Today, August 5, is Blogger Day, and what better way to celebrate than highlight the top five blogs from last season. Over the course of 2020–21, the Houston Symphony overcame the challenges of COVID-19 with both in-hall, socially distanced concerts and livestreams (viewed in over 40 countries and all 50 states!)
Read more from the highlights of last season:
#1: Playliszt: 10 Great Pieces by Music’s Original Rock Star
While Liszt’s name will forever be synonymous with dazzling piano pyrotechnics, stopping here vastly underrepresents the depth of his contributions to music. In addition to expanding the piano’s scope, Liszt’s compositions were often defined by a forward-looking sense of harmonic adventure, and his later works evolved away from flashy showpieces and towards a leaner style that pushed tonal boundaries and anticipated the 20th century musical language to come.
#2: Big Band New Year Q&A: Allen Barnhill, principal trombone & John Parker, assoc. principal trumpet
Songs like “In the Mood,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” and “Luck be a Lady” are sure to take audiences right back to the big band era. Ahead of our In the Mood: A Big Band New Year concert, Allen Barnhill, principal trombone, and John Parker, associate principal trumpet, explain how they prepared for this program and what pieces they’re most looking forward to.
#3: Four Fast Facts About Esa-Pekka Salonen
Finnish conductor-composer Esa-Pekka Salonen joined the Houston Symphony on March 26, 27 & 28 for a concert featuring J.S. Bach arrangements by Webern, Berio, and Klemperer, plus a solo violin piece by Bach, Salonen’s own 2019 composition, Fog, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 round out the program of treasured classics presented with a contemporary twist.
#4: Nicholas McGegan Reinvents Messiah Holiday Tradition for 2020
Each holiday season, Houstonians eagerly await a plethora of events that officially signify the start of the most wonderful time of the year! In 2020, we welcomed back Baroque specialist (and Symphony favorite!) Nicholas McGegan to conduct A Baroque Christmas. McGegan sat down with us to explain how he programmed this carefully curated collection of holiday music.
#5: Concertmaster Yoonshin Song on Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons
Concertmaster Yoonshin Song took center stage in Astor Piazzolla’s show-stopping, tango-infused “Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas (Four Seasons of Buenos Aires)”—inspired by Vivaldi’s Four Seasons—in Mozart + Piazzolla, led by Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada. We talked with Yoonshin ahead of her solo, discussing the music, her rehearsal approach, and working together with Orozco-Estrada.