Category Archives: Houston Symphony Chorus

The Musician’s Report: Principal Cellist Brinton Averil Smith Addresses Our Board

Near the end of each season, the Houston Symphony Society holds its annual board and trustees meeting. This year, our Principal Cellist Brinton Averil Smith spoke to the attendees on behalf of the musicians. His speech turned out to be so much more than a board address. We hope you will read it, draw inspiration from it, and be reminded of the true power of music.

Brinton Averil Smith, Principal Cello Photo by Eric Arbiter

Brinton Averil Smith, Principal Cello
Photo by Eric Arbiter

By: Brinton Averil Smith

Ladies and Gentleman of the Houston Symphony family, on behalf of all our musicians, thank you for joining us and welcome at this momentous time in our history. The last 100 years have seen vast changes, but there are still people in this room who knew Miss Ima Hogg. Who could have imagined 100 years ago, when she began a project to bring music to her small city, that her act of faith would grow to become an internationally renown institution serving every citizen of our booming metropolis?

In truth, the degree of success we are enjoying today on so many levels was hard to fully imagine even 8 years ago when I moved here. That was a challenging time, but I was drawn by the passion I saw in the orchestra here, and by the optimism and energy I saw in this city. Houston struck me as a place where people still believe the future is theirs to build, and build it you have.

When I attend board meetings these days I am amazed by how much activity is going on; how the orchestra is planning for the future, and reaching into every part of our city. The criticisms that are often leveled at American orchestras – that they are exclusionary, isolated, out of date or out of touch- are all dispelled by the work we are doing here. We aren’t waiting for a crisis to build relationships throughout our city, or to open our doors and share our music with the broadest range of our population, or to send musicians to bring music into our schools and hospitals. We are doing it now, in good times, because we believe in it. I have not seen a better staffed, better run orchestra anywhere than what you see here today, and I’m extremely proud of our team and all they are doing.

You know already how well the orchestra is playing today. I believe I can say without exaggeration that some musicians in this orchestra are truly among the very best in the world at what they do.  And with our growing reputation it can get even better as we add new musicians in the coming years. We are about to embark on a new era with Andrés Orozco-Estrada. His intelligence, charm and blend of European and South American cultures sounds like a marketer’s fantasy, but only great musicianship wins the hearts of the musicians, as he has. I’ve had the good fortune to have worked with almost all the top conductors of my era, and Andrés is one of the most talented and exciting conductors I’ve ever worked with. His time with us could become the symphony’s greatest era yet.

As I conclude my years as a musician’s board representative, it has been humbling to witness how hard and how devotedly our board works for our symphony. It is inspiring to see our leading citizens give so freely, not only of their money but also of their intensely valuable time, thought and energy to build the institution. Your devotion to this cause is a profound testament to the power of what we do. In many other orchestras, musicians rarely, if ever, interact with the board members outside of negotiations. It’s not surprising, then, that each views the other with suspicion and mistrust. In Houston, our musicians and board members are not only well acquainted, but in many cases we are good friends. We celebrate together, know each other’s children and grandchildren- in some cases, we even know each other’s dogs! Familiarity brings mutual respect and an understanding of how vital both our roles are to achieve our common purpose. It doesn’t immunize us against hard times, but it does mean that whatever comes, we can meet it together, with mutual respect and true friendship. So, on behalf of the musicians, thank you to all of you on the board for your devotion and generosity to our mutual cause.

Houston Symphony 100th Birthday Celebration on June 21, 2013 Photo by Chinh Phan

Houston Symphony 100th Birthday Celebration at Miller Outdoor Theatre  on June 21, 2013
Photo by Chinh Phan

This centennial season has flown by and, for all the amazing concerts of this past year- our televised centennial at Miller Theatre, Renée Fleming on opening night, Yo-Yo Ma and John Williams, Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand, and so many more- there is no concert that better demonstrates the special teamwork between musicians, management and board than the one that wasn’t planned at all. When weather grounded Linda Eder, canceling our Valentine’s Day concert and leaving hundreds of disappointed fans with no plans for Valentine’s night, our management worked overtime to put together and advertise a last minute, free concert of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. To pull it off, musicians had to agree to rehearse and perform on the spur of the moment, some voluntarily returning from their scheduled leave. John Rydman of Spec’s quickly and generously agreed to cover the additional costs, and with less than 24 hours notice, management scrambled to try to get the word out about the free concert. We went onstage that night not knowing whether to expect 20 or 200 people in the audience. Instead,  amazingly,  the hall was packed-  families with their children, young couples on Valentine’s dates, Linda Eder fans, people who had never been to Jones Hall before and some of our symphony regulars as well- all joined together for a moment of  great music on a night that otherwise would have been a disappointment and a dark hall.  It was not the most prestigious concert I’ve played with the Houston Symphony, but it was my proudest moment as a member of this organization.


