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Hot Music: Symphony announces 'Summer in the City' series

Hot Music: Symphony announces 'Summer in the City' series

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That pesky cloud of volcanic ash might have changed the plans for one spring show — with Kirill Karabits stepping in for Claus Peter Flor on Symphonie fantastique this weekend — but if you long for sunny days, the Houston Symphony just released an exciting quartet of summer shows to hold you over until the fall season.

First up on July 10 is the Houston Chronicle Dollar Concert, a Houston Symphony tradition for over 50 years. Director Hans Graf will lead, and the winner of the Houston Symphony 2010 Ima Hogg Talent Competition will also make an appearance. And yes, you can still get tickets for as little as $1.

One week later on July 17 will be the reprise of the spectacular The Planets—An HD Odyssey, which had its world premiere to rave reviews in January. The stirring combination of Gustav Holst's classic work with high-definition planetary images will be accompanied by John Williams's space-inspired themes for Star Wars, ET and more.

July 22, mega-band Queen joins Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd in having their work performed symphonically. "The Music  of Queen" features Brody Dolyniuk channeling the incomparable Freddie Mercury on vocals and true rock-concert lighting and sound.

The series closes out on July 24 with "Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy" featuring the cult favorite musical catalog with video from popular video games on screen. Composer Nobuo Uematsu and conductor Arnie Roth will also be available for a Q&A session and limited meet-and-greet after the show.