After performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21, the Houston Symphony will fill Jones Hall with controversy. Mozart and Shostakovich ends with a performance of Shostakovich's 1962 Symphony No. 13, Babi Yar. The five-part piece is based on the writings of Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, which denounced Stalin's Soviet regime during World War II. The poems addressed a massacre of Jewish civilians, repression, uniformity, censorship and the hardships of women. Joining the Houston Symphony and conductor Lars Vogt onstage is the 75_year-old Yevtushenko, who will introduce the performance by reading a few of the poems that inspired the Babi Yar.
Not surprisingly, Babi Yar was met with plenty of opposition before its premiere. Confirmed performers withdrew, Khrushchev threatened to cancel the opening and the choir threatened to walk out on the first night. Somehow the show went on. Now it's a much celebrated work. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. today. 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. $27 to $107.
Sept. 26-28, 2008