HOUSTON (May 4, 2018) – The Houston Symphony and Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada are teaming up with media artist, director and composer Klaus Obermaier and Ars Electronica Futurelab for an innovative and visual performance of The Rite of Spring May 18-19 at 8 p.m. and May 20 at 2:30 p.m. Renowned pianist Emanuel Ax is also featured in this last classical subscription concert of the 2017-18 season.
Created by Obermaier, the Rite of Spring 3D is an ambitious 21st-century staging of the infamous ballet that uses real-time technology to turn the movements of a solo dancer into virtual objects. With the help of stereoscopic cameras and 3D glasses, audiences will be immersed in a highly-visual concert experience that combines dance and digital art while matching the power and impact of this highly-controversial work.
Dance, music and 3D technology
Several stereoscopic cameras – which simulate human binocular vision – will capture the onstage movements of acclaimed contemporary dancer Yuka Oishi as she responds to Stravinsky’s wild music onstage, feeding into a complex computer system. This system will in turn generate and project 3D animations onto a giant screen suspended above the orchestra.
The orchestra’s sounds – captured through microphones that are clipped to players’ instruments – are integrated in the interactive process and relayed into the computer system, helping to influence the form, movement and complexity of the 3D projections of the virtual space and those of the dancer, using the human body and movements of Oishi as a connection between reality and virtuality.
The Rite of Spring 3D is preceded by world-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax who will open the concert with a lively chamber music performance of Mozart’s delicate Quintet for Piano and Winds featuring Houston Symphony Principal Musicians Jonathan Fischer (oboe), Mark Nuccio (clarinet), Rian Craypo (bassoon), Bill VerMeulen (horn), as well as guest concertmaster Nikki Chooi. The concert concludes with Ax performing Mozart’s refined Piano Concerto No. 27, his final work in the genre.
The concert will take 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.
EMANUEL AX PLUS THE RITE OF SPRING 3D
Friday, May 18, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 19, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 20, 2018, at 2:30 p.m.
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
Yuka Oishi, dancer
Klaus Obermaier, concept, artistic direction and choreography
Ars Electronica Futurelab, interactive design and technical development
Alois Hummer, sound design
Wolfgang Friedinger, lighting design
A production of Brucknerhaus Linz and Ars Electronica Futurelab Management: Karsten Witt Musik Management
Mozart: Quintet in E-flat major
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
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 continues 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 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 Staatskapelle Dresden, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
His engagements for the 2017-18 season featured debuts at the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich and the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Salzburg Easter Festival with two concerts. As a guest, he performed once again at the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and at the Vienna Philharmonic, which he accompanied on a tour to Paris and Budapest. In June 2018, he will be touring 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. Andrés was recently named Music Director of the Vienna Symphony as of the 2021-2022 season.
About Emanuel Ax
Born in modern day Lvov, Poland, Emanuel Ax moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. He is a winner of the Young Concert Artist Award, Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Michaels Award and the Avery Fisher Prize.
In partnership with frequent collaborator David Robertson, he began the current season with six Mozart concerti over two weeks in St. Louis, repeating the project in Sydney in February. Following the gala opening of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s season with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, he made returns to Houston and to the orchestras in Cleveland, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Ottawa, Toronto, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, and will conclude the season in recital at Carnegie Hall. In Europe, he was heard in Stockholm, Vienna, Paris and London and on tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. In support of the recent release of their disc of Brahms’ Trios for SONY, Emanuel toured across the United States with colleagues Leonidas Kavakos and Yo-Yo Ma.
Always a committed exponent of contemporary composers, with works written for him by John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Krzysztof Penderecki, Bright Sheng and Melinda Wagner already in his repertoire, most recently, he has added HK Gruber’s Piano Concerto and Samuel Adams’ Impromptus.
A Sony Classical exclusive recording artist since 1987, Emanuel has recently recorded Mendelssohn’s Trios with Ma and Itzhak Perlman, Strauss’ Enoch Arden narrated by Patrick Stewart and discs of two-piano music by Brahms and Rachmaninoff with Yefim Bronfman. In 2015, Deutche Grammophon released a duo recording with Perlman of Sonatas by Fauré and Strauss, which the two artists presented on tour during the 2015-2016 season.
