State of the Arts

Celebs, collabs and new faces at Houston Symphony next season

Celebs, collabs and new faces at Houston Symphony next season

News_Huang Fitlow Symphony concertmaster_Jan 10
Huang Fitlow Photo by Jeff Fitlow
News_Huang Fitlow Symphony concertmaster_Jan 10
Huang Fitlow Photo by Jeff Fitlow
News_Huang Fitlow Symphony concertmaster_Jan 10
News_Huang Fitlow Symphony concertmaster_Jan 10

We've still got several months to appreciate the 2009-2010 season of the Houston Symphony, but the announcement of the 2010-2011 schedule should encourage music lovers of all stripes—classical, big band, Broadway, pop and rock, just to name a few—to save the dates. Here's a rundown of highlights of the season:

Classic Performances

The season opens Sept. 11 with "A Vienna Soiree," featuring works by Strauss and Mozart and the debut of Houston Symphony's new concertmaster, Frank Huang (who is originally from Sugar Land). Later in the season, be swept into the drama of Beethoven's Eroica symphony (Oct. 28, 30, 31) and marvel at virtuoso Joshua Bell as he plays Schubert and Mendelsohn's Violin Concerto on the Gibson Strativarius, recovered 51 years after it was stolen from a Polish violinist (Oct. 1-3).

Innovative Pairings

The Symphony's popular Sound + Vision series has been expanded. A highlight is Lawrence Siegel's Kadisch: "I Am Here," (Nov. 23) with the Holocaust Museum Houston, a premiere of the full symphonic version featuring chorus and vocal soloists singing lyrics based on accounts by 15 Holocaust survivors, four of whom are Houstonians.

Also featured in Sound + Vision are "Ravel's Spain with Bolero" (Feb. 11-13, 2011), featuring performers from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Ravel's one-act opera L'Heure espagnole, plus his popular Bolero; "Wagner's 'Ring' Without Words," and Giuseppe Verdi's deeply moving Requiem (Jan. 20, 22, 23, 2011). Performance Today host Fred Child and Hans Graf examine Deryck Cooke’s completion of Mahler’s unfinished masterpiece, Symphony No. 10 (May 13-15).

And put on your dancing shoes for the collaboration with the University of North Texas's One O' Clock Lab Band for a big band show of swing, jazz and American standards—think Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Count Basie and Cole Porter (Nov. 12-14).

Crossover Appeal

In addition to guest appearances by Michael Bolton (Sept. 8), Paul Anka (Oct. 21) and Kenny Loggins (Feb. 18-20, 2011), the Symphony will explore other genres of music, from Broadway hits in the Pops's Broadway Rocks! (Sept. 3-5) and "Rogers and Hammerstein" (April 21-23, 2011) with Broadway lead Ashley Brown, to the American standards of Ol' Blue Eyes with "Music of Frank Sinatra" featuring the old-school stylings of Matt Dusk (Jan. 7-9, 2011), the R&B of "A Tribute to Ray Charles" (May 27-29) and even classic rock with "The Music of Led Zeppelin: A Rock Symphony" (April 15, 2011) featuring a psychedelic lights show.