Press Room

Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada Celebrates Fifth Season with Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony

HOUSTON (Aug. 30, 2018) – Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada dives into the 2018-19 Classical Season with the epic and dramatic program Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony at 8 p.m., Sept. 13 and 15, and 2:30 p.m., Sept. 16 in Jones Hall.

These performances mark Orozco-Estrada’s first in Houston of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection. Inspired in part by the Book of Revelations, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony takes listeners on a spiritual journey through death and the apocalypse, transcending both to achieve eternal bliss in a glorious, radiant finale featuring the combined forces of 250 musicians. Lyric soprano Nicole Heaston and mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor join the orchestra and the Houston Symphony Chorus in the symphony’s emotional and uplifting conclusion.

Celebrating his fifth season as Music Director, Orozco-Estrada precedes Mahler’s symphony with the Prelude from Ives’ Symphony No. 4, another work that explores the spiritual questions of meaning and existence. The Prelude to Ives’ Symphony No. 4 features pianist Peter Dugan. The other three movements of the symphony will be performed in upcoming concerts throughout the season.

Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony 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.

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, at 2:30 p.m.
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Nicole Heaston, soprano
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano
Peter Dugan, piano
Houston Symphony Chorus
    Betsy Cook Weber, director
Ives: Symphony No. 4, Prelude
Mahler: Symphony No. 2, Resurrection

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 Nicole Heaston
Praised by The New York Times for her “radiant” and “handsomely resonant voice,” soprano Nicole Heaston has appeared with opera companies throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, The Dallas Opera, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Deutsche Oper am Rhein and the Glyndebourne Festival. In the 2017-18 season, her engagements included Brahms’ Requiem here, the title role in Alcina at Theater Basel, Alice Ford in Falstaff at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville and a gala concert at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

Since her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Nicole has appeared regularly with the theater, singing Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos. Since her time in the Houston Grand Opera Studio, she has established a long-standing relationship with the company, including performances of the title role of Roméo et Juliette, Gilda in Rigoletto, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. Nicole also created the title role in HGO’s world premiere of Jackie O, which was recorded for the Argo label.

Her other diverse roles have included Mozart’s La contessa Almaviva, Donna Elvira, Arminda and Despina; Gluck’s Armide; Pergolesi’s Sabina (Adriano in Siria); Monteverdi’s Drusilla and Poppea; Donizetti’s Adina; Verdi’s Oscar and Nanetta; Puccini’s Musetta; Respighi’s Princess; and Stravinsky’s Anne Trulove. Equally active as a concert and recital soloist, Nicole has performed with the Baltimore, Fort Worth, Honolulu, National, Detroit, Indianapolis and Kalamazoo orchestras; and the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor Michigan. Her recordings include a Grammy Award®-nominated issue of Bach’s Mass in B minor with Boston Baroque (Teldarc), Gluck’s Armide with Les Musiciens du Louvre and Marc Minkowski (Archiv Production) and Haydn’s The Creation with the Houston Symphony and Andrés Orozco-Estrada (Pentatone).

Nicole completed her master’s degree in Voice at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and received her undergraduate degree in music at the University of Akron. Her various awards and prizes include the Shoshana Foundation Grant, Robert Weede Corbett Award, Oper Guild of Dayton Competition, Opera/Columbus Competition, San Antonio Opera Guild Competition, Metropolitan Opera Regional Audition-Encouragement Award and Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition.

About Kelley O’Connor
Possessing a voice of uncommon allure, musical sophistication far beyond her years and intuitive dramatic artistry, the Grammy Award®-winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor has emerged as one of the most compelling performers of her generation.

During the 2018-19 season, her impressive symphonic calendar features these performances of Mahler’s Second Symphony; his Third Symphony with Donald Runnicles and the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony, and Andrés Orozco-Estrada and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and Das Lied von der Erde both with the Dallas and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestras.

Sought after by many of today’s most heralded composers, Kelley gives the world premiere of Joby Talbot’s A Sheen of Dew on Flowers with the Britten Sinfonia at the Victoria and Albert Museum to celebrate the opening of the institution’s new jewelry wing, debuts with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in the title role of John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary under the baton of the composer, presents the West Coast premiere of Bryce Dessner’s Voy a Dormir with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra led by Jaime Martín, and brings Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs to life in performances with Stéphane Denève and the St. Louis Symphony and with Brett Mitchell and the Colorado Symphony.

She performs Bernstein’s Songfest for her Boston Symphony Orchestra debut under the baton of Bramwell Tovey, and she is heard in performances of this work with Thomas Dausgaard leading the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Kelley returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a Stravinsky Festival singing multiple works there under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen, and she assays the title role of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia presented by Boston Lyric Opera in a new production by Broadway director Sarna Lapine conducted by David Angus.

For her debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Ainadamar, she joined Robert Spano for performances and a Grammy Award®-winning Deutsche Grammophon recording. Her discography includes Mahler’s Third Symphony with Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Lieberson’s Neruda Songs with Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra.

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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