Newsroom

April 13, 2017



HOUSTON SYMPHONY CELEBRATES 55 YEARS OF JAMES BOND FILMS WITH PROGRAM OF FRANCHISE’S MOST ICONIC SONGS 

April 27-30, 2017  

HOUSTON (April 13, 2017) – In celebration of the film franchise that has spanned more than half a century, the Houston Symphony will present the best of James Bond music with Bond & Beyond at 8 p.m. April 28-29 and 7:30 p.m. April 30 at Jones Hall.

In his second-to-last concert as Principal POPS Conductor, Michael Krajewski will lead the orchestra and Tony Award-winning vocalist Debbie Gravitte in familiar song favorites from the successful films, including Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, Diamonds are Forever, Casino Royale and Skyfall. The program was originally conceived by Krajewski and has been performed with orchestras all over the country.

The Bond film franchise centers on the fictional spy character created in 1953 by novelist Ian Fleming. He is a British secret agent, also known by the codename 007, and has been portrayed by six actors in 24 films. This year marks significant anniversaries of five of those films: You Only Live Twice (50 years), The Spy Who Loved Me (40 years), The Living Daylights (30 years), and Tomorrow Never Dies (20 years).

The concert will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. An additional performance will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 27 at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. For tickets and information, please call (713) 224-7575 or visit www.houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.

BOND & BEYOND
Friday, March 28, 2017, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 29, 2017, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 30, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.
Michael Krajewski, conductor
Debbie Gravitte, vocalist
Tickets from $38

About Michael Krajewski
Known for his entertaining programs and clever humor, Michael Krajewski is a much sought after conductor of symphonic pops. In addition to his role as Principal Pops Conductor of the Houston Symphony, he is music director of The Philly Pops and principal pops conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Jacksonville Symphony.
            As a guest conductor, Michael has performed with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; the Boston and Cincinnati Pops; the San Francisco, Seattle and St. Louis Symphonies; the Baltimore, Detroit, Indianapolis, Dallas, Pittsburgh and National Symphony Orchestras and numerous other orchestras across the nation. In Canada, he has led Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra; the Toronto, Edmonton and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras; Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Other international appearances include Dublin and Belfast with the Ulster Orchestra and performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Spain’s Bilbao Symphony Orchestra.
            Michael is the conductor of the video Silver Screen Serenade with violinist Jenny Oaks Baker that aired worldwide on BYU Broadcasting. He has led the Houston Symphony on two holiday albums: Glad Tidings and Christmas Festival. In 2016, he's conducting his original Carole King Songbook across North America featuring Broadway's Liz Callaway, Allison Blackwell and Bryce Ryness. Michael’s other collaborative programs have included flutist James Galway, mezzo Marilyn Horne, pianist Alicia de Larrocha, guitarist Angel Romero and pop artists Jason Alexander, Roberta Flack, Judy Collins, Art Garfunkel, Wynonna Judd, Kenny Loggins, Ben Folds, Doc Severinsen, Patti Austin, Sandi Patty, Ann Hampton Callaway, Chicago, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Chieftains, Pink Martini, Rockapella, Cirque de la Symphonie, Classical Mystery Tour, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and The Midtown Men.
            With degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Michael furthered his training at the Pierre Monteux Domaine School for Conductors. He was a Dorati Fellowship Conductor with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and later served as that orchestra’s assistant conductor. He was resident conductor of the Florida Orchestra and, for 11 years, served as music director of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. Michael lives in Orlando, Florida, with his wife, Darcy. When not conducting, he enjoys travel, photography and solving crossword puzzles.

About Debbie Gravitte
One of Broadway's biggest personalities, Debbie Gravittehas found herself in demand from the Broadway Stage to the concert stage and beyond. She won the prestigious Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, along with a Drama Desk Award Nomination and New York Showstopper Award. After making her Broadway debut in the original cast of They’re Playing Our Song, she went on to appear in: Perfectly Frank (Drama Desk Nomination), Blues In The Night, Ain’t Broadway Grand, Zorba, Chicago, and Les Miserables. Debbie has appeared in the Encore’s series productions ofThe Boys From Syracuse, Tenderloin, and Carnival at New York’s City Center.            Debbie has performed her nightclub act worldwide, from New York’s Rainbow andStars, 54 Below, to London’s Pizza on the Park, and back home again to Atlantic City, whereshe’s had the honor of performing with Jay Leno, Harry Anderson, and the legendary GeorgeBurns. A favorite with Symphony audiences, she has sung with over 100 Orchestras around theworld. She has toured with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, appeared with Lang Lang and the Chinese Philharmonic in Beijing, along with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, National Symphony (with Marvin Hamlisch), The New York Pops with the legendary Skitch Henderson, Atlanta Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Utah Symphony and Opera, St.Louis Symphony, Houston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, and San Diego Symphony. Overseas, Debbie has sung with the London, Aalborg, and Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, Stockholm Philharmonic, the Gotesborg and Jerusalem Symphonies, Munich Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestra Massimo del Palermo, and Symphonica of Brazil.
          On television, Debbie co-starred on the CBS series Trial and Error, was seen on NBC’S Pursuit of Happiness, and has starred in several specials for PBS, including Live from the Kennedy Center, The Boston Pops Celebrate Bernstein, Podgers and Hart for Great Performnaces, and Ira Gershwin’s 100th Birthday Celebration.
            Debbie has 3 solo CD’s to her credit: Defying Gravity, The MGM Album, and Part of Your World: The Music of Alan Menken. Her other recordings include: Calamity Jane, Unsung Sondheim, Lucky Stiff, Miss Spectacular, Louisiana Purchase, A Broadway Christmas as well as Mack and Mabel in Concert: live from the Drury Lane Theatre, among others. She is currently working on her latest project: Big Band Broadway.
          Debbie has sung with the New York City Ballet in Peter Martin’s Thou Swell at LincolnCenter, appeared with Bette Midler in the Universal Feature, Isn’t She Great?, and can be heard as one of the voices in Disney’s The Little Mermain. Debbie is the proud mother of three beautiful children. For more info, please visit www.debbiegravitte.com or www.debbietunes.com.

ABOUT THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY
During the 2016-17 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its third season with Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, and continues its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony is one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas whose inaugural performance was held at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston on June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians and 4 community-embedded musicians is the largest performing arts organization in Houston, presenting more than 300 performances for 400,000 people, including 97,000 children, annually. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

MEDIA CONTACTS:           

Vanessa Astros: (713) 337-8560,
vanessa.astros@houstonsymphony.org

Lorena Cozzari: (713) 337-8548,
lorena.cozzari@houstonsymphony.org          

Kristen Bennett: (713) 337-8557,
kristen.bennett@houstonsymphony.org

 

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