada welcome back celebrated pianist Yefim Bronfman to the Jones Hall stage for one of the most technically challenging concertos in the piano repertory: Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 at 8 p.m., Sept. 21-22 and 2:30 p.m., Sept. 23.

Orozco-Estrada opens the program with his interpretation of Comedy, the second movement of Ives’ Symphony No. 4, a challenging work which requires two conductors onstage. Pianist Peter Dugan returns having performed the work’s Prelude the week prior to open the season. Then, Grammy Award-winning pianist Bronfman returns to the Houston Symphony to take on Prokofiev’s daunting Piano Concerto No. 2.

The evening concludes with two Russian masterworks highlighting the Houston Symphony’s virtuosity. Orozco-Estrada leads the orchestra in Prokofiev’s beloved Symphony No. 1, Classical, known for its modern harmonies and orchestral colors. Shostakovich’s spirited Ninth Symphony closes the show-stopping program.

Bronfman Plays Prokofiev 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 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.

Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, at 2:30 p.m.
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Yefim Bronfman, piano
Peter Dugan, piano
Ives: Symphony No. 4, Comedy
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1, Classical
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9

About Andrés Orozco-Estrada
Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada began his tenure in the 2014–15 season. He immediately established a dynamic presence on the podium and a deep bond with the musicians of the orchestra. He carefully curates his programs to feature engaging combinations of classical masterworks paired with the music of today, significant artistic collaborations with composers and guest artists, and innovative use of multimedia and visual effects, all in order to make meaningful connections with the audience.

In the 2017–18 season, Orozco-Estrada continued to engage with audiences both with casual commentary from the stage and discussions with guests in “Behind the Scenes with Andrés” videos. Upon the commercial release of the critically acclaimed Dvořák series featuring the composer’s last four symphonies, he and the orchestra recently released a Haydn—The Creation recording in collaboration with the Houston Symphony Chorus and a Music of the Americas disc featuring Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Revueltas’ Sensemayá, Piazzolla’s Tangazo and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.

Born in Medellín, Colombia, Andrés began his musical studies on the violin and started conducting at age 15. At 19, he entered the renowned Vienna Music Academy, where he studied with Uroš Lajovic (pupil of the legendary Hans Swarowsky), and completed his degree with distinction conducting the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Musikverein. Andrés burst onto the international scene with two substitutions with the Vienna Philharmonic: the first, his debut in 2010, standing in for Esa-Pekka Salonen, and then in 2012, substituting for Riccardo Muti at the Musikverein. Andrés now regularly appears with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the Orchestre National de France, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

His engagements for the 2017-18 season featured debuts at the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich and the Staatskapelle Dresden with two concerts at the Salzburg Easter Festival. As a guest, he performed once again with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and with the Vienna Philharmonic, which he led on a tour to Paris and Budapest. In June 2018, he toured Asia for two weeks with his Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to his post in Houston, Andrés is chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He was recently named music director of the Vienna Symphony
as of the 2021-2022 season.

About Yefim Bronfman
Internationally recognized as one of today’s most acclaimed and admired pianists, Yefim Bronfman stands among a handful of artists regularly sought by festivals, orchestras, conductors and recital series. His commanding technique, power and exceptional lyrical gifts are consistently acknowledged by the press and audiences alike.

In celebration of the 80th birthday of Maestro Yuri Temirkanov, Yefim’s 2018-19 season begins with a European tour with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. It is followed by a Scandinavian tour with the Royal Concertgebouw and Daniele Gatti. The season includes concerts in European cities, including Paris, London, Cologne, Rome, Berlin and with the Vienna Philharmonic on tour. In the United States, he returns here and with orchestras in Cleveland, New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Dallas. In recital, he can be heard in New York, Berkeley, Stanford, Aspen, Madrid, Geneva, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich, Berlin, Naples, Rome and on tour in the spring with mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kožená.

Yefim works regularly with an illustrious group of conductors, and he routinely performs at the major festivals of Europe and America. Always keen to explore chamber music repertoire, his partners have included Pinchas Zukerman, Martha Argerich, Kožená, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Emmanuel Pahud and many others. He has also given numerous solo recitals in the leading halls of North America, Europe and the Far East. In 1991, he gave a series of joint recitals with Isaac Stern in Russia, marking Yefim’s first public performances there since his emigration to Israel at age 15. That same year, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, one of the highest honors given to American instrumentalists. In 2010, he received the Jean Gimbel Lane prize in piano performance from Northwestern University.

Widely praised for his solo, chamber and orchestral recordings, Yefim has been nominated for six Grammy Awards®, winning in 1997 with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic for their recording of the three Bartók Piano Concerti. His catalog of recordings is prolific.

Born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union, Yefim Bronfman immigrated in 1973 with his family to Israel where he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. In the United States, he studied at The Juilliard School, Marlboro Music School and the Curtis Institute of Music, under Rudolf Firkušný, Leon Fleisher and Rudolf Serkin. He is a 2015 recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music.

About Peter Dugan
Pianist Peter Dugan’s 2017 debut solo performances with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony were described by the Los Angeles Times as “stunning” and by the San Francisco Chronicle as “fearlessly athletic.” He has appeared as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician across North America and abroad. Valuing versatility as the key to the future of classical music, Peter is equally at home in classical, jazz and pop idioms.

A sought-after crossover artist, Peter has performed in duos and trios with artists ranging from Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell to Jesse Colin Young and Glenn Close. The Wall Street Journal described his collaboration with violinist Charles Yang as a “classical-meets-rockstar duo.”

Peter’s recent chamber music recitals include the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, Music@Menlo and a Weill Hall debut presented by Carnegie Hall. His debut album with baritone John Brancy, A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song, pays homage to composers who lived through, fought in and died in the Great War. Brancy and Peter won first prize at the 2017 Montreal International Music Competition and second prize at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition.

Peter holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where he studied under Matti Raekallio. He lives in New York with his wife, mezzo-soprano Kara Dugan, and serves on the piano faculty at the Juilliard Evening Division.

Peter Dugan is a Yamaha Artist. Visit

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.

Eric Skelly: (713) 337-8560,
Mireya Reyna: (713) 337-8557,


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