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- Pink Martini with the Houston Symphony – Plus Guest Vocalists NPR’s Ari Shapiro & The Von Trapps! http://t.co/k8D3LW64rb about 14 hours ago from WordFly ReplyRetweetFavorite
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- Hans Graf chats about his final concerts as music director of the Houston Symphony: http://t.co/6nRgxkdlf5 09:51:36 PM May 21, 2013 from web ReplyRetweetFavorite
Category Archives: Events
Watch this video for all of the incredible performances to come in the 13-14 Centennial Season!
Vice President, Academic Affairs
University of St. Thomas
The Houston Symphony’s January 22nd program is a rich offering of French and Russian music from the first quarter of the 20th-century. Among many other qualities, the program’s three pieces–Stravinsky’s Firebird, Ravel’s Pavane, and Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition–reflect the lush harmonic textures of the late romantic and impressionist compositional styles. They are also in a way meditations on human movement, and remind us of the ancient and continuous connection between music and dance. Firebird is a ballet; the Pavane a Spanish, Renaissance court dance. And, while Pictures at an Exhibition is not a dance, the steady pace and atypical meter of its returning Promenade theme musically signifies a walk—movement–through the gallery of Victor Hartmann’s drawings and watercolors.
The theme of physical movement has its metaphorical parallel in the unrivaled power of all three of these pieces to move our interior worlds and stir up deep feeling. Indeed, taken together, the pieces evoke a wide range of emotions, from meditative melancholy to majestic joy before “The Great Gate of Kiev,” the finale of Pictures. Although we’ll be sitting in our seats, the music’s emotional force will no doubt make us feel the exhilaration of a dancer.
Besides reminding us of the connection between music and dance, the music on this program speaks to a certain unity among the arts in that it draws on other arts forms for its inspiration: folk literature (The Firebird Tale) and the visual arts (Pictures). For me, it is always an added pleasure when music refers to the other arts. I take particular delight in experiencing the skillful weaving together and integration of art forms, which has its corollary in the kind of education the University of St. Thomas offers its students. Like composers in control of their craft, University of St. Thomas graduates have a firm grasp of their special fields of study. But beyond that they know how their academic discipline relates to the other disciplines, and how academic disciplines, like the various arts, enrich and inspire each other.
The integrative habit of mind, one that appreciates the significance of the unity of all knowledge, is the essential mind for the 21st-century. The pieces on this program give us a musical example of how satisfying and beautiful such unity can be.
On Tuesday January 22, 2013 at 7:30 PM at Jones Hall, The Houston Symphony will perform a benefit concert supporting the future Performing Arts Center at the University of St. Thomas. General public tickets begin at $35, $55 and $75, and can be purchased HERE or by calling 713-224-7575.
To make a donation, or to purchase a sponsorship package that includes VIP concert tickets, call (713) 942-5003 or email PerformingArts@StThom.edu
Stravinsky: Suite from The Firebird (1919)
Mussorgsky/Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition
Andrey Boreyko, conductor
ABOUT DR. DOMINIC A. AQUILA
Dr. Dominic A. Aquila was named Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of St. Thomas on Mar. 18, 2009. He took his Bachelor’s Degree in Music from The Juilliard School, the MBA from New York University, and his Doctorate in History from the University of Rochester and the University of South Africa. Before his career in higher education, Dr. Aquila performed as a percussionist with the New York City Opera, the American Ballet Theatre, the American Symphony Orchestra, the New York and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestras and a number of Broadway shows. He also managed the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Garth Fagan’s Dance Theatre. In June 2007 he received the Spes Nostra Award for service to Catholic Education from the National Association for Private and Independent Catholic Schools. Dr. Aquila and his wife, Diane, are parents of 11 children. For Dr. Aquila’s full bio, CLICK HERE.
CLICK HERE for more information on the Performing Arts Center plans.
New Vision, New Stars Benefit Concert
One day soon, our university will have a dedicated performing arts center on the corner of Graustark and West Alabama streets. To help us raise the necessary funds, the world-renowned Houston Symphony will perform the New Vision, New Stars Benefit Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 22 at Jones Hall in the Houston Theater District. Andrey Boreyko will guest conduct Stravinsky’s Suite from The Firebird, Ravel’s Pavane and Mussorgsky/Ravel’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
The University Singers, under the direction of Dr. Brady Knapp, will perform with the Houston Symphony on their world-class stage. This memorable fundraising event heralds the University’s vision for strengthening the visual and performing arts for our campus and the Houston community. Thanks to a generous grant from The Alkek Williams Foundation, UST has engaged Studio Red Architects to begin the design phase.
