ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights: June 21, June 22, June 28, June 29, July 4, 2019
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HOUSTON (May 7, 2019) – The Houston Symphony announced today the details of its free, family-friendly Neighborhood Concerts and ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights. A summer tradition, these evening concerts are held in casual and accessible venues across Greater Houston, bringing the Houston Symphony to people of all ages and backgrounds.
This year’s Neighborhood Concerts—led by Houston Symphony Associate Conductor Robert Franz—are held in schools and churches across Houston and feature space-themed works in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first human visit to the moon. With Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, the John Williams’ Flying Theme from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and more, an interstellar journey is in store for audiences at Lilly Grove Missionary Baptist Church (South Side Houston) on June 4; Morton Ranch High School (Katy) on June 5; Dulles High School (Sugar Land) on June 6; and North Shore Senior High School (Galena Park) on June 7.
For the 79th consecutive year, the Houston Symphony returns to Miller Outdoor Theatre for ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights, a tradition that introduces outstanding soloists and conductors to Houston audiences.
Known for charismatic and dynamic musicianship, Finnish conductor Dalia Stasevska leads the Houston Symphony in an evening featuring music by Sibelius—Finland’s greatest musical export—on June 21. In July, Stasevska begins her post as the Principal Guest Conductor Designate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and her performance at Miller Outdoor Theatre marks her North American conducting debut. The program includes Sibelius’s Finlandia, later reworked as the popular hymn “Be Still My Soul.”
Former Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Ruth Reinhardt makes her Houston Symphony debut in the program Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet on June 22. The program opens with Detlev Glanert’s Prelude No. 1 from Three American Preludes for Orchestra. Then, Houston Symphony Principal Second Violin MuChen Hsieh makes her Houston Symphony solo debut in Saint-Saëns fiery Violin Concerto No. 3. Reinhardt leads the orchestra to close the concert with two deep and dramatic works: Dvořák’s heartfelt Othello and Tchaikovsky’s romantic Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy.
On June 28, young pianist Drew Petersen—winner of the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant—makes his Houston Symphony debut in Grieg’s immensely popular Piano Concerto. Current assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chilean conductor Paolo Bortolameolli closes out the program with Dvorak’s towering “New World” Symphony, a stirring love letter to America that captures the limitless potential of a budding nation.
American conductor Roderick Cox, who previously served as the Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, leads the Houston Symphony in an unforgettable night, opening with Richard Strauss’s Don Juan, plus a performance by the Silver Medal Winner of the 2019 Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition. Cox closes out the program with an epic and groundbreaking masterpiece, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
A Fourth of July tradition, the Houston Symphony returns to Miller Outdoor Theatre for its annual Star-Spangled Salute under the direction of the Symphony’s Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke. Houston vocalist Chelsea Cymone joins the celebration of patriotic favorites. The evening concludes with a firework display.
Admission is free to all the ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights concerts at Miller Outdoor Theatre, but tickets are required for the covered seating area. Free tickets are available (4 per person over age 16 while they last) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre box office the day of each performance between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. If tickets remain at 1 p.m., the box office will re-open one hour before showtime to distribute the remaining tickets. As always, open seating is available on the hill. Visit milleroutdoortheatre.com 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.