A frequent and committed partner for chamber music, he has worked regularly with such artists as Young Uck Kim, Cho-Liang Lin, Ma, Edgar Meyer, Peter Serkin, Jaime Laredo and the late Isaac Stern.
Emanuel Ax lives in New York City with his wife, pianist Yoko Nozaki, with whom he has two children. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia Universities.
About Yuka Oishi
Yuka Oishi is a globally active freelance dancer and choreographer. After completing her diploma at the School of the Hamburg Ballet in 2002, she joined the Hamburg Ballet as an apprentice, under director and chief choreographer John Neumeier, with the support of the Hapag-Lloyd scholarship. She became a member of the company in 2003 and was promoted to soloist in 2010, the first Japanese woman to attain that position. She received the Dr. Wilhelm Oberdörffer Prize as the “most promising young talent” from the Hamburg State Theater in 2011.
During her time with the Hamburg Ballet, she danced pieces by many choreographers, including Neumeier, George Balanchine, Natalia Makarova, Frederick Ashton, Jiří Bubeníček, John Cranko, Orkan Dann, Kevin Haigen, Yūkichi Hattori, Pierre Lacotte and Jerome Robbins. In 2011, she danced the role of the Chosen One in Vaslav Nijinsky´s Le Sacre du Printemps.
As a choreographer, she created Renku for the Hamburg Ballet together with Dann (2012). The ballet received the Hamburg Theater’s Rolf Mares Prize in the Outstanding Staging category. Since 2013, she has worked as a choreographer for the Takarazuka Revue Theater, Japan’s premier review theater. She also created pieces for Bundesjugendballett Hamburg (2016). Since 2014, she has created several full-length pieces for Origen Festival Cultural in Switzerland. Ku, her new creation for Béjart Ballet Lausanne, will receive its world premiere at the Beaulieu Theatre Lausanne next month.
About Klaus Obermaier
For two decades, media-artist, director, choreographer and composer Klaus Obermaier has created innovative works in the areas of performing arts, music, theatre and new media, highly acclaimed by critics and audience. His performances are shown at major festivals and theaters throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America and Australia. He has worked with dancers of the Nederlands Dans Theater, Chris Haring, Robert Tannion (DV8) and Desireé Kongerød (S.O.A.P. Dance Theatre Frankfurt) and composed for ensembles, including the Kronos Quartet, German Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Balanescu Quartet and others.
Since 2006, Klaus has been a visiting professor of directing and new media at the University IUAV of Venice, and since 2013, he has been a visiting professor of new and interactive media at Babeş-Bolyai-University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He held courses for choreography and new media at Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Danza in 2010 and 2011. From 2006 to 2014, he was member of the jury of the international choreography competition no ballet in Ludwigshafen, Germany. In 2005 and 2008 he taught as an adjunct professor for composition at Webster University Vienna. From 2016 to 2018, he was co-director of the Master in Advanced Interaction at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. He also lectures at other international universities and institutions.
About Ars Electronica Futurelab
Ars Electronica Futurelab continuously redefines mankind’s relationship to computers. The institution’s activities are centered on media art, but the diversity of its projects is a powerful testimony to its creative competence. Futurelab also contributes to joint ventures with partners in the private sector, collaborative R&D undertakings and cooperative associations with academic institutions.
The world of Ars Electronica Futurelab is interactive, multimedial and characterized by completely new approaches to conceptualization and design. Hardware and software that can be used in an easy and intuitive way, superb design and the consummate harmony of interaction and content are at the very top of its R&D agenda. Ars Electronica Futurelab carries out projects across the entire new media spectrum, commissioned by corporate clients and in collaboration with R&D associates and cultural institutions.
Futurelab has collaborated with associates in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the United States. Located in the Urfahr section of Linz, Austria, the permanent headquarters of these global activities features computer infrastructure, studios, offices and workshops in which up to 40 staffers carry out project-related work.
Through its ties to the Ars Electronica Festival, the world’s largest and most important festival for art, technology and society, Futurelab maintains close contacts with leading members of the international media elite.
About the Houston Symphony
During the 2017-18 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fourth 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.
For tickets and more information, please visit houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.