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Doctor's Orders

The show must go on: Rising star replaces ailing master in Houston Symphony concert

By Joel Luks

Conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos' Friday performance with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. left musicians in tears and audiences on their feet as they offered a thund ...


The CultureMap Interview

Metaphors of the human psyche: Rock star maestro brings his wisdom to Texas Music Festival

By Joel Luks

How can artists communicate that which they haven't experienced? While the process of refining skills needed to win a job at a professional symphony orchestra typically involve technique &m ...


A Gold Star for Hans

The most exclusive Walk of Fame ever? Houston music legend just the second honoree ever

By Joel Luks

As the role of music director at professional symphony orchestras has evolved to become not just the artistic voice but the father figure of these large ensembles, Hans Graf's 12-year tenure wi ...


CultureMap Exclusive

New Houston Symphony conductor reveals all: City misconceptions, burger love, Jim Parsons lessons & magic music

By Joel Luks

Andrés Orozco-Estrada couldn't stop pacing.  Hidden from view from a hundred or so guests on the stage of Jones Hall itching to learn why the Houston Symphony had summoned a las ...


The search is over

Houston Symphony names new conductor after secret rehearsal: Hans Graf's replacement is . . .

By Joel Luks

Think of the Houston Symphony's search for a new maestro a tad like a season of the Bachelorette. Many attractive suitors step on her podium, wave their baton, make beautiful music and wond ...


He'll be back

Opera Vista's Viswa Subbaraman heads for Milwaukee but hopes for further Houston collaborations

By Joel Luks

It wasn't that long ago that Opera Vista was warming up to intone its swan song. A jack-of-all-trades, founder and maestro Viswa Subbaraman needed to reenergize his board, reorga ...


Community building

Ironman on the podium: Kris Chapman appointed conductor of Houston Heights Orchestra

By Joel Luks

There comes a time in the growth of every nonprofit startup when the founder steps down. For the Houston Heights Orchestra the time is now, not even a year after the inaugural concert. As artis ...


CultureMap Art & About Video

Painting with music: Behind the scenes as Texas Music Festival takes on Debussy sea sketches

By Joel Luks

Think of a painting from the Impressionist period, perhaps Claude Monet's Haystacks or a large Water Lilies canvas. Look too closely and the image dissolves into thick brushstrokes and blotches ...


Carnegie Hall Bound

The New York Times gives Houston Symphony love & Mayor Parker goes along for the NY ride

By Joel Luks

Guess who was featured in the New York Times? Houston Symphony's own maestro, Hans Graf, appeared in the Arts & Leisure section earlier this month as a teaser to Carnegie Hall's upc ...


Partying like it's 1699

Going beyond Baroque: Mercury's gala redefined with glow sticks, neon sunglasses and Mohawks

By Joel Luks

Were there glow sticks, neon sunglasses, fuchsia wigs and spiked Mohawks in 1699? If the fin-de-siècle Venetian elite had access to such party favors, their social affairs would surely resem ...


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