The Suffers at the Symphony.
The Suffers at the Symphony.
Photo courtesy of the Houston Symphony

The Houston Symphony Announces Its 2017-18 Season, Names New Composer-in-Residence

In today's announcement of the Houston Symphony's 2017-18 season, Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada shows he intends to continue presenting works of major composers as well as embracing newer works and crowd-pleasing pairings.

The Symphony is also announcing Peruvian-born composer Jimmy López as the Symphony's new composer-in-residence. The season begins with an opening-night concert featuring mezzo soprano Susan Graham (Poppea, Dead Man Walking) with guest conductor Gustavo Gimeno.

Other highlights include the celebration of Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday. This will take place over three weekends.

And here's the chronological listing from the Houston Symphony:

SPECIAL 1 | June 17, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)
THE SUFFERS WITH THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY
Steven Reineke, conductor
Defined as “Gulf Coast Soul,” Houston-born band The Suffers have emerged as one of the hottest musical acts in the country, with a recent appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Now this homegrown octet is bringing their eclectic spin on blues, soul, country, Caribbean, Cajun and hip-hop to The Woodlands this summer with Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke and the Houston Symphony. There’s no better way to celebrate the start of Steven’s tenure than a performance with Houston talent.
Tickets for this performance are available through The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. For more information, please visit woodlandscenter.org. The Houston Symphony’s performances at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion are supported by the George P. and Cynthia Mitchell Summer Concerts Fund.

POPS 1 | September 1, 2 (8 p.m.) September 3, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)
ELLA AT 100
Steven Reineke, conductor
Montego Glover, vocalist
Capathia Jenkins, vocalist
N’Kenge, vocalist
We’re kicking off Steven’s Inaugural Season with a program to celebrate one of his all-time favorite artists, Ella Fitzgerald. In honor of her 100th birthday, Steven has lined up three formidable vocal powerhouses. Together, Montego Glover (Tony® nominee), Capathia Jenkins and N’Kenge are delivering music that the world has come to cherish, such as “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” and “Summertime.”

SPECIAL 2 | September 9, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)
OPENING NIGHT WITH SUSAN GRAHAM
Gustavo Gimeno, conductor
Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano
Hailed as “America’s favorite mezzo” (Gramophone Magazine), opera star Susan Graham lends her lustrous voice to our 2017-18 Season’s Opening Night Concert. Featuring arias from her signature stage roles and favorite showtunes, this delightful program will begin the season with gorgeous melodies and Graham’s infectious “joy in her art” (The Telegraph).

CLASSICAL 1 | September 14, 16 (8 p.m.) September 17, 2017 (2:30 p.m.)
MAHLER & DVO?ÁK
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Mojca Erdmann, soprano
Nicholas Brownlee, baritone
Houston Symphony Chorus
Betsy Cook Weber, director
Dvo?ák: Te Deum
Mahler: Symphony No. 4
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor Our Classical Series begins with two visions of “The Heavenly Life.” Imbued with the rhythms of Czech folk music, Dvo?ák’s Te Deum evokes a rustic spirituality and features an electrifying ending. Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 conjures a world of innocence and wonder, especially in its vocal finale. A child’s vision of heaven, this song for soprano and orchestra features Mojca Erdmann, who has been praised for the “filigree delicacy” of her voice, which
spins “a silver net of glittering jewels” (Opera News).

CLASSICAL 2 | September 22, 23 (8 p.m.) September 24, 2017 (2:30 p.m.)
ANDRÉS CONDUCTS SCHUMANN
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Leticia Moreno, violin
Schumann: Symphony No. 1, Spring
J. López: Violin Concerto (World Premiere)
Schumann: Symphony No. 2
Andrés leads the orchestra in two Romantic masterpieces by Schumann which frame an exciting World Premiere. Jimmy López, our new Peruvian-born, California-based Composer-in- Residence, unveils his Violin Concerto, a piece he specially composed for violinist Leticia Moreno and the Houston Symphony. Inspired by brilliant polar auroras, this new work is a feast for the eyes and ears.

SPECIAL 3 | September 25, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)
HOUSTON SYMPHONY PRESENTS GARRISON KEILLOR
Garrison Keillor
NPR veteran Garrison Keillor returns to Houston for the first time after stepping down from hosting A Prairie Home Companion following an incredible 42-season run. With his trademark storytelling and candid, observational comedy, Keillor captivates audiences using his unique blend of humor, charisma and wisdom for this one-night event. NOTE: The orchestra will not appear on this program.

