HOUSTON (April 26, 2019) – Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada leads Beethoven’s Eroica, the first of three exceptional classical subscription concerts that close out the 2018−2019 season. This concert pairs Beethoven’s groundbreaking Third Symphony with the world-premiere of Aurora, a violin concerto by Composer-in-Residence Jimmy López that was commissioned by the Houston Symphony, 8 p.m. May 3 & 4 and 2:30 p.m. May 5.
Orozco-Estrada opens the program with the world-premiere of Aurora, starring violin virtuoso Leticia Moreno. Having long admired her work, López wrote Aurora expressly for Moreno, and invited the violin star to collaborate as he tailored the new work to Moreno’s considerable talents.
“This piece has great significance to me […] because it is my first collaboration with Conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada as composer-in-residence of the world-class Houston Symphony,” said López. “Aurora is dedicated to Leticia Moreno, whose energy and excitement have been an enormous source of inspiration.”
“I lived in Helsinki, Finland for about seven years,” continued López, “and I had the privilege of witnessing the Northern Lights. It happens that one of my favorite violin concertos is the Sibelius. So…I wanted to pay homage to that. What I’m after in this piece, especially in the 2nd movement, is trying to depict with sound the feast for the eyes that this phenomenon is. You witness these waves of light, and I’m trying to translate them into waves of sound.”
These performances of Aurora are distinguished not only by the excitement accompanying a world premiere, but also by the use of lighting projections, bring nature’s most spectacular light show into Jones Hall.
The evening concludes with an epic masterwork. Just as its inspiration, Napoleon Bonaparte, changed the history of the world, so did Beethoven’s Third Symphony, Eroica, change the history of music.
Beethoven’s Eroica, part of the Shell Favorite Masters series, takes place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. For tickets and information, please call 713.224.7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday, 12–6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.
Underwriting for this concert weekend comes from Janet F. Clark, Barbara J. Burger and Chevron. The Composer-in-Residence project is supported by Robin Angly and Miles Smith, Barbara J. Burger and Michael Shawiak.
Friday, May 3, 2019, 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 5, 2019, 2:30 p.m.
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, music director
Leticia Moreno, violin
Jimmy López: Aurora, for Solo Violin and Orchestra
(Houston Symphony commission, world premiere)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, Eroica
About Andrés Orozco-Estrada
Andrés Orozco-Estrada has served as the Houston Symphony’s music director and as chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra since the 2014–15 season. He was appointed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2015 as its principal guest conductor. In the 2021-22 season, he becomes chief conductor of the Vienna Symphony.
Andrés conducts many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Orchestre National de France, as well as major American orchestras in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Chicago. He has also led many successful concerts and opera performances at the Glyndebourne, Salzburg, and Styriarte festivals.
Highlights of the 2018–19 season include his concert with the Vienna Philharmonic for Mozart Week and a new production of Rigoletto at the Berlin State Opera. He conducts his debut concert at the BBC Proms with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and leads the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for the first time. As a guest, he returns to the Staatskapelle Dresden, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and The Philadelphia Orchestra. He and his Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra also perform Strauss’s Elektra in Frankfurt and Dortmund. In December, he led the Vienna Symphony with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Andrés continues his commitment to young musicians, conducting a concert with the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic and leading a joint education project of the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich with the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia, with whom he then tours.
His record releases with Pentatone have attracted great attention. He was praised for his “beguiling recording” (Gramophone) of Stravinsky’s The Firebird and The Rite of Spring with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, and his recording of Richard Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony with the same orchestra earned him a reputation as “a fine Straussian” (Gramophone). With the Houston Symphony, he has recorded Dvořák’s last four symphonies, a “vital Dvořák with warm colors” (Pizzicato). In addition, he has recorded the complete symphonies of Brahms and Mendelssohn.
Born in Medellín, Colombia, Andrés Orozco-Estrada began his musical education with the violin. He received his first conducting lessons at 15 and began studying in Vienna in 1997, where he entered the conducting class of Uroš Lajovic (a pupil of the legendary Hans Swarowsky) at the prestigious University of Music and Performing Arts. Andrés lives in Vienna.
A truly exciting and versatile violinist, Leticia Moreno “captivates audiences and critics alike with her natural charisma, virtuosism, and deep interpretative force.” In 2012, she was given Europe´s prestigious award, the ECHO Rising Star, which led her to play recitals in important concert halls across Europe.
She has appeared with renowned conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christoph Eschenbach, Yuri Temirkanov, Krzysztof Penderecki, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Josep Pons, Juanjo Mena, and Andrey Boreyko, among others. She has also performed with leading orchestras, including the Vienna Symphony; St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Mahler Chamber, Washington’s National Symphony, and Mariinsky Theatre Orchestras; Orchestra del Fiorentino Maggio Musicale, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar. She is a regular guest with most of the major Spanish orchestras. A keen recitalist and chamber musician, Leticia has collaborated alongside Sol Gabetta, Bertrand Chamayou, Kirill Gerstein, Alexander Ghindin, Lauma Skride, Mario Brunello, Leonard Elschenbroich, and Maxim Rysanov.
In the 2018–19 season, Leticia debuted with the NCPA Orchestra in Beijing with Vladimir Ashkenazy. In addition to these concerts with the Houston Symphony, she performed with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia with Boreyko; the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Michele Mariotti; the Philharmonia Orchestra with Paavo Järvi; and Remix Ensemble with Péter Eötvös. She soon tours Russia with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid and Gustavo Gimeno and embarks on two European tours, one with the Cadaqués Orchestra (including an appearance at the Prague Spring International Music Festival) and the other with I, CULTURE Orchestra and Kirill Karabits.
This season, Deutsche Grammophon releases her latest album, Piazzolla, which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and Emil Berliner Studio in Berlin with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Orozco-Estrada. Leticia has also recently made two recordings for Universal/Deutsche Grammophon: Spanish Landscapes—A Study of Spanish Music and Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.1 with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Temirkanov.
Leticia studied with Zakhar Bron at Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid and Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. She was the youngest member of the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung. She has won international violin competitions such as the Szeryng, Concertino Praga, Novosibirsk, Sarasate, and Kreisler. Leticia plays a violin made in 1762 by Nicola Gagliano.
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 hundreds of 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.