Maestro Christoph Eschenbach with Houston Symphony and Chorus after Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand Photo by Bruce Bennett

Maestro Christoph Eschenbach with Houston Symphony and Chorus after Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand
Photo by Bruce Bennett

We know future challenges will come. Economies go up and down, generations change, technology changes and institutions must change with them. If we want to meet the challenge of Miss Ima and pass on a thriving symphony and musical culture to our descendants 100 years from now, we will need to be forward thinking, flexible and innovative, and we will need support. It is the endowment that best helps institutions weather the hard times and I believe building our endowment is the single greatest step we can take to assuring this institution’s future.

This is an interesting time for classical music. In the west, it has all but disappeared from the mass media, aside for articles announcing its demise. But similar articles written 50 and 150 years ago prove that ‘imminently dying’ is one of classical music’s longest running traditions! And yet, today, there are more orchestras in the US and around the world than ever before. For an orchestra, a ‘good’ year has always been one in which benefactors subsidize the difference between expenses and ticket revenue. But this is true for many public service institutions- what would the admission price be at an art museum if they had to fund all their acquisitions solely through entrance fees? What would tuition be at a university without donors and an endowment? And these institutions are considered to be thriving.

Another argument you often hear is the implication that music written by ‘dead, white, European, males’ will have little place in our increasingly multi-cultural society. This argument rather condescendingly assumes that instead of cultures melding together, combining the best of what each has to offer, that each culture must live ‘separate but equally’ and enjoy only their own music.  Fortunately, reality doesn’t care about the opinions of arts journalists, and classical music has never been more popular with more people, in more cultures, around the world than it is at this moment. Japan and Korea are major established centers of classical music. In China, nearly 100 million people are studying classical instruments and their biggest stars play in sold out stadiums. South America is rising fast, not just with El Sistema in Venezuela, or Andrés’ Colombia, but throughout the continent. Astoundingly, even in a desolate Paraguayan slum, children raised in the most dire circumstances are changing lives, playing in an orchestra with instruments constructed out of salvage from a trash dump. I urge you to watch this so called “Landfillhilharmonic” video and see the passion in their eyes. I saw a similar passion first-hand in Natal, Brazil last year, where one of the students who played for me sold fruit by the freeway during the day so that he could afford to study the cello.

The Landfillharmonic

In the middle east, Qatar has begun an major orchestra, and a few years ago I met volunteer musicians from the Iraqi National Symphony who literally risk being shot on sight for carrying their ‘Western’ instruments to rehearsal, but refuse to give it up. India and even Africa are beginning to awaken too. Today in perhaps the most unlikely place in the world, in Kinshasa in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo, a volunteer orchestra with almost no outside direction trained themselves to play their instruments to the point where they are performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony quite well. They rehearse almost every day, with some of the volunteer musicians walking for hours through dangerous countryside in order to get to rehearsal. If you watch the 60 minutes story you can see their intense dedication and poignant joy amidst the outside chaos of their war torn country. If you need any further proof that truly great music- no matter who wrote it, or when- is the one immortal language that binds us all, just look into the eyes of those children in Paraguay, or the volunteer musicians in the Congo, or of the young students we work with here in Houston.

Joy in the Congo: A Musical Miracle
By: CBS News

A symphony is not designed for efficiency. It requires up to a hundred highly-trained virtuosi from around the world to come together and rehearse a program for a week, in order to play it for just a few thousand people. Some in that evening’s audience may have a truly transcendent experience, but how much time and how many resources were invested to bring them there? Could it be worth it?

I love the space program and often think about what it must have been like for Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard to be the first human eyes to see the Earth from space. How many billions of dollars, how many lives and resources were invested just to bring just these two people to that one moment? And yet as they viewed, for the first time ever, a single vision of the entire world, where every human, every thought, every nation, every people in history has lived…as they absorbed that view, it revealed for all of us a new outlook on our world- a fundamental truth that had always existed, but which we had never truly understood until that moment.

