HOUSTON (Nov. 2, 2017) – The Houston Symphony and Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada welcome back Russian pianist, Denis Kozhukhin, to the Jones Hall stage at 8 p.m. Nov. 17-18 and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 19 for Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody.
Known for his mesmerizing playing and maturity, Kozhukhin and Orozco-Estrada reunite for a program featuring three works inspired by the same haunting melody: the theme from Paganini’s demonically difficult Caprice No. 24 for Solo Violin. A symbol of virtuoso technique, this melody inspired both Rachmaninoff’s and Lutoslawski’s showpieces for piano and orchestra as well as Blacher’s purely orchestral fireworks. Orozco-Estrada continues his multi-season exploration of Ives’ quintessentially American music with his Symphony No. 3, The Camp Meeting.
The Russian pianist rose to fame after winning the first-place prize at the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Kozhukhin has performed with world-class orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony.
The concert will take place at Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana Street, in Houston’s Theater District. 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.
Due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey on Jones Hall, the Theater District Parking Garage is closed until further notice. For a list of nearby alternatives, visit https://www.houstonsymphony.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Directions-Parking/jones.
Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017 at 2:30 p.m
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Denis Kozhukhin, piano
Ives: Symphony No. 3, The Camp Meeting
Blacher: Orchestral Variations on a Theme of Niccolò Paganini
Lutoslawski: Paganini Variations for Solo Piano and Orchestra
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
About Andrés Orozco-Estrada
Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada began his tenure in the 2014–15 season. He immediately established a dynamic presence on the podium and a deep bond with the musicians of the orchestra. Orozco-Estrada carefully curates his programs to feature engaging combinations of classical masterworks paired with the music of today, significant artistic collaborations with composers and guest artists, and innovative use of multimedia and visual effects, all in order to make meaningful connections with the audience.
In the 2017–18 season, Andrés continues to engage with audiences both with casual commentary from the stage and discussions with guests in “Behind the Scenes with Andrés” videos. On the recording front, Andrés and the orchestra will soon release a Music of the Americas disc, featuring Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Revueltas’ Sensemayá, Piazzolla’s Tangazo and Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, recorded in early 2017. Additional projects with Pentatone include Haydn’s The Creation. In the 2016–17 season, Andrés and the Symphony released the third disc in their critically acclaimed series featuring Dvořák’s last four symphonies, his first commercial recording project with the orchestra.
Born in Medellín, Colombia, Orozco-Estrada began his musical studies on the violin and started conducting at age 15. At 19, he entered the renowned Vienna Music Academy, where he studied with Uroš Lajovic (pupil of the legendary Hans Swarowsky), and completed his degree with distinction conducting the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Musikverein. Orozco-Estrada burst on the international scene with two substitutions with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra: the first, his debut in 2010, standing in for Esa-Pekka Salonen, and then in 2012, substituting for Riccardo Muti at the Musikverein. Orozco-Estrada now regularly appears with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the Orchestre National de France, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
He recently debuted with the Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, San Francisco and Chicago Symphony as well as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Following a thrilling debut the previous year, summer 2016 marked his return to the Salzburg Festival with Nicolai’s opera Il Templario and – in place of Nikolaus Harnoncourt – Beethoven’s Ninth with the Concentus Musicus Wien.
In addition to his post in Houston, Orozco-Estrada is chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2016, Andrés and the Frankurt Symphony Radio released two recordings on Pentatone to great acclaim: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben.
First Prize winner of the 2010 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels at age 23, Denis Kozhukhin combines the brilliance and power of his playing with a masterful sense of form, maturity and sensitivity. Critics have praised his performances as “spellbinding,” “imperious” and “mesmerizing.”
Highlights of his 2016-17 season included engagements with the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim, the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Rattle, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Japp van Zweden, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Emmanuel Krivine, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Yuri Temirkanov, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Stéphane Denève, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Rafael Payare, and the San Francisco Symphony and Andrés Orozco-Estrada.
This season, Denis debuts with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Deutsche Oper Berlin Orchestra and Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. He returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Hamburg Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and others. Recitals include appearances at the Concertgebouw’s Master Pianists series, the Auditorium du Louvre, Wigmore Hall and Vienna’s Konzerthaus, among others.
An avid chamber musician, Denis has collaborated with Leonidas Kavakos, Michael Barenboim, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Janine Jansen, Vadim Repin, the Jerusalem Quartet, the Pavel Haas Quartet and Alisa Weilerstein.
His debut recording for Pentatone, featuring Grieg and Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vassily Sinaisky, was received with rave reviews, including Gramophone Editor’s Choice and Disc of the Month in Fono Forum and Stereophone. His second album, including solo works by Brahms, was released in January 2017.
Born into a family of musicians in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, in 1986, Denis Kozhukhin began his piano studies with his mother at age 5. As a boy, he studied under Natalia Fish at the Balakirev School of Music. From 2000 to 2007, he studied at the Reina Sofía School of Music in Madrid with Dimitri Bashkirov and Claudio Martínez Mehner. Denis completed his studies at the International Piano Academy Lake Como where he received advice from Fou Ts’ong, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Peter Frankl, Boris Berman, Charles Rosen and Andreas Staier, and with Kirill Gerstein in Stuttgart. In recent years, he has been mentored by Maestro Daniel Barenboim.
About the Houston Symphony
During the 2017-18 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fourth 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, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.