Newsroom

December 5, 2014



MEDIA CONTACTS:

Austin Dressman
PR Coordinator
(713) 337-8557
austin.dressman@houstonsymphony.org

Vanessa Astros
Senior Director, Communications

(713) 337-8560
vanessa.astros@houstonsymphony.org


THE HOUSTON SYMPHONY RECEIVES NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS GRANT

Grant to support the Houston Symphony’s innovative “Musically Speaking with Andrés” concert series, which combines commentary from the stage with a live musical performance in a more intimate venue

HOUSTON (December 5, 2014) – National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced this week that the Houston Symphony is one of 919 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The Houston Symphony is recommended for a $20,000 grant to support the organization’s “Musically Speaking with Andrés” series.

“Musically Speaking with Andrés” is a new and innovative concert format that focuses on single orchestral works paired with commentary and a post-concert question and answer session, all led by new Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada. The three performances benefiting from the NEA grant will take place on January 15, March 12 and May 7, 2015 at Stude Concert Hall, located on the campus of Rice University. This concert format, inspired by Andrés’ instinctive ability to connect with the audience, was designed in an effort to demystify the classical concert experience and make all concert-goers feel closer to the music. The NEA joins the Rand Group as a supporter of this new concert format for the Houston Symphony.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “I’m pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works including the award to the Houston Symphony. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”

“Our main goal is to provide an exceptional and inspiring orchestral concert experience that’s relevant and accessible to all,” said Mark C. Hanson, executive director/CEO, Houston Symphony. “The new format complements the live performance of our talented musicians by allowing us to provide insightful context to the music, which makes the listening experience even richer. It’s one of many ways we are innovating to make orchestral music more relevant to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. We’re grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for their generous support that will help us break down barriers and bring diverse audiences closer to orchestral music.”

Art Works grants support the creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,474 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 919 are recommended for grants for a total of $26.6 million.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at arts.gov. Follow the conversation about this and other NEA-funded projects on Twitter at #NEAFall2014.

About Houston Symphony

During the 2014-15 season, the Houston Symphony enters its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. This season also marks the inaugural year for new Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada. 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 $29 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians is the largest performing arts organization in Houston, presenting more than 286 performances for 300,000 people, including 82,000 children, annually. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call (713) 224-7575.

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