A featured image from the Houston Symphony's commissioned film + live orchestra project titled  The Earth - An HD Odyssey Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL

A featured image from the Houston Symphony’s commissioned film + live orchestra project titled
The Earth – An HD Odyssey
Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL

In a different way, great music can do the same thing. When you find that moment- that musical epiphany- it changes your view of the world. When you realize that the sounds that move you at this moment similarly moved men and women distant from you in language, culture and time, then the eternal nature of its beauty reveals a deeper reality, beyond the confines of our own consciousness. Somerset Maugham once wrote “Each one of us is alone in the world. He is shut in a tower of brass, and can communicate with his fellows only by signs, and the signs have no common value, so that their sense is vague and uncertain. We seek pitifully to convey to others the treasures of our heart, but they have not the power to accept them, and so we go lonely, side by side but not together, unable to know our fellows and unknown by them.” We are shut off, alone inside our minds, but where words fail, music is the sole common value that can pierce those towers and convey the treasures of our hearts.

I wish I could share with you the experience of what it is like to play music.  We spend our entire lives trying to improve, to get closer to the ideal. Clumsy human hands and mind never do it true justice, but as you inch closer, you begin to sense the existence of a perfect beauty, even if you can’t entirely make it real.  Just as Michelangelo quipped that he started with a block of marble and simply removed everything that wasn’t David, so we begin to understand that the composition is not the origin of beauty, but rather that it is making concrete a beauty that already existed unseen in the world. As a performer, you try to capture that essence and share it with the audience, and if you do come close for a moment, it is a feeling of transcendence. You have slipped your earth-bound vision and briefly glimpsed a higher truth, and at that moment you, your ego, your instrument or any of your worldly problems don’t matter.

In a time of unprecedented wealth, health and longevity we have many noble charities dedicated to enriching public health and income around the world, and these are wonderful, deserving causes. But it will be a tragedy for our age if we fail to support the spiritual side of life as well. Ultimately, our brief lives are measured in quality more than quantity. Today we are lucky enough to live far longer than even our grandparents, and we have access to comfort, technology and information beyond their wildest dreams. And yet somehow we seem to allow ourselves to feel much less; we shy away from dreams of beauty, from bold passions.  We live in an age where cynicism passes for philosophy, irony debilitates art, lust supplants romance, and it is considered naïve to think that there could be more meaning to our consciousness than a mere a series of electrical impulses in our brains. I love science, but the greatest scientists I know are not jaded by what is already discovered, but humbled and impassioned by the profundity, complexity and beauty of our universe. This also is my feeling about music. If you believe that the gift of culture is meant to uplift souls and open minds, then we must stand together now and find a way to cut through the noise of modern life, to convey this gift to the next generation. It may be the most important thing we could ever give them.

Let me end with words from one of the people I admire most. Alice Herz-Sommer died this year. Born in 1903, she was, at 110 years old, the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor. Alice was also the world’s oldest pianist. She said of her time living in terror and starvation in the Teresienstadt camp, “Whenever I knew that I had a concert, I was happy. Music is magic. We performed in the council hall before an audience of 150 old, hopeless, sick and hungry people. They lived for the music. It was like food to them. If they hadn’t come [to hear us], they would have died long before. As we would have.” Alice was an amazing and profound woman. “Only when we are so old, only [then], are we aware of the beauty of life” she said. She practiced for hours every day until the end, finding more meaning and beauty in music with every passing year.  Alice lost most of her family, and her entire world in the camps. She faced things no one ever should have to, and yet she lived a life of gratitude and profound happiness, because in music she found beauty and true joy. Ladies and gentleman, I wish for you, for your loved ones and for all those who will live in this city during the next 100 years the same joy and beauty that Alice had in her life. Thank you for all you do to make it possible…

Alice Herz-Sommer

Read more about Brinton Averil Smith.

Read more about the Houston Symphony’s 101st Season with new Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada.

Posted in 13-14 Season, Classical, Conductors and Musicians, Development, History Archives, Houston Symphony Chorus, Staff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Seemingly Impossible Beginning to a Glorious Finale

By: Aurelie Desmarais
Senior Director, Artistic Planning
Houston Symphony

Maestro Hans Graf

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

When the calm of a beautiful morning was shattered on September 11, 2001, it seemed that all normal activity would cease. It was impossible to imagine that regular life would, or could, continue. Yet in the aftermath of this history-altering day, the instinct to move forward prevailed.