CLASSICAL 3| September 28, 30 (8 p.m.) October 1, 2017 (2:30 p.m.)
RUSSIAN MASTERS
Vassily Sinaisky, conductor
Borodin: Overture to Prince Igor
Shostakovich: Symphony No.1
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1, Winter Daydreams
Representing the great Russian conducting tradition, Vassily Sinaisky makes his Houston Symphony debut with a thrilling, all-Russian program. Two astonishing first symphonies provide a study in contrasts: Shostakovich’s irreverent wit is the perfect foil for Tchaikovsky’s dreamy melodies. In the hands of Sinaisky, listeners will be “able not only to hear but almost to touch the music” (Cleveland Plain Dealer).

FAMILY 1 | October 7, 2017 (10 & 11:30 a.m.)
HOOK’D: PIRATES IN CONCERT
Robert Franz, conductor
Ahoy matey! ‘Tis time to grab your parrot and walk the plank into Jones Hall with your little Jack Sparrow for a morning of heroic music. Let your imagination set sail with our pirate program that includes a medley from Pirates of the Caribbean and a selection from The Flying Dutchman. We’re also inviting you on a magical journey with Peter Pan as we take the “Flight to Neverland” by John Williams.

POPS 2 | October 6, 7 (8 p.m.) October 8, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)
TOTALLY 80’s
Stuart Chafetz, conductor
Nicole Parker, vocalist
Aaron Finley, vocalist
The Houston Symphony is going all out—for Totally ’80s! We’re delivering hit after hit, and highlighting the sounds of a decade influenced by soft rock, unforgettable dance beats and glam metal. Vocalists Nicole Parker and Aaron Finley join guest conductor Stuart Chafetz to perform nostalgic favorites including Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer”; the Billboard chart-topper “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper; Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”; Sting’s “Every Breath You Take”; an Elton John medley, and a nod to great ‘80s movies such as E.T., Back to the Future and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

NAT GEO 1 | October 17, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)
OCEAN SOUL
Brian Skerry, photojournalist
Photojournalist Brian Skerry celebrates the sea and its creatures in magnificent images collected during more than 10,000 hours underwater spanning 30 years, including a magical but risky experience photographing an enormous right whale. Since 1998, Skerry has been a contributing photographer for National Geographic magazine, covering a wide range of assignments.

CLASSICAL 4 | October {19} 20, 21 (8 p.m.) October 22, 2017 (2:30 p.m.)
MOZART’S JUPITER SYMPHONY
Matthew Halls, conductor
Johannes Moser, cello
Schubert: Symphony No. 5
Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 1
Mozart: Symphony No. 41, Jupiter
Praised for his imagination and fresh insights, conductor Matthew Halls returns to Jones Hall with Viennese masterpieces by Haydn, Mozart and Schubert. Dynamic cellist Johannes Moser brings his virtuoso technique and innate musicality to Haydn’s graceful Cello Concerto No. 1. Completing the concert is Mozart’s final symphonic masterpiece, his dazzling Symphony No. 41, Jupiter. {Note: October 19 performance is part of the Sugar Land Series at Sugar Land Baptist Church.}

CLASSICAL 5| October 26, 28 (8 p.m.) October 29, 2017 (2:30 p.m.)
BEETHOVEN & PROKOFIEV
Ludovic Morlot, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano
Messiaen: The Forgotten Offerings
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5
Ludovic Morlot, the Seattle Symphony’s Grammy® Award-winning Music Director, makes his Classical Series debut with Prokofiev’s epic Symphony No. 5. Composed in the midst of World War II, this symphony was conceived by Prokofiev “as glorifying the grandeur of the human spirit...praising the free and happy man—his strength, his generosity, and the purity of his soul.” Returning to Jones Hall, musical polymath Jonathan Biss performs Beethoven’s lyrical Piano Concerto No. 4.

SPECIAL 3| October 27, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)
PSYCHO—FILM WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA
What better way to celebrate Halloween than to scream along with Janet Leigh in the infamous shower scene of Alfred Hitchcock’s supreme suspense thriller, Psycho? Every spine-tingling moment is more vivid with Bernard Herrmann’s bone-chilling, iconic score performed in its entirety by the Houston Symphony.

