60 Years Ago: The Beginning of Beatlemania in America
Houston Symphony
by Olivia Cantrell
2w ago
“Ladies and gentlemen, here are four of the nicest young kids we’ve ever had on our stage. The Beatles!”—Ed Sullivan, February 1964 The Fab Four from Liverpool then step into a frame on one of the biggest stages in 1964. Playfully strumming to the tune of “She Loves You,” audiences everywhere tune into see the Liverpool natives create Beatlemania in America. With a whopping 73 million viewers and an in-studio audience of 700, The Beatles would become pioneers of the musical movement called The British Invasion. As the clock struck 8 p.m., families from around the country tuned into CBS ju ..read more
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Opprobrium and Patronage: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5
Houston Symphony
by Olivia Cantrell
1M ago
Join the Houston Symphony and Artistic Partner Itzhak Perlman on February 8, 10 & 11 to experience the majestic triumph of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. In May of 1888, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote to his friend and patron, Nadezhda von Meck, “I must work harder in the future; I want so much to show not only to others, but to myself, that I still haven’t expired… I don’t know whether I wrote to you that I had decided to write a symphony. At first, it was fairly difficult; now inspiration seems to have deserted me completely.” At the time of his letter, it had been 10 years since T ..read more
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Struggle and Transcendence: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica
Houston Symphony
by Olivia Cantrell
1M ago
Join the Houston Symphony and Music Director Juraj Valčuha for the conclusion of the Tragedy and Triumph Festival on March 22, 23 & 24, and experience the power of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica. Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony has captivated and astounded audiences since its premiere over two centuries ago. For possibly the first time, a composer used a symphony not as a purely abstract musical work, but a vehicle to convey ideas and beliefs, all while constructing an overarching narrative design. This deepening of musical language played a profound role in pushing the genre forward ..read more
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Tōru Takemitsu: Concert Hall and Cinema
Houston Symphony
by Olivia Cantrell
2M ago
Tōru Takemitsu, a self-taught composer, stands as a remarkable figure in the musical landscape, seamlessly weaving together diverse influences to create a sound uniquely his own. While his early lessons with Japanese composer Yasuji Kiyose focused more on art and aesthetics than composition, Takemitsu’s post-World War II exploration of Japanese music and involvement in the “New Composition Group” marked the beginning of a journey that would see him leave an enduring legacy in the concert halls and silver screen. Takemitsu’s impact on film music is particularly noteworthy, boasting a ..read more
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30 Years of Frights and Fun: The Story of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
Houston Symphony
by Olivia Cantrell
2M ago
In the holiday realm filled with wonder and excitement, one film brings audiences of all ages through the doors of Halloween Town and Christmas Town. Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), directed by Henry Selick and produced by Tim Burton, is an American stop-motion film that blends two holidays into an adventure of a lifetime filled with memorable songs and kooky characters. Like the movie, the visual component of TNBC cannot exist without the insatiable score composed by American film composer Danny Elfman. As the Symphony prepares to launch into Christma ..read more
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Behind the Scenes with Stefan Stout
Houston Symphony
by Olivia Cantrell
2M ago
Tell us a little about yourself: Growing up in a house filled with art, music, and wonderful people really set me up for a career in the arts. I hold a BFA in Arts Management from Emerson College and have worked as a lighting specialist for most of my career, but I have a very wide skillset that has served me well. I’m always learning. I love to cook and garden, and I enjoy spending time on the coast with my family. How long have you been with the Houston Symphony? March 2024 will mark my 5th year as Stage Manager, but I’ve been taking calls with the Symphony as a stagehand since 2005 ..read more
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Musical Echoes of Revolution: Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11, The Year 1905
Houston Symphony
by Olivia Cantrell
3M ago
Music is one of the most transcendent art forms that can take us back in time and evoke emotions we have never experienced. The fusion of music and history has unraveled mysteries worth exploring. The story behind Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 11, The Year 1905, is a fascinating example of how music can reflect a society's mood, struggles, and hope.   A Symphony Born from History Dmitri Shostakovich, one of the 20th century's most influential composers, crafted Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op. 103, also known as The Year 1905. This symphony serves as a profound refl ..read more
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A Twist on Tradition: Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Gets a Makeover
Houston Symphony
by Olivia Cantrell
3M ