Tonight, the Houston Symphony announced its 100th Season of Classical, Pops, Family, Specials and Community concerts in a festive party at Jones Hall featuring a champagne reception and live performances by the Houston Symphony brass section. The event was attended by Symphony subscribers, board, league, orchestra, chorus and staff members, and members of the media. Throughout the 2013-14 season, the Symphony will be celebrating its Centennial Season with special concert experiences that celebrate Houston, reflect on the Symphony's 100-year history and look towards the future, including four concert weekends with recently announced Music Director Designate Andrés Orozco-Estrada.
The Centennial Celebration will be launched during the summer with two free events designed to appeal to the entire community: a 100th Birthday Concert featuring the orchestra, chorus and surprise guests at Miller Outdoor Theatre on June 21, exactly 100 years after the actual date of the first Houston Symphony concert, and a 12-hour Day of Music at Jones Hall on July 13 that will include performances by the Houston Symphony and other cultural organizations on stages set up throughout the hall. The celebration will continue in September when Renée Fleming headlines the annual Opening Night Concert and Gala. Joining the celebratory season are distinguished guests artists including Yo-Yo Ma, John Williams, Midori, Joshua Bell, composer and conductor John
Adams, former Music Director Lawrence Foster, former Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, Hans Graf as Conductor Laureate, trumpeter Chris Botti, star of NBC's Smash Megan Hilty and actor Sigourney Weaver as concert host.
Concerts will highlight the exemplary musicians of the Houston Symphony in the solo spotlight and explore exciting repertoire from the masterpieces of classical music to a North American premiere of La Triste Historia, a multi-media co-commission featuring a new symphonic work by Mexican composer Juan Trigos and filmed by Academy Award nominated writer and producer Ben Young
The Symphony's Centennial Season falls between the tenure of two music directors. Current music director Hans Graf, after twelve years of exemplary leadership, will step off the podium in May as the organization's longest serving music director. Incoming Music Director, Andrés Orozco- Estrada, announced on January 16 as the Symphony's 16th artistic leader, will serve as Music Director Designate during the 2013-14 season and begin a five-year contract in the 2014-15 season. Along with Graf, who will make two guest appearances in the Centennial Season as Conductor Laureate, and Music Director Designate Orozco-Estrada, other conductors who have held the Houston Symphony's distinguished role of Music Director will make appearances conducting the orchestra. These conductors include Lawrence Foster, who was Music Director from 1971-78 and Christoph Eschenbach, who was Music Director from 1988-99.
With an innovative and exuberant approach to the next 100 years, the Houston Symphony is taking time to look back on its first century in a commemorative book that will shine a spotlight on the most memorable moments in the Symphony's history. The book will be available for sale beginning in September. The Symphony is also planning multiple alumni appreciation events throughout the season, which will reach out to past members of the orchestra, board, staff, chorus and league.
"In a city that's constantly changing and diversifying, the Symphony is poised to redefine its identity
and increase its relevance for a new century of live orchestral music lovers," said Board President
Robert A. Peiser.