Obstacles, though seemingly trivial in the face of such tragedy, did abound. The first concert for Hans Graf as Music Director of the Houston Symphony took place on September 15, 2001, just 4 days after the terrorist attacks. All air traffic was grounded and it seemed that there would be no way to get Hans from Calgary to Houston in time for the Opening Night concert, let alone the rehearsals that preceded it.

Through creativity, persistence and lots of phone calls made by an industrious intern, we were able to locate a private plane that had been en route to Calgary, but was grounded at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. Once air traffic was cleared to start again on September 13th, the first priority was given to flights that had been in progress. The private plane resumed its journey up to Calgary and, for its return trip, Margarita and Hans Graf were the passengers. At around midnight on September 13th, I received a call from Hans to assure me that he was safely on the ground in Houston!

Maestro Graf's baton

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett

The Opening Night concert and post-concert dinner was a balm to all. The collective experience of sharing that concert reminded everyone in attendance of the power of music to soothe, to heal, and to inspire optimism for the future. From the opening moments of that first concert, through a remarkable twelve year tenure, Hans will conclude his time as Music Director with two performances of the Mahler Resurrection Symphony on May 17 and 18, 2013. Resurrection is music that speaks to the soul about the human journey–full of joy, tribulation, longing and the quest for redemption. Hans will close his tenure, as he opened it, on a note of hope for the future.

-Aurelie Desmarais

In the video below, Aurelie Desmarais, Senior Director of Artistic Planning, speaks about Maestro Graf’s final month of concerts as Houston Symphony Music Director:


Known for his wide range of repertoire and creative programming, distinguished Austrian conductor Hans Graf is the Houston Symphony’s 15th Music Director and is its longest serving music director. As one of today’s most highly respected musicians, he is a frequent guest with all of the major North American orchestras, and regularly conducts in the foremost concert halls of Europe, Japan and Australia.

Maestro Hans Graf will conduct the Houston Symphony in his final concerts as Music Director on May 17 and 18. Ending his 12-year tenure, Graf will celebrate with the orchestra, staff and patrons in a grand performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection.
Click here for more information and tickets.

The preceding weekend, May 9, 11 and 12, 2013, Maestro Graf will lead the orchestra in it’s final classical subscription concert of the season, featuring Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with guest pianist Janina Fialkowska, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica.
Click here for more information and tickets.

Watch a video tribute to Maestro Graf, which is being shown before each of the concerts during his final month as Houston Symphony Music Director:

Posted in 2012-2013 season, Classical, Conductors and Musicians, Houston Symphony Chorus, Specials, Staff | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Handel’s “Messiah”…again.

What is it about Handel’s Messiah that makes it such an amazing masterpiece year after year? At first blush, performing the same piece each season could become repetitive and less interesting, but it doesn’t. How can a piece of music feel different each time you perform it, even though nothing on the page has changed for almost 300 years!

Robert Franz, Associate Conductor

Robert Franz, Associate Conductor

The key to this is how the people participating as performers and audience have evolved over time. What makes the changes even more obvious is that the Messiah stays constant. We are dancing around a masterpiece, and our gait adjusts as we do.

Let me explain.

Each year when I meet with the choir to prepare for our annual undertaking, I begin as usual. I chose a movement and let them sing. I listen intensely and in short order I begin to respond to what I hear. In Baroque music each movement is focused on one “affect” at a time. An affect is an emotional value creating a mood. A movement may feel desperate or elated, subdued or gregarious, etc. In striving to reach the purist understanding of that affect, and the most effective way to communicate it, I start addressing one detail after another. Soon the chorus begins to get the idea. They respond to my sculpting the sounds. I can hear it and feel it. I sense their excitement as their confidence grows.

At this point, I turn into my father. (I am lying on my couch to write this paragraph!) As a child my father was very demanding. No matter how well I did, there was always an expectation that it could be better. I have many memories of wishing for pure praise, and receiving a “That was great, but…”instead. What I didn’t understand until many years later was that the only reason that he did that to me, or for me, was because he could see my potential. He sensed that which I did not know was possible. Now I instinctively seek that in the musicians with which I work. In fact, that is probably the most important aspect of what I do.

Returning to the Boise Philharmonic Master Chorale recently in our performance of the Messiah, I realized that in rehearsal I became my father. I can hear, feel and see the space that the singers can grow into. I see them striving for greatness, and it inspires me. When we get to the performance they open up and sing their hearts out. Their intentions are clear, Handel’s affects are being communicated convincingly, and I can sense the breathlessness of the audience as they hear “For Unto Us a Child is Born,” or the great final “Amen Chorus.” Somehow it feels new and fresh to them.

