Press Room

Russian Pianist Kirill Gerstein Returns to Jones Hall to Perform Brahms’ Powerful Piano Concerto No. 1

HOUSTON (Dec. 13, 2017) – The Houston Symphony and Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada welcome back Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein to Jones Hall at 8 p.m. Jan.11-13 for Kirill Gerstein Plays Brahms.

Famously featured in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Orozco-Estrada will open the program with Bartók’s masterful piece Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, an innovative piece that combines modern sophistication with the visceral excitement of Hungarian folk music. The piece features unique instrumentation and an unusual set up that allows for musical ideas to zoom back and forth across the hall.

The program concludes with Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 featuring piano virtuoso Kirill Gerstein whose playing is distinguished by its clarity of expression and discerning intelligence. Considered the composer’s most personal and powerful work, Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 remains a cornerstone of the repertoire today. Its deeply personal work is often praised as a veiled symphony for its ambition and scope.

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.

KIRILL GERSTEIN PLAY BRAHMS
Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, at 8 p.m.
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Kirill Gerstein, piano
Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1

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. Andrés 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.

Born in Medellín, Colombia, Andrés began his musical studies on the violin and started conducting at age 15. At 19, he entered the 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. Andrés 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, Munich Philharmonic, and Leipzig Gewandhaus orchestras, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome and the Orchestre National de France.

His engagements for the 2016/17 season featured débuts with the San Francisco Symphony in April and the Berlin Philharmonic in May. Orozco-Estrada and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony gave a series of concerts as orchestra-in-residence in Vienna and Salzburg, in addition to undertaking tours to Budapest, Warsaw, Monte Carlo, the Dresden Music Festival and across Spain. He also accompanied Colombia’s outstanding youth orchestra, the Filarmónica Joven de Colombia, on their first European tour, conducting eight concerts in Berlin and Stuttgart, at the Rheingau Music Festival, at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival and at the styriarte in Graz. Andrés will lead the Houston Symphony on a four-country, eight-city European Tour in March 2018, taking the orchestra through some of Europe’s most prestigious concert halls and festivals. World-renowned violinist and three-time Grammy Award-winner Hilary Hahn will join Andrés and orchestra for all performances.

In addition to his post in Houston, Andrés is chief conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

About Kirill Gerstein
From Bach to Adès, Kirill Gerstein’s playing is distinguished by its clarity of expression, discerning intelligence and virtuosity. His energetic and imaginative musical personality has rapidly taken him to the top of his profession.

Highlights of his 2017-18 season in North America include debuts with the Pittsburgh and National symphonies and re-engagements with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Houston, Colorado and Oregon symphonies. Internationally, Kirill works with the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Bavarian Radio Orchestras; the BBC Proms in London; and the Czech, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Oslo Philharmonics.

Kirill Gerstein has performed with many of the world’s finest ensembles, including with the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Tonhalle and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestras, and the Berlin, New York, Los Angeles, Munich and London Philharmonics. As a recitalist, he has appeared in prestigious venues in Vienna, Paris, Prague, Hamburg, London, Budapest, New York, Chicago, Washington DC and other locales. He has also performed at the Salzburg, Verbier, Lucerne and Edinburgh Festivals, the Proms in London and the Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival.

New additions to his extensive discography include recordings of Scriabin’s Piano Concerto and Prometheus with the Oslo Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko (LAWO Classics) and Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and David Robertson (Myrios Classics).

Brought up in the former Soviet Union studying both classical and jazz piano, Gerstein moved to the US at 14, becoming the youngest student to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He studied classical piano with Solomon Mikowsky in New York, Dmitri Bashkirov in Madrid and Ferenc Rados in Budapest. Gerstein has won many prestigious accolades, including First Prize at the 10th Arthur Rubinstein Competition (2001) and a Gilmore Young Artist Award (2002). In 2010, funds from an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Gilmore Artist Award allowed him to commission new works from Timothy Andres, Chick Corea, Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen and Brad Mehldau. Gerstein taught at the Stuttgart Hochschule Musik from 2007-2017 and beginning in the fall of 2018 will teach at the Kronberg Academy’s newly announced Sir András Schiff Performance Program for Young Artists.

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.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Vanessa Astros: (713) 337-8560, vanessa.astros@houstonsymphony.org
Mireya Reyna: (713) 337-8557, mireya.reyna@houstonsymphony.org

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