As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make large gatherings a no-go, the Houston Symphony steps in to provide fans and newbies alike an opportunity to hear the orchestra from their own homes.
The "Live from Jones Hall" concert series continues this month, with weekly, hour-long performances from the symphony's downtown home, each one welcoming a guest conductors back to the stage to lead the orchestra.
Tickets are $10 per concert, and ticket buyers get a private link to access the live stream.
The August installment of the series kicks off August 8, with guest conductor Nicholas McGegan joining the symphony for a show featuring some of classical music's most recognizable and beloved pieces. The program includes Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik as well as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, spotlighting four members of the Symphony’s violin section. The evening’s program also includes “Summerland” from Three Visions by composer William Grant Still.
The August 15 concert features George Walker’s Lyric for Strings, conducted by Houston Symphony conducting fellow Yue Bao, and Mozart’s Oboe Quartet in F major. Audiences can also expect a horn quartet that, at press time, was still to be announced.
On August 22, the symphony's principal double bass Robin Kesselman is spotlighted in Dark with Excessive Bright Concerto for Double Bass by American composer Missy Mazzoli. The program opens with opera arias from Mozart’s romantic and comic The Marriage of Figaro, transcribed for an ensemble of winds.
The series concludes the month on August 29, with Giancarlo Guerrero, music director of the Nashville Symphony, joining the orchestra for a concert showcasing the symphony's virtuosity. First up is “The Fiddler’s March” from The Fiddler’s Tale, by American composer and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, followed by Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale Suite. Guerrero wraps up the program with Schubert’s effervescent Symphony No. 2.
Those who want to share their love of classical music, or want to support Houston's own Grammy Award-winning orchestra, might think about encouraging friends to buy tickets and gather for a virtual watch party.
However music lovers watch, though, kudos to the Symphony for finding a way to continue making art and sharing it with the city — and beyond.