You see, the piece doesn’t change…we do. We become more aware as we evolve. Even when we are performing at our best, we are striving to improve. We can see the ground beneath us as we sore through the music. We are flying high. Then it dawns on us to look up, and we realize that the sky above us is limitless. This is what performing the Messiah every year “feels” like.

Happy Holidays!

From Robert Franz’s blog Building Bridges with Music. CLICK HERE to read more of his posts.

The Houston Symphony performs Handel’s Messiah December 21, 22, 23, 2012. CLICK HERE for ticket information.

Posted in 2012-2013 season, Classical, Houston Symphony Chorus | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrea Bocelli: In His Own Words

In just over a week’s time on November 28th, the Houston Symphony will have the exciting opportunity to perform once more with one of the world’s most inspiring operatic legends: Andrea Bocelli. Bocelli was last in Houston in December of 2010, and is returning by popular demand. The Tuscany native, who suffered the loss of his vision at a young age, exploded onto the classical and popular music charts nearly 20 years ago with hits like his duet performance of “Time To Say Goodbye” with Sarah Brightman. Since then he has continued to inspire and excite audiences from both the classical and popular music realms, uniting people in the way only music can.

I had the chance to ask Mr. Bocelli a few questions in order to learn a bit more about him before our performance with him next week. His thoughtful and insightful answers are below:

Georgia McBride: Who were your mentors as you were developing as an artist?

Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli: The voices of Enrico Caruso, Mario Lanza, Beniamino Gigli, Mario Del Monaco, Aureliano Pertile, Ferruccio Tagliavini, Giuseppe Di Stefano have been the most precious companions of my childhood; through these great artists and through their recordings I have come to know and love opera.

But it was Franco Corelli who was the “coup de foudre” that marked my destiny. I have loved this great tenor since the very first time I listened to him. When I was still a child I received as a gift his recording of the “Improvviso” from the opera Andrea Chenier. He was a legendary singer, a charismatic presence, a fantastic voice. When I was a boy I literally consumed his records. Years later I was so lucky to study with him and later to establish a relationship of mutual esteem which on my side was of true devotion.

I also remember with great affection my first teacher, Luciano Bettarini who had already been the teacher of famous artists such as Fedora Barbieri, Mirto Picchi, Giuseppe Taddei, Ettore Bastianini and Ferruccio Tagliavini, thanks to Mr. Bettarini I have learnt first of all the discipline of singing. A discipline that I had never imagined could be so strict, like the one an athlete must follow to get good results. In the field of singing a teacher is like a doctor, if you find the right one you make great progress, if you find the wrong one, you run the risk to be ruined forever. I think there are two kinds of teachers: the one offering precise technical knowledge on vocalization and who helps in making the exercises useful for all kinds of sport disciplines (because the voice is always the result of the activity of a muscle) like the unforgettable Bettarini, and then there is the teacher who is also a kind of muse who will guide you on the path of emulation. Like the great Franco Corelli.

GM: You have been one of the greatest champions of classical music as you have crossed over into the pop realm. How do you handle that responsibility? What are the artistic rewards you reap from existing in both realms?

AB: There is classical music so beautiful to become popular and popular music so beautiful to become soon “a classic.” Opera singers have always tried to sing even popular pages… just think of Caruso, Gigli, Schipa. Perhaps my path has been different, as twenty years ago when I reached success, it was first as a song singer and then later as a lyrical singer. I think I have been very lucky to be born and grown up in Italy, the country where lyrical opera was born, where music has always been very important in everybody’s daily life. My greatest joy is to be able to bring around the world the music and the culture of my land, even more in the United States, in this marvelous country, where dreams may become true. I prefer opera, and being Italian I love singing, when I can, in my own language. But I do not reject pop, there are lots of songs that I like, every kind of music has its own depths.

I have followed, by now for two decades, the lyrical repertoire as well as the pop one. I do it with much honesty and quality. Sometimes, in environments usually dedicated to the so said “light repertoire” I try to propose also lyrical pages, to share with an audience as large as possible my favorite pieces. I often happen to propose a classical program where in the first part there is a strictly lyrical performance, but where in the second part I love including some pieces which are not pop music but great romanzas by now consigned to history (like “Non ti scordar di me” or “Mamma”), masterpieces from operetta (like the duet “Tace il labbro” from Die lustige Witwe) or traditional sacred pages tied to the Christian festivals (like “Adeste fideles”). In the same way I try to keep apart the two types of music: classical and pop; they are two languages which must be spoken with the purity that distinguishes them.

