World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Houston Symphony Orchestra

Article Id: WHEBN0012766154
Reproduction Date:

Title: Houston Symphony Orchestra  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Horn (instrument), Houston, Texas, Aaron Copland, Leopold Stokowski, Carly Simon, Elaine Shaffer, La Cenerentola, Van Cliburn, Lucrezia Borgia (opera)
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Houston Symphony Orchestra


The Houston Symphony is an American orchestra based in Houston, Texas. Since 1966, it has performed at the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts in downtown Houston.

The first concert of what was to become the Houston Symphony took place on June 21, 1913, sponsored by the Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg. Initially, the orchestra was composed of only 35 part-time musicians. Despite its small stature and budget, the orchestra and its first conductor, Julien Paul Blitz, enjoyed a good response and continued to perform. Blitz conducted until 1916, then Paul Bergé, until the orchestra disbanded in 1918.

The orchestra reformed in 1930, still as a semi-professional orchestra, and gave its first full season of concerts the following year conducted by Uriel Nespoli. In the spring of 1936 the symphony society officially became the Houston Symphony Society. Ernst Hoffmann began his tenure that year with increased support from the Society and began hiring professional musicians. The orchestra continued to expand over the next several decades, and its first 52-week contract was signed in 1971.

When conductor Leopold Stokowski invited noted African-American opera singer Shirley Verrett to sing with the Houston Symphony in the early 1960s, he had to rescind his invitation when the orchestra board refused to accept a black soloist. Stokowski later made amends by giving her a prestigious date with the Philadelphia Orchestra.[1]

The orchestra performed in either the City Auditorium or the Music Hall until the construction in 1966 of the Jesse H. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts. In 2001, the orchestra lost millions of dollars worth of instruments, music, and archives when Tropical Storm Allison flooded the basement levels of Jones Hall. In 2003, the musicians went on strike for 24 days, and the settlement included a pay cut for the musicians and a reduction in the size of the orchestra.[2][3]

Hans Graf was the music director of the orchestra from 2001-2013, the longest tenure of any Houston Symphony music director. In September 2009, the orchestra announced the conclusion of his tenure as music director at the end of the 2012-2013 season, upon which Graf took the title of conductor laureate of the orchestra.[4]

In October 2012, Andrés Orozco-Estrada made his first guest-conducting appearance with the orchestra. This appearance led to a return engagement with the orchestra, for a private rehearsal. In January 2013, the orchestra announced the appointment of Orozco-Estrada as its next music director, as of the 2014-2015 season, with an initial contract of five years and twelve weeks of appearances per season. He holds the title of music director designate for the 2013-2014 season.[5]

Music Directors

Notable musicians, past and present

References

External links

  • Houston Symphony official website
  • Extensive history from The Handbook of Texas Online

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.