POPS 3 | November 10, 11 (8 p.m.) November 12, 2017 (7:30 p.m.)
BROADWAY TODAY
Steven Reineke, conductor
Betsy Wolfe, vocalist
Join us for an exciting program of Broadway Today with the incredible Betsy Wolfe (making her Houston debut before starring as Elsa in Broadway’s Frozen). She is helping us celebrate the best of the Great White Way, with songs from The Phantom of the Opera, Once, Chicago, The Book of Mormon, Les Misérables and the showstopper “Maybe This Time” from Cabaret.

CLASSICAL 6| November 17, 18 (8 p.m.) November 19, 2017 (2:30 p.m.)
RACHMANINOFF’S RHAPSODY
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Denis Kozhukhin, piano
Ives: Symphony No. 3, The Camp Meeting
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 4
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Blacher: Orchestral Variations on a Theme by Paganini
Andrés and Denis Kozhukhin continue their exciting cycle of Rachmaninoff’s works for piano and orchestra with the ever-popular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and the Russian master’s Piano Concerto No. 4. The orchestra explores Ives’ quintessentially American music with his Symphony No. 3, The Camp Meeting.

CLASSICAL 7| November 24, 25 (8 p.m.) November 26, 2017 (2:30 p.m.)
A SCHEHERAZADE THANKSGIVING
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
James Ehnes, violin
Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
This Thanksgiving, Andrés conducts Rimsky- Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Inspired by 1001 Nights, this sumptuously orchestrated tone poem takes listeners along on the voyages of Sinbad and ends with an electrifying festival at Baghdad. Grammy® Award-winning violinist James Ehnes presents his unforgettable interpretation of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1.

It's Year Two of the National Geographic Speaker Series
It's Year Two of the National Geographic Speaker Series
Photo by Mark Thiessen

FAMILY 2 | December 2, 2017 (10 & 11:30 a.m.)
A GRINCH CHRISTMAS
Robert Franz, conductor
It’s the holiday season in Dr. Seuss’ zany world of Whoville. Although the Grinch is in town, this Christmas will surely not be stolen! Join the Houston Symphony and local high school singers as we present the classic story of the grouchy, green creature. The festive fun also includes a holiday sing-along and the hit “Believe” from the movie Polar Express.

POPS 4 | December 1, 2 (8 p.m.) December 3, 2017 (2:30 & 7:30 p.m.)
VERY MERRY POPS WITH MEGAN HILTY
Steven Reineke, conductor
Megan Hilty, conductor
Houston Symphony Chorus
Betsy Cook Weber, director
We’re thrilled to welcome back the multi-talented Megan Hilty (NBC’s Smash; Broadway’s Wicked) to our annual Very Merry Pops extravaganza. Join Megan, Steven, the orchestra and chorus for a weekend packed with holiday classics, including special arrangements of songs from Megan’s new holiday album, A Merry Little Christmas. Enjoy favorites such as “Jingle Bells,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Santa Baby” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” We’re also highlighting some of Steven’s fantastic arrangements like “Jingle Bell Rock.”

SPECIAL 4 | December {14}, 15, 16 (8 p.m.) December 17, 2017 (2:30 p.m.)
HANDEL’S MESSIAH
Paul Agnew, conductor
Yulia Van Doren, soprano
Daniel Taylor, countertenor
Samuel Levine, tenor
Alex Rosen, bass
Houston Symphony Chorus
Betsy Cook Weber, director
Handel: Messiah
Celebrate Christmas with a true Houston holiday tradition. Praised for the “perfect harmony, excellence, [and] virtuosity” (Est Républicain) he brings to his ensembles, conductor Paul Agnew leads the Houston Symphony Chorus, soloists and orchestra in Houston’s premier performances of this Baroque masterpiece. From “Comfort ye, my people” to the final “Amen” chorus, Messiah will leave you singing “Hallelujah” for Handel! {Note: December 14 performance is part of the Sugar Land Series at Sugar Land Baptist Church.}

POPS 5 | January 5, 6 (7:30 p.m.) January 7, 2018 (2:30 p.m.)
DISNEY’S FANTASIA—FILM WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA
Steven Reineke, conductor
The Houston Symphony proudly presents selections from Disney Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, shown on the big screen, with live score. A crowning achievement in the history of animation, the film is an imaginative celebration of great orchestral music, with Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Stravinsky’s The Firebird and, of course, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Join the Houston Symphony on a fantastical journey as we explore the magic of Disney. Note: Sunday performance will be at 2:30 p.m.

