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Houston Symphony's 2014-15 Season Features Debut of "Electric" Music Director, Andrés Orozco-Estrada

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Jan 14, 2014 03:08 PM EST | Louise Burton ( l.burton@classicalite.com)

Houston Symphony's 2014-15 Season Features the Debut of "Electric" Music Director, Andrés Orozco-Estrada

The Houston Symphony will welcome its new music director, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, with a week of festivities and special concerts in September, 2014. (Photo : Werner Kmetitsch)

The Houston Symphony announced its 101st season, dominated by the news of incoming music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, with a live television broadcast and streaming webcast on January 10.

Orozco-Estrada, 36, was born in Colombia and studied conducting in Vienna. During his numerous guest conducting appearances with the Houston Symphony, he became renowned for his infectious warmth, love of people and electricity on the podium.

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The Houston Symphony will open its 2014-15 season with a weekend-long celebration to welcome Orozco-Estrada as music director. Festivities begin on September 12 with "¡Bienvenido, Andrés!"--a free performance at Miller Outdoor Theatre. All are invited to this evening of music from Mexico, France and Colombia, complete with folk dancers and other festive elements.

Then, on September 13, an "Opening Night with Andrés" concert at Jones Hall features highly acclaimed British trumpeter Alison Balsom, named "Artist of the Year" at the 2013 Gramophone Awards.

The "Bienvenido" weekend culminates on September 14 with another free concert at Jones Hall, "Fiesta Sinfonica Con Andrés," commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month. Gabriela Montero, superstar Venezuelan pianist, also joins the weekend line-up.

"I am so proud to become part of this wonderful city and the 100-year tradition at the Houston Symphony," said Orozco-Estrada. "Every time I walk onto the Jones Hall stage to rehearse and perform with these musicians, I feel something extraordinary, and I look forward to sharing this excitement, connecting more closely to the music, with all of our patrons."

The season will certainly offer many opportunities for Orozco-Estrada to connect with patrons. Houston will present the series "Musically Speaking with Andrés," an intimate concert experience focused on single works with commentary from Orozco-Estrada. This year's series includes the composers Shostakovich, Dvořák and Bartók on January 15, March 12 and May 7, 2015.

As the Symphony's first Hispanic music director, Orozco-Estrada is exploring numerous opportunities for Spanish-speaking patrons to connect with the Houston Symphony in their native language.

At an additional "Musically Speaking" performance, Orozco-Estrada will offer Spanish-language commentary together with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony on November 16 at Rice University's Stude Concert Hall.

Online discussions are also encouraged. The Symphony has created the hashtag #1415AndresHS for Twitter users to reference throughout the season as a means of sharing questions and comments with Orozco-Estrada. The Houston Symphony's official Twitter handle is @HouSymphony.

Orozco-Estrada is also beginning multi-year cycles focused on notable composers. In November 2014, the Symphony presents part one of their Beethoven cycle, featuring symphonies No. 1, 4 and 5. The orchestra and Orozco-Estrada will perform all nine Beethoven symphonies over the next 3 seasons.

Houston will also welcome important guest artists, including violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman, who returns to Jones Hall on February 12, 14 and 15. Perlman will play violin and conduct the orchestra in a program of Bach's Violin Concerto and Schubert's Symphony No. 9, "The Great."

Violinist Sarah Chang joins the orchestra on October 2, 4 and 5 for a performance of Pennsylvania-born Samuel Barber's Violin Concerto. And pianist Lang Lang will return to the Jones Hall stage in a one-night-only concert led by Orozco-Estrada on May 12, 2015.

For more information about the Houston Symphony's 2014-15 season, visit houstonsymphony.org.

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