Fans of Houston's classical music scene will have a new outlet as Houston Public Media debuts a new weekly radio show and podcast that highlights performances of local concert organizations. Encore Houston premieres Saturday at 10 pm, with an encore performance Sunday at 4 pm on Classical 88.7 HD-2 and online at houstonpublicmedia.org/listen-live.
The first episode features Mercury's performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, also known as the "Choral" Symphony, from May 2016, along with commentary and details about the chamber orchestra's upcoming performance from Houston Public Media classical host and producer Joshua Zinn.
Mercury orchestra members perform the symphony on period instruments. The concert also features guest soloists soprano Mary Wilson, mezzo-soprano Sarah Mesko, tenor Zachary Wilder, and baritone Tyler Duncan, along with members of the Houston Symphony Chorus, all led by maestro Antoine Plante.
Other classical groups that will be featured during the first season are KINETIC, Chamber Music Houston, DaCamera, Ars Lyrica, Houston Early Music, Context, Musiqa, Bach Society, Houston Chamber Choir, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, and St. Cecilia Chamber Music Society. The length of each show varies according to the concert performance; most shows will run between one and two hours.
“Houston has such a robust classical music scene so we wanted to create a new show that would highlight our local concert organizations and promote their upcoming performances,” Zinn said in a statement. “We’re very enthusiastic about this new show and look forward to many great seasons ahead.”