CLASSICAL 8| January 11, 12, 13, 2018 (8 p.m.)
KIRILL GERSTEIN PLAYS BRAHMS
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Kirill Gerstein, piano
Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1
Andrés leads a guided tour of Bartók’s masterful Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. Famously featured in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, this innovative work combines modern sophistication with the visceral excitement of Hungarian folk music. Houston favorite Kirill Gerstein returns for a performance of Brahms’ powerful Piano Concerto No. 1, a deeply personal work often praised as a veiled symphony for its ambition and scope. NOTE: Sunday subscribers attend Friday, January 12 performance.

NAT GEO 2 | January 23, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
BEAUTY AND THE BIZARRE
Anand Varma, photographer
When Anand Varma takes a photograph of a parasitic wasp consuming a caterpillar from the inside, he doesn’t want to you to be disgusted. He wants you to be astonished. After all, he’s devoted years of his life to perfecting his techniques to create dramatic, bizarre—and beautiful—images of the miniature world around us. In these truly unique images, he reveals the secret life cycle of the honeybee, captures the lightning-fast behaviors of hummingbirds and offers a rare glimpse at our world’s small wonders.

CLASSICAL 9 | January 25, 27 (8 p.m.) January 28, 2018 5 (2:30 p.m.)
MOZART & TCHAIKOVSKY
Omer Meir Wellber, conductor
Simone Lamsma, violin
Mozart: Overture and Ballet Music from Idomeneo
Britten: Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4
Israeli conductor Omer Meir Wellber makes his Houston Symphony debut with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, a compelling musical drama the composer regarded as his “best symphonic work.” Dutch violinist Simone Lamsma has received ecstatic praise for her interpretation of Britten’s gorgeous Violin Concerto, which treats listeners to “high-running emotions” and “spectral, blazing sound” (Cleveland.com).

CLASSICAL 10|February 2, 3 (8 p.m.) February 4, 2018 (2:30 p.m.)
RAVEL’S DAPHNIS AND CHLOE
Fabien Gabel, conductor
Colin Currie, percussion
Bernstein: Overture to Candide
J. Corigliano: Conjurer for Percussionist, Strings and Brass
Ibert: Ports of Call
Aubert: Habanera
Ravel: Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloé
Acclaimed conductor Fabien Gabel returns with a program of French and American classics, including the breathtaking musical sunrise from Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloé. A rock star of the percussion world, Colin Currie performs John Corigliano’s Conjurer for Percussionist, Strings and Brass. In the words of the composer, this percussion concerto turns the soloist into “a kind of sorcerer.”

CLASSICAL 11|February 15, 17 (8 p.m.) February 18, 2018 (2:30 p.m.)
RACHMANINOFF’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Denis Kozhukhin, piano
Dvo?ák: The Noon Witch
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2
Dvo?ák: Symphony No. 7
Continuing their exciting recording project of Rachmaninoff’s works for piano and orchestra, Andrés and Denis Kozhukhin present Rachmaninoff’s ultra-romantic Piano Concerto No. 2. The program concludes with Andrés and the orchestra’s gripping account of Dvo?ák’s Symphony No. 7. Our recent recording of this work has received widespread acclaim: “Big-boned and big-hearted...this Texan ensemble doesn’t hold back” (Gramophone).

CLASSICAL 12 | February 23, 24 (8 p.m.) February 25, 2018 (2:30 p.m.)
HILARY HAHN CELEBRATES BERNSTEIN
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Hilary Hahn, violin
Shostakovich: Festive Overture
Bernstein: Serenade for Violin and Orchestra
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11, The Year 1905
The Houston Symphony celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with one of the world’s greatest violinists, Hilary Hahn. Bernstein’s Serenade follows the musings of Plato’s Symposium, a colorful dialogue about the nature of love and “beauty absolute...and everlasting.” Andrés leads the orchestra in Shostakovich’s riveting Symphony No. 11, which was first performed in America by Leopold Stokowski and the Houston Symphony.

