Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Texas Violinist returns to roots!

Great news for Houston!
The Houston Symphony released the long-awaited announcement of their new concertmaster in conjunction with the 2010-2011 season of concerts. Frank Huang, award-winning violinist originally from the Houston area, will join the orchestra in the new season. Huang leaves a prestigious post at the Eastman School of Music as an instructor as well as first violinist of the famed Ying Quartet to return to Houston. He grew up in Sugar Land and still has family throughout the city. He debuts with the Symphony on Opening Night Saturday, September 11, 2010, performing Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante with Wayne Brooks, principal violist.

“Growing up in Houston, I loved going to symphony performances, and I feel so honored to be able to come back now and actually be a part of them!” said Mr. Huang. “It is so exciting to return to my hometown, and I am really looking forward to getting to know all the wonderful musicians and staff at the symphony.”

“We are very glad to welcome Frank into our ensemble,” said Hans Graf, music director. “Frank is a very gifted musician and shows a natural talent for leadership. His impeccable technique and beauty of sound will be a joy for the orchestra and for our audiences.”

“This has been a long and focused search,” said Steve Brosvik, general manager. “Frank’s musicianship and leadership stood apart from the rest. We are very excited that he is ‘coming home’ to Houston.”

In addition to engaging a new concertmaster, the Symphony simultaneously announced its 2010-2011 season which features innovation through community partnerships, the Sound + Vision series which enhances the classical concert experience and a subscriber-friendly approach to Pops programming.

In November 2010, the Houston Symphony will perform Lawrence Siegel’s Kaddish “I Am Here” in partnership with Holocaust Museum Houston. The oratorio combines the orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists with lyrics derived from interviews with 15 Holocaust survivors – 4 of whom live in Houston. Originally composed for a chamber orchestra, Kaddish has been rescored by Siegel for full orchestra. The Houston Symphony gives the premiere of this version on November 23, 2010.

“The Kaddish project is an opportunity for the Houston Symphony to fulfill one of its major goals which is to collaborate with other organizations in the city. This partnership with Holocaust Museum Houston brings music to the stories of survivors. The project will help underscore the museum’s mission through a musical medium,” said David Rockoff, senior director of Development.

Classical programming will feature an innovative format for one of its concerts. Symphony No. 10, Gustav Mahler’s final symphony left unfinished at his death, was completed by British composer Deryck Cooke, and will be performed in May 2011. The evening concert will begin with a discussion, musical examples and images projected on screen and end 90 minutes later – sans intermission. Hans Graf will explore this work with special guest, Fred Child, host of American Public Media’s Performance Today.

Classical guest artists include returning friends of the Houston Symphony Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham and Yefim Bronfman, while debuting a new generation of musical talent in pianists Gabriela Montero and Markus Groh and conductors Juanjo Mena and Juraj ValĨuha.

About the Houston Symphony
The Houston Symphony has played a central role in Houston’s cultural and civic life since 1913. Each year, the Houston Symphony performs more than 170 concerts for approximately 350,000 people, featuring an innovative and broad spectrum of classical, popular, education and community-based symphonic programming. For tickets and more information regarding the 2009-10 season, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

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