General public tickets begin at $35, $55 and $75, and can be purchased HERE or by calling 713-224-7575.
Click here for more information on the Performing Arts Center plans.
Often, when we see a performance by an ensemble from abroad, we think of how far the musicians have traveled to be there, and what that must be like. But sometimes we don’t realize just how big of an undertaking it is to transport an entire orchestra -and their instruments- to another continent. Below, Violinist Alexandra Adkins describes the untold story of the cargo’s journey.
CLICK HERE to stream the concert LIVE from Moscow at 10:00 AM Friday and Saturday mornings!
The Cargo’s Journey
By: Alexandra Adkins
Our orchestra on tour is accompanied by lots of cargo; instrument shipping trunks, wardrobe trunks, special chairs and so on. The musicians were fortunate to head to Moscow Tuesday on a 12 hour nonstop flight, but our cargo had a more extensive journey. According to stage manager Donald Ray Jackson, it is a four day process that began immediately following the Ima Hogg performance on June 2nd. The symphony truck was loaded up that night and headed for IAH, where Sunday morning he and assistant stage manager Kelly Morgan began building seven container pallets from the various instrument and wardrobe trunks. It is a complicated puzzle to make the pallets the size that will fit in the cargo hold of a passenger plane. Every piece is X- rayed before loading. Donald Ray and Kelly travel with our shipment every step of the way. Our cargo arrived Monday afternoon in London, where it was offloaded and transferred to a climate controlled warehouse until the Moscow flight Tuesday morning. Due to a size issue with one of our containers, some of our cargo was delayed, thus everything did not arrive in Moscow until 3:00 AM Wednesday morning. Clearing Russian customs, disassembling the pallets and loading up trucks for transport to Moscow’s Hall of Columns took the next 18 hours, and finally at 11:30 PM Wednesday night our four very sleep deprived Houston stage crew members began the two hour load in to the hall– assisted by Russian crew– so that our instruments would be available for individual practice on Thursday morning. Donald Ray and Kelly are now catching up on their ZZZ’s in the subway, on the bus, and anywhere else they can find a quiet corner!
As the saying goes, “there is no rest for the weary!” Hot on the heels of our 11-12 season’s end, we at the Houston Symphony packed our bags and headed over to Moscow. We arrived safely on Wednesday and will have a little time to gather our bearings and familiarize ourselves with our surroundings before our performances on Friday and Saturday evenings as a part of the “Festival of the World’s Symphony Orchestras.” We are excited and honored to represent the United States as the first ever American orchestra to perform as a part of this festival!
Sleepless in Moscow
Over the next few days, several of our musicians will be sharing their photos and thoughts from Moscow. Below are some photos from our journey thus far, and some thoughts from Mark Hughes, Principal Trumpet.
As you will notice, Mark mentions the wonders of the Internet in his post, and we have another Internet marvel to share: we will be broadcasting the concerts LIVE from Moscow thanks to our friends at KUHA! CLICK HERE to listen to the concerts at 10:00 AM Central Time on Friday and Saturday mornings!
Sleepless in Moscow
By: Mark Hughes, Principal Trumpet
Well, we made it to Moscow, safe and sound! After a long flight of about 11.5 hours, we retrieved our luggage and herded to our busses for the 2+ hour bus trip to our Hotel/home for the next 4 days. As advertised, the traffic in Moscow is seriously bad! I know we all like to complain about traffic in our home city, but this is pretty amazing! As we drove in, I also felt “functionally illiterate,” because there is almost “Nyet” English here. While not surprising, it still makes one feel a tad vulnerable, to say the least!
After checking into the hotel, I met many of my fellow orchestra “comrades” at the very nice grocery store that is next door to the hotel. While things are quite expensive, you can see the great changes that have come to this country during our lifetimes. Shelves were fully stocked with everything you could want and my first experience with being a consumer in Moscow came with no real difficulties!
After a quick bite, and a short practice session, I face-timed with my wife Marilyn. The Internet is truly amazing! (Thank you Al Gore ) Then I crashed!
Unfortunately, after about 5 hours of sleep, I find myself fully awake and “Sleepless in Moscow!”Here is a shot from my hotel room window at around 5:00 AM. While overcast, you can still see that sunrise comes before 5:00 AM. And if you’re wondering, sundown is after 10:00 PM.
Till next time,