FAMILY 3 | March 3, 2018 (10 & 11:30 a.m.)
BE OUR GUEST
Robert Franz, conductor
Enter a land of enchantment with horses, castles and the unforgettable music from Beauty and the Beast as the Houston Symphony performs along with a local high school chorus. In our fairytale fantasy, we discover that things are not always as they seem, as in the adventure of Tubby the Tuba. Meet Tubby and his orchestra friends, including Peepo the Piccolo, as we learn what it’s like to find your own song.

POPS 6 | March 1, 2, 3, 2018 (8 p.m.)
THE OSCARS: BEST ORIGINAL SONGS
Steven Reineke, conductor
Ashley Brown, vocalist
Ryan Silverman, vocalist
The 90th Annual Academy Awards® is March 4, and to celebrate, Steven has assembled some of the Oscars’® best original songs for a stunning, star-studded evening. Our program includes over 80 years of cinematic sounds, including “Over the Rainbow” (1939); “Moon River” (1962); “The Way We Were” (1973); “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” (1987); “Beauty and the Beast” (1991); “My Heart Will Go On,” (1997); “Skyfall” (2012)” and “Let it Go” (2013). We’re also featuring award-winning film scores from composers John Williams, Erich Korngold and Ennio Morricone. NOTE: Sunday subscribers attend Thursday, March 1 performance

FAMILY 4 | March 3, 2018 (10 & 11:30 a.m.)
¡FIESTA!
Robert Franz, conductor
You’re invited to our Symphony fiesta! Bring your passport as we head south of the border for a colorful, cultural celebration. We’re highlighting the vibrant sounds of the Americas, including Brazil (Tico Tico) and Mexico (Conga del Fuego Nuevo). The party continues with a mariachi band as well as the Flamenco-inspired dance hit, “Macarena”!
POPS 7 | March 24, 25, 2018 (8 p.m.)

POPS 7 | March 24 (8 p.m.) March 25, 2018 (2:30 & 7:30 p.m.)
CHRIS BOTTI RETURNS
Steven Reineke, conductor
Chris Botti, trumpet
Grammy Award®-winning Chris Botti, who “has a trumpet sound that suggests the softer side of luminosity” (The New York Times), returns to the Houston Symphony to share the stage with his electrifying band members, the orchestra and one of his favorite conductors, our very own Steven Reineke. Botti, who is one of the most celebrated contemporary musicians today, delivers a night of exquisite music. NOTE: Friday subscribers attend Sunday, March 25 2:30 pm matinee performance

CLASSICAL 13 |March 29, 30 (8 p.m.) March 31, 2018 (2:30 p.m.)
BERNSTEIN & STRAVINSKY
Bramwell Tovey, conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Houston Symphony Chorus
Betsy Cook Weber, director
Bernstein: Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety
Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms
For Easter and Passover weekend, the Houston Symphony offers a musical meditation on faith in the modern world. Continuing our celebration of Bernstein’s centennial, his Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety, follows four young people as they grapple with a war-torn world. Featuring world-renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in a virtuoso solo part, the work ends by discovering “a core of faith.” The program concludes with choral settings of psalms by Stravinsky. NOTE: Sunday subscribers attend Friday, March 30 performance

NAT GEO 3 | April 3, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
SPINOSAURUS: LOST GIANT OF THE CRETACEOUS
Meet Spinosaurus, the largest predatory dinosaur yet discovered—larger than T. rex—and hear the incredible story of how this prehistoric giant was almost lost to science, before being brought back to light with the help of a remarkable young paleontologist. With amazing video, Ibrahim tells the story of Spinosaurus’ discovery, loss and rediscovery, and explain what—other than its size—makes this ancient monster unique.

CLASSICAL 14 |April 6, 7 (8 p.m.) April 8, 2018 (2:30 p.m.)
TCHAIKOVSKY’S SLEEPING BEAUTY
Andrey Boreyko, conductor
Benjamin Beilman, violin
Schreker: Nocturne from The Distant Sound
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky: Selections from The Sleeping Beauty
“A prodigious artist” (Le Monde), Benjamin Beilman performs Mendelssohn’s sparkling Violin Concerto. Conductor Andrey Boreyko leads the orchestra in selections from one of Tchaikovsky’s treasured ballet scores and a luminous, romantic excerpt from Franz Schreker’s opera, The Distant Sound.

