Young Musicians And Female Conductor Make Debuts At Miller Outdoor Theatre For Free Concerts

HOUSTON (June 28, 2018) – Conductor Jessica Cottis brings her talents to Houston for her debut performance on Friday, June 29, at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Cottis joins the orchestra at 8:30 p.m. for the British-American program Gershwin’s Concerto in F, as part of the ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights.

Cottis opens the evening with Elgar’s proto-cinematic piece, Froissart, Concert Overture. Jazz pianist Aaron Diehl takes the solo spotlight with Gershwin’s heavily jazz-influenced Concerto in F as he makes his Houston Symphony debut. Cottis concludes the program with Vaughan Williams’ brilliant love letter to London, his Symphony No. 2, A London Symphony.

The Houston Symphony returns to Miller the following evening under the direction of Associate Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra Kensho Watanabe, who makes his debut in the programSchumann and Fancy Free. Watanabe and the Houston Symphony continue its celebrations of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with Three Dance Variations from Fancy Free.

The program continues with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor featuring the Silver Medal Winner of the 2018 Ima Hogg Competition Hyun Jae Lim. Composed during a time of personal hardship, Watanabe concludes with Schumann’s noble and triumphant Symphony No. 2.

The remaining concert in the ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights series will take place on Wednesday, July 4. Admission is free, but tickets are required for the covered seated area. Tickets are available at the Miller Theatre Box Office the day of the performance between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Any remaining tickets are released one hour before the performance time. Visit for more information.

About the Houston Symphony
During the 2018-19 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fifth season with Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada and continues its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston.

The Grammy Award-winning Houston Symphony has recorded under various prestigious labels, including Naxos, Koch International Classics, Telarc, RCA Red Seal, Virgin Classics and, most recently, Dutch recording label PENTATONE. In 2017, the Houston Symphony was awarded an ECHO Klassik award for the live recording of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck under the direction of former Music Director Hans Graf. The orchestra earned its first Grammy nomination and Grammy Award at the 60th annual ceremony for the same recording in the Best Opera Recording category.