Press Room

Houston Symphony Celebrates the Pearl Anniversary of “The Little Mermaid” with Live Orchestra Performance

HOUSTON (Aug. 21, 2019) – The Houston Symphony closes out its 2019–2020 Bank of America Summer Sounds Series by celebrating the pearl (30 year) anniversary of The Little Mermaid, the animated masterpiece that launched the Disney Renaissance in 1989. The film comes to life on the big screen at Jones Hall this Labor Day weekend at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 31 and 2:30 p.m. Sept. 1.

This was the Disney Renaissance, a highpoint in Disney films that spanned a decade (1989–1999) and brought a Broadway style to classic fairy tales. The Little Mermaid, which premiered 30 years ago marking its pearl anniversary, features a score of much-loved songs, including “Kiss the Girl,” “Part of Your World,” and the Academy Award-winning “Under the Sea.”

Guest conductor Jason Seber leads the Houston Symphony in a live performance of Alan Menken’s Oscar and Grammy-winning score synchronized to the film as it plays on the big screen suspended above the orchestra. One of cinema’s most beloved films and soundtracks with songs by Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman, The Little Mermaid is renowned as the first in a string of animated Disney masterpieces scored by Alan Menken that continued with Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules.

The Little Mermaid—Film with Live Orchestra takes 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 houstonsymphony.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the Houston Symphony Patron Services Center in Jones Hall (Monday–Saturday, 12–6 p.m.). All programs and artists are subject to change.

THE LITTLE MERMAID—FILM WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA
Saturday, Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 1, 2:30 p.m.
Jason Seber, conductor

About Jason Seber
In the 2019–20 season, Jason Seber begins his fourth year with the, where he has served as Assistant Conductor (2016–17) and Associate Conductor (2017 to present). In this position he has built a strong rapport with the Kansas City community, leading the Symphony in over 70 concerts each season on the Classics Uncorked, Pops, Family, Film + Live Orchestra, Young People’s Concerts, KinderKonzerts, and Link Up series, as well as Christmas Festival, Symphony in the Flint Hills, and a multitude of other programs. In October 2019, he makes his Kansas City Symphony Classical Series debut.

Prior to his appointment with the Kansas City Symphony, Seber served as Education and Outreach Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra from 2013 to 2016, creating and leading many programs on the education, family, holiday, pops, and Music Without Borders series. He was also Music Director of the Louisville Youth Orchestra (LYO) from 2005 to 2016. Under his baton, the LYO Symphony Orchestra performed on National Public Radio’s “From the Top” and gave regional premieres of works by Joan Tower, Joseph Schwantner, and Christopher Theofanidis.

Previously, Seber served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and the National Repertory Orchestra. He has guest conducted the Charleston, Colorado, Houston, Indianapolis, National, St. Louis, and Windsor Symphonies, as well as the Cleveland Pops and Denver Young Artists Orchestra. In the summer of 2019, he will lead performances with the National Repertory Orchestra, Cleveland Pops, Houston Symphony, and the Honors Performance Series Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall in London. A passionate advocate of music education, Seber conducted the Honors Performance Series Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House (2017) and Carnegie Hall (2018). In 2020, he conducts the Missouri All-State Orchestra.

Seber has performed with a diverse range of artists including Patti Austin, Andrew Bird, Boyz II Men, Jinjoo Cho, Melissa Etheridge, Ben Folds, Lyle Lovett, Brian Stokes Mitchell, My Morning Jacket, Leslie Odom, Jr., Aoife O’Donovan, Pink Martini, Doc Severinsen, Conrad Tao, Bobby Watson, Wynonna, and Joyce Yang. He earned his master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music and his bachelor’s degrees in violin performance and music education from Baldwin Wallace University.

About the Houston Symphony
During the 2019–20 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its sixth 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 $35.2 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 1,000 community-based performances each year at various schools, community centers, hospitals, and churches reaching nearly 200,000 people in Greater Houston annually.

The Grammy Award-winning Houston Symphony has recorded under various prestigious labels, including Naxos, Koch International Classics, Telarc, RCA Red Seal, Virgin Classics and, most recently, Dutch recording label Pentatone. In 2017, the Houston Symphony was awarded an ECHO Klassik award for the live recording of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck under the direction of former Music Director Hans Graf. The orchestra earned its first Grammy nomination and Grammy Award at the 60th annual ceremony for the same recording in the Best Opera Recording category.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Eric Skelly: 713.337.8560, eric.skelly@houstonsymphony.org
Mireya Reyna: 713.337.8557, mireya.reyna@houstonsymphony.org

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