POPS 8 | April 20, 21 (8 p.m.) April 22, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
THE ELVIS PRESLEY SONGBOOK
Michael Krajewski, conductor
Dave Bennett, clarinet, vocalist
Allison Blackwell, vocalist
Michael Krajewski steps back onto the podium to help us honor the King of Rock & Roll, along with returning clarinetist-guitarist-pianist Dave Bennett (last seen in A Tribute to Benny Goodman) and Allison Blackwell (Disney’s The Lion King). Elvis’ music is undoubtedly timeless, and this program reflects not only his enormous popularity, but his incredible artistry and musicianship. Enjoy fully orchestrated arrangements of songs such as “Burning Love,” “Always on My Mind,” “Love Me Tender,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and many more Elvis hits.

CLASSICAL 15| April 26, 28 (8 p.m.) April 29, 2018 (2:30 p.m.)
ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA
Juraj Val?uha, conductor
Evgeni Bozhanov, piano
Nicolai: Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2
R. Srauss: Also sprach Zarathustra
Praised for his passion and musical intelligence, conductor Juraj Val uha returns to Jones Hall with Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra. Featured in Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, this tone poem is famous for its unforgettable opening sunrise. Acclaimed Chopin interpreter Evgeni Bozhanov performs Chopin’s poetic Piano Concerto No. 2, which features some of the composer’s most tender melodies.

CLASSICAL 16 | May 4, 5 (8 p.m.) May 6, 2018 (2:30 p.m.)
A GERMAN REQUIEM
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Mark Nuccio, clarinet
Nicole Heaston, soprano
Russell Braun, baritone
Houston Symphony Chorus
Betsy Cook Weber, director
Mozart: Clarinet Concerto
Brahms: A German Requiem
Houston Symphony Principal Clarinet Mark Nuccio takes center stage with the beautiful melodies and virtuoso passagework of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. The Houston Symphony Chorus then joins the orchestra for Brahms’ A German Requiem, a sublime work. Its moving solos feature Nicole Heaston’s breathtaking soprano and Canadian Russell Braun’s elegant, burnished baritone.

CLASSICAL 17 | May 10, 11, (8 p.m.) May 13, 2018 (2:30 p.m.)
BRAHMS & SIBELIUS
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin
Sibelius: Violin Concerto
Brahms: Symphony No. 3
Hear Sibelius’ passionate Violin Concerto when the brilliant young violinist Augustin Hadelich returns to Jones Hall. From its snowy opening to its final “polonaise for polar bears,” this masterpiece is a true tour-de-force of violin playing. Andrés leads an exciting performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 3. A showcase for the orchestra, this epic score features a hauntingly beautiful horn solo and ends with a twist. NOTE: Saturday subscribers attend Friday, May 11 performance.

CLASSICAL 18| May 18, 19 (8 p.m.) May 20, 2018 (2:30 p.m.)
EMANUEL AX PLUS THE RITE OF SPRING
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
Klaus Obermaier, conception, artistic direction, choreography
Ars Electronica Futurelab, interactive design
and technical development
Yuka Oishi, dancer
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
Experience Stravinsky’s revolutionary Rite like never before when Andrés teams up with Klaus Obermaier and Ars Electronica Futurelab for a performance featuring innovative dancing and 3-D visual effects. World-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax offers the perfect contrast to Stravinsky’s wild score with Mozart’s refined Piano Concerto No. 27, his final work in the genre. To open the concert, Ax joins Houston Symphony musicians for some lively chamber music.

POPS 9 | May 25, 26 (8 p.m.) May 27, 2018 (7:30 p.m.)
ONE-HIT WONDERS
Steven Reineke, conductor
Storm Large, vocalist
You know them. You love them. But you have no idea who sang them. Our final program of the season showcases those familiar songs—“Come on Eileen,” “Forever Young,” “She’s So High,” “Walking in Memphis, “Take on Me,” “Closing Time”—from artists of the past century who disappeared, but nonetheless left a mark on radio air play and in our hearts. The show-stopping Storm Large from U.K. Rocks and Pink Martini helps us remember what made these hits so much fun

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