“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts—such is the duty of the artist.” —Robert Schumann

Join Andrés Orozco-Estrada and the Houston Symphony, alongside headliners Benjamin Grosvenor and Alisa Weilerstein, for a deep dive into the trials and the triumphs, the love and the madness, the man and the music.

The Schumann Festival is a comprehensive exploration of the works of composer Robert Schumann, with performances and a lecture in Jones Hall, a chamber music presentation at the Hobby Center, and a free tour at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. “Angels and Demons” examines the Schumann oeuvre in all its breadth and depth, delving into every facet of the work by one of the very first composers to take up Beethoven’s unspoken challenge that music could be a place for deep, personal expression.

Musical works include the composer’s four symphonies, the piano concerto with soloist Benjamin Grosvenor, the cello concerto with soloist Alisa Weilerstein, and romantic ballads and grand choral music including A Poet’s Love and The Pilgrimage of the Rose.

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Festival Events

Recital with Houston Symphony Musicians

FEBRUARY 3, 8 p.m. at Duncan Recital Hall at Shepherd School of Music at Rice University

Experience the music of Robert Schumann and his wife, composer and pianist Clara Schumann, in an intimate recital featuring Houston Symphony musicians Joan DerHovsepian, associate principal viola, and Mark Nuccio, principal clarinet.

Admission is free

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Gallery Tour + Performance: Schumann and Romantic Art

FEBRUARY 6, 6 p.m. at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Discover Romantic art and music with this interactive gallery tour and performance. This fun and informative talk features MFAH collection highlights and a live performance of music by Robert Schumann from Houston Symphony musicians.

Admission is free

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Presentation & Performance: Music, Mood Swings & Madness

FEBRUARY 8, 5 p.m. at Jones Hall

Dr. Richard Kogan, a Juilliard-trained concert pianist and Harvard-educated psychiatrist, presents a program that explores the connection between the troubled mind and the creative output of the great German composer Robert Schumann. The presentation includes Houston Symphony musicians’ performance of the Andante Cantabile movement from Schumann’s Piano Quartet.

This is a free event, but ticket reservations are required.

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Houston Symphony with Benjamin Grosvenor

FEBRUARY 8, 8 p.m. & FEBRUARY 9, 2:30 p.m. at Jones Hall

Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Benjamin Grosvenor piano

Program for February 8:
SCHUMANN Symphonies 1 & 2
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto

Program for February 9:
SCHUMANN Symphonies 3 & 4
SCHUMANN Piano Concerto

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Sky Bar Recital with Benjamin Grosvenor

FEBRUARY 8, 10:30 p.m. at Kirkland & Ellis

Enjoy more music in an exclusive post-concert recital! Join Schumann Festival guest artist Benjamin Grosvenor, piano, at a sky bar in the heart of downtown Houston. Grosvenor, “one of the greatest young pianists in the world” (L’Est Républicain), performs Robert Schumann’s Kreisleriana.

SCHUMANN Kreisleriana

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Intimate Songs & Grand Choruses

FEBRUARY 13 at 8 p.m. at Jones Hall

Celebrate Valentine’s Day week with romantic ballads and grand choral music.

Betsy Cook Weber, conductor
Scott Holshouser, piano
Houston Symphony Chorus, Betsy Cook Weber, director

SCHUMANN Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Love)
SCHUMANN Pilgrimage of the Rose

NOTE: THIS EVENT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE ORCHESTRA.

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Chamber Music with Alisa Weilerstein and Houston Symphony Musicians

FEBRUARY 14, 7:30 p.m. at Zilkha Hall at Hobby Center

The program features a small ensemble of Houston Symphony musicians and Alisa Weilerstein (cello) in Schumann’s most romantic works.

Alisa Weilerstein, cello

R. SCHUMANN Three Romances for Oboe and Piano
C. SCHUMANN Three Romances for Violin and Piano
R. SCHUMANN Piano Quartet

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Houston Symphony with Alisa Weilerstein

FEBRUARY 15, 8 p.m. & FEBRUARY 16, 2:30 p.m. at Jones Hall

Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Alisa Weilerstein, cello

Program for February 15:
SCHUMANN Symphonies 3 & 4
SCHUMANN Cello Concerto

Program for February 16:
SCHUMANN Symphonies 1 & 2
SCHUMANN Cello Concerto

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Dinner and a Show

  • At Jones Hall: During the Schumann Festival, the Encore Café inside Jones Hall features a special menu highlighting German cuisine. Arrive early for dinner and drinks before the concert, or grab a bite during intermission.
    Menu: Build Your Own Pasta or Salad; Carvery (available only on February 13, 15 & 16; beef sauerbraten with traditional beef gravy served with rotkohl); flammkuchen (German pizza: choice of chopped bacon and onion flatbread with crème fraiche; or red onion, sauerkraut, diced apple, smoked sausage, and Gruyère cheese flatbread with crème fraiche)
  • At Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center: Arrive before the Chamber Music Concert on February 14, and share a romantic meal with your Valentine at the Diana American Grill inside the Hobby Center. Save room for champagne and cake for dessert!
    Menu
    : Diana American Grill menu

Music in the Lobby

  • Arrive early to enjoy the Steinway & Sons Spirio, a high-resolution player piano, in the lobby prior to the Jones Hall concerts. Spirio lets you hear performances of Schumann’s work captured by great pianists, played with such nuance, power, and passion.

The Schumann Festival was made possible in part by support from the Houston Symphony Endowment, The Humphreys Foundation, Drs. M.S. and Marie-Luise Kalsi, and Bobby and Phoebe Tudor.

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