Emanuel Ax plus Tchaikovsky 3

If you’ve shied away from classical music because you’ve found concert halls too stuffy, the Houston Symphony’s new Friday ACCESS series is just for you. Kicking off with Emanuel Ax plus Tchaikovsky 3, not only does the ACCESS program have an earlier start time and no intermission, Miles Hoffman, well-known music commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition, hosts the evening, revealing fascinating tidbits about the composers and works.

Not enough? There’s a pre-concert Mix & Mingle with orchestra musicians and complimentary bites; after the show, there’s a post-concert question-and-answer session with the artists. Still not enough? Did we mention that the featured soloist is famed pianist Emanuel Ax? And that he’ll be playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 and (duh!) Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3.

On Saturday and Sunday, it’s the usual concert format (translation: no Hoffman, mixer or Q&A). On Saturday and Sunday, the program also includes Golijov’s Last Round. 7 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. $25 to $123.
Nov. 18-20, 2011

 
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