Classical Series



Experience the Masterworks

The Classical Series represents premier masterworks for our premier city. Take your
seat and be prepared for our exuberant Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada
to spark your musical curiosity.


Subscribers get the best seats at the best prices. Subscribe for as little as $18 per concert.

CURRENT SUBSCRIBERS
Welcome back to a season of extraordinary live orchestral music. Renew your subscription today by accessing your account. You can also call our Patron Services Center at (713) 224-7575, Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm.

 

NEW SUBSCRIBERS
We're excited to have you join us as a subscriber this season. Please take some time to learn about our many subscription package options. Please feel free to contact our Patron Services Center at (713) 224-7575, Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm.

1 | MAHLER & DVORÁK

SEPTEMBER 14, 16 & 17, 2017
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Mojca Erdmann, soprano
Nicholas Brownlee, baritone
Houston Symphony Chorus
   Betsy Cook Weber, director
DVORÁK  Te Deum
MAHLER  Symphony No. 4

Our Classical Series begins with two visions of “The Heavenly Life.” Imbued with the rhythms of Czech folk music, Dvorák’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). 

ANDRÉS CONDUCTS SCHUMANN

SEPTEMBER 22, 23 & 24, 2017
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.

The Cullen Foundation Maestro’s Fund, Grand Guarantor 

3 | RUSSIAN MASTERS

SEPTEMBER 28, 30 & OCTOBER 1, 2017
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).

4 | MOZART’S JUPITER SYMPHONY

OCTOBER 19*, 20, 21 & 22, 2017
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.

*Concert held at Sugar Land Baptist Church

5 | BEETHOVEN & PROKOFIEV

OCTOBER 26, 28 & 29, 2017
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. 

6 | RACHMANINOFF’S RHAPSODY

NOVEMBER 17, 18, 19, 2017
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.

7 | A SCHEHERAZADE THANKSGIVING

 

NOVEMBER 24, 25 & 26, 2017
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. 

8 | KIRILL GERSTEIN PLAYS BRAHMS

 

JANUARY 11, 12 & 13, 2018
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.

Rochelle and Max Levit, Grand Guarantor 

9 | MOZART & TCHAIKOVSKY

 

JANUARY 25, 27 & 28, 2018
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). 

10 | RAVEL’S DAPHNIS AND CHLOÉ

 

FEBRUARY 2, 3 & 4, 2018
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.”

Houston Symphony Endowment, Diamond Guarantor

11 | RACHMANINOFF’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2

 

FEBRUARY 15, 17 & 18, 2018
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Denis Kozhukhin, piano
DVORÁK The Noon Witch
RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2
DVORÁK 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 Dvorák’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).  

12 | HILARY HAHN CELEBRATES BERNSTEIN

 

FEBRUARY 23, 24 & 25, 2018
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.

Houston Symphony Endowment, Diamond Guarantor 

13 | BERNSTEIN & STRAVINSKY

 

MARCH 29, 30 & 31, 2018
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

14 | TCHAIKOVSKY’S SLEEPING BEAUTY

 

APRIL 6, 7 & 8, 2018
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.

15 | ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA

 

APRIL 26, 28 & 29, 2018
Juraj Valcuha, conductor
Evgeni Bozhanov, piano
NICOLAI  Overture to The Merry Wives of
   Windsor

CHOPIN  Piano Concerto No. 2
R. STRAUSS  Also sprach Zarathustra

Praised for his passion and musical intelligence, conductor Juraj Valcuha 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.

16 | A GERMAN REQUIEM

 

MAY 4, 5 & 6, 2018
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. 

17 | BRAHMS & SIBELIUS

 

MAY 10, 11 & 13, 2018
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin
Program to include:
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

18 | EMANUEL AX PLUS THE RITE OF SPRING

 

MAY 18, 19 & 20, 2018
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.

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