Puneet Varma (Editor)

Houston Symphony

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Date founded  1913
Genre  Classical
Founder  Ima Hogg
Houston Symphony From Mozart to MacFarlane Houston Symphony39s eclectic new season
CEO  Mark C. Hanson (1 May 2010–)
Record labels  Nonesuch Records Inc., A&M Records
Conductors  Andrés Orozco‑Estrada, Hans Graf, Christoph Eschenbach, Leopold Stokowski, André Previn
Similar  Andrés Orozco‑Estrada, Hans Graf, Christoph Eschenbach, Leopold Stokowski, Balti Symphony Orchestra

Virtuosi of houston symphony no 5 in e flat major mvt i by carl czerny

The Houston Symphony is an American orchestra based in Houston, in the U.S. state of Texas. Since 1966, it has performed at the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in downtown Houston.


Houston Symphony Houston Chorale Houston Symphony Chorus Choir Short History

The first concert of what was to become the Houston Symphony took place on June 21, 1913, sponsored by the Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg. Initially, the orchestra was composed of only 35 part-time musicians. Despite its small stature and budget, the orchestra and its first conductor, Julien Paul Blitz, enjoyed a good response and continued to perform. Blitz conducted until 1916, then Paul Bergé, until the orchestra disbanded in 1918.

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The orchestra reformed in 1930, still as a semi-professional orchestra, and gave its first full season of concerts the following year conducted by Uriel Nespoli. In the spring of 1936 the symphony society officially became the Houston Symphony Society. Ernst Hoffmann began his tenure that year with increased support from the Society and began hiring professional musicians. The orchestra continued to expand over the next several decades, and its first 52-week contract was signed in 1971.

Houston Symphony Houston Symphony Wikipedia

When conductor Leopold Stokowski invited noted African-American opera singer Shirley Verrett to sing with the Houston Symphony in the early 1960s, he had to rescind his invitation when the orchestra board refused to accept a black soloist. Stokowski later made amends by giving her a prestigious date with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Houston Symphony HOUSTON SYMPHONY The Katy News Page 3

The orchestra performed in either the City Auditorium or the Music Hall until the construction in 1966 of the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts. In 2001, the orchestra lost millions of dollars' worth of instruments, music, and archives when Tropical Storm Allison flooded the basement levels of Jones Hall. In 2003, the musicians went on strike for 24 days, and the settlement included a pay cut for the musicians and a reduction in the size of the orchestra.

Hans Graf was the music director of the orchestra from 2001-2013, the longest tenure of any Houston Symphony music director. In September 2009, the orchestra announced the conclusion of his tenure as music director at the end of the 2012-2013 season, upon which Graf took the title of conductor laureate of the orchestra.

In 2012, the Houston Symphony performed Symphony No. 11 (The Year 1905) by Dimitri Shostakovich under the direction of Hans Graf at concerts in Jones Hall, Houston, Carnegie Hall, New York, and at the Festival of The World's Symphony Orchestras at Column Hall, Moscow. The Houston Symphony was the first American orchestra invited to perform at the Festival of The World's Symphony Orchestras. Shostakovich's Eleventh Symphony has long been associated with the Houston Symphony, since it was given its American premiere by them in 1958, under the direction of Leopold Stokowski. The Houston Symphony released the first ever commercial recording of this work, also in 1958, on Capitol Records.

In October 2012, Andrés Orozco-Estrada made his first guest-conducting appearance with the orchestra. This appearance led to a return engagement with the orchestra, for a private rehearsal. In January 2013, the orchestra announced the appointment of Orozco-Estrada as its next music director, as of the 2014-2015 season, with an initial contract of five years and twelve weeks of appearances per season. He holds the title of music director designate for the 2013-2014 season.

Houston symphony unveils 2016 2017 season lineup

Notable musicians, past and present

The following Houston Symphony musicians have articles in Wikipedia:

  • Arlene Weiss Alda, clarinet, assistant principal 1956–1957
  • James Austin, trumpet, principal 1960–1977
  • Edward Carroll, trumpet, associate principal 1975–1976
  • Wayne Crouse, viola, principal 1951–1983
  • Willard Somers Elliot, bassoon 1946–1949
  • Paul Ellison, bass, principal 1964–1987
  • Armando Ghitalla, trumpet 1948–1950
  • Desmond Hoebig, cello, principal 1991–2003
  • Frank Huang, violin, concertmaster 2010–2015
  • Benjamin Kamins, bassoon, principal 1981–2003
  • Hal Robinson, bass, assistant principal 1977–1985
  • Elaine Shaffer, flute, principal 1948–1953
  • Joseph Silverstein, violin 1950–1953
  • Laila Storch, oboe, principal 1948–1955
  • William VerMeulen, horn, principal 1990–present
  • John McLaughlin Williams, violin
  • Harold Wright, clarinet, c. 1949–1952
  • Recent Discography

  • Dvořák - Symphony No. 6 & 2 Slavonic Dances. Andrés Orozco - Estrada, Houston Symphony. PENTATONE PTC 5186575 (2016)
  • Dvořák - Symphony No. 7 & Symphony No. 8. Andrés Orozco - Estrada, Houston Symphony. PENTATONE PTC 5186578 (2016)
  • Dvořák - Symphony No.9 "New World" & Slavonic Dances. Andrés Orozco - Estrada, Houston Symphony. PENTATONE PTC 5186574 (2017)
  • References

    Houston Symphony Wikipedia