GM: What is your favorite opera?

AB: My voice is quite flexible and thankfully this allows me to have quite a wide repertoire even if I am not any more twenty! Every time I face an opera I get so involved that it turns out to be the favorite and to a certain extent even the easiest to perform. If I had to express a preference I would choose big titles like Puccini’s, from Manon Lescaut to Turandot, and La Bohème. Not to mention, however, the great French lyrical repertoire which offers pages of a breathtaking beauty. This year I made my debut and recorded the Romeo et Juliette by Charles Gounod under the direction of Fabio Luisi: a masterpiece both for the play by Shakespeare in itself, as well as for the way the French composer was able to put in music the well-known story, thus highlighting a universal message that I cherish, which is that hatred always leads only to evil, and that on the contrary love is the only path we should walk upon.

Andrea Bocelli

Andrea Bocelli

GM: Since many of the people attending your upcoming concert may be less familiar with traditional opera, what is one opera you would recommend that they listen to?

AB: Opera is the paradise of music. It is the result of a smart idea conceived four centuries ago in Tuscany (the land where I was born), a representation where many forms of art are assembled. Melodrama offers a complex experience which has been developed through centuries and which requires self-sacrifice from those who perform it. It is however worth it because it offers such deep sensations so as to remain impressed in one’s heart for a lifetime. I think it is impossible not to be conquered by it. That is why I never get tired of singing and listening to it.

When somebody listens for the first time to pages full of passion, taken for example from La Bohème, from Madame Butterfly, from La Traviata, Tosca they will discover that opera is neither a difficult art to enjoy, nor an elitist one. Primary emotions come into play, the word flourishes through music acquiring such richness in subtexts, to get straight to the heart of the spectator. I always hope that after the first fascination, the neophyte even more if young, may feel the desire to investigate, thus discovering that every drama has an extraordinary series of relationships (with literature, the visual arts, history, society) and it is the key to understand better oneself and the strength of feelings and relationships.

I also advise to live, if possible, the experience of opera, alive, inside that magic box which is the theater, the place where the alchemy of an obvious form of fiction takes place and is interpreted against a scenery made of papier mâché, but nevertheless capable of conveying extraordinary emotions and an invaluable journey in the world of art and imagination.

GM: What made you want to return to Houston to perform again?

AB: I remember with great pleasure the concert I gave in December 2010: the audience of Houston is generous, involved and passionate. They know how to have fun to express their joy and excitement. On that occasion then, Christmas which was approaching was warming the heart of all of us, and we all felt a positive energy and warmth really unforgettable.

And here in Texas I have had, once again a demonstration of strong affection by the American public which I am returning with much gratitude. When I sing in your country I always feel that there is an empathy that has no equal. This is, perhaps, why I feel at home every time I am in United States. And when I come back to sing here, it is like singing in front of an audience of friends. So not to come here to Houston with at least one day of celebration and music together, during my American tour, would seem to me like betraying the expectations of this town and of many.

GM: You have performed with so many orchestras around the world… What makes the Houston Symphony special?

AB: It is an important orchestra, a staff with a prestigious past (thanks also to extraordinary people like Sir John Barberolli, and Sir André Previn) and a present situation adequate to the expectations that its reputations require. I have a great memory of the “sound personality” of the Houston Symphony, so bright and responsive. That is why I am very pleased to return and to share the joy of making music together. -Andrea Bocelli

Learn more about Andrea Bocelli.

Andrea Bocelli Performs Ave Maria:

Andrea Bocelli performs in Houston for one night only with the Houston Symphony!
Wednesday November 28, 2012, 7:30 PM
The Toyota Center

Andrea Bocelli
Houston Symphony and Chorus
Eugene Kohn
, conductor
Maria Aleida, soprano
Katherine Jenkins, guest vocalist

Buy tickets here!

Posted in 2012-2013 season, Conductors and Musicians, Houston Symphony Chorus, Specials | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Preview

The anticipation is palpable here at the Houston Symphony. Everyone is buzzing about this weekend’s upcoming performances of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses. Check out a preview of what’s in store here:

Balcony seats are now available for Friday and Saturday nights! But hurry, tickets are going quickly!

Posted in 2012-2013 season, Classical, Houston Symphony Chorus, Symphony Summer in the City | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment