On January 11, 12 and 13, Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony will present a concert of music that is distinctly emblematic of the American experience. The music of Aaron Copland, Henri Dutilleux and Antonin Dvorak will be performed on January 12 and 13, while the January 11 ACCESS concert will take a deeper look into the music of Copland and Dvorak with an interactive and informative concert experience.
The Houston Symphony's very own principal trumpet Mark Hughes and English horn Adam Dinitz will be featured in Copland's Quiet City, which paints a musical picture of 3:00 a.m. in New York City. While the music still conveys the movement, hustle and bustle of The Big Apple, there is also a stillness that is captured in more contemplative and quiet passages.
Composed and premiered during his visit to the United States, Dvorak's New World Symphony serves as an embodiment of the American experience. Conveying the composer's homesickness for his native Bohemia, while embracing America's native melodies, this popular work is filled with delightful melodies, bold horn calls and an unforgettable theme that weaves its way throughout the Symphony.
Dutilleux's Symphony No. 2, which is named Le Double, poses an interesting stage arrangement where the orchestra will be divided into two halves on stage. While Dutilleux is a living French composer, almost all of his orchestral works were given their premieres in America. In France, Dutilleux's music was seen as too romantic and accessible while many French composers were writing more modern and experimental music. However, championed by the Boston Symphony, American audiences were given an opportunity to hear and appreciate Dutilleux's music.
"The concert program is really a commentary on Hans Graf's time here in the United States," stated Aurelie Desmarais, the Houston Symphony's senior director of Artistic Planning. "He is an Austrian trained conductor with amazingly wide-ranging musical tastes. While Dvorak, Dutilleux and Copland may seem unrelated at first glance, each has a unique connection to America. Having spent much of his musical life conducting in the United States, Graf naturally provides an 'American experience' theme to the concert."
Friday's concert will feature the ACCESS format, which conveniently begins and ends earlier, while connecting audiences more deeply with the music. Miles Hoffman, NPR's Morning Edition music commentator, will provide engaging commentary throughout the concert. Following the performance, audience members can stay and participate in a question-and-answer session with Hoffman and several of the evening's performers on the Jones Hall stage.
Houston Symphony Classical Series
615 Louisiana St.
Houston, TX 77002
Friday, January 11, 2013, 7:30 PM (ACCESS concert)
Saturday, January 12, 2013, 8:00 PM
Sunday, January 13, 2013, 2:30 PM
Dvorak's New World Symphony
Hans Graf, conductor
Adam Dinitz, English horn
Mark Hughes, trumpet
*Copland: Quiet City for English horn, trumpet and strings
Dutilleux: Symphony No. 2, Le Double
*Dvo?ák: Symphony No. 9, From the New World
*Friday ACCESS concert only includes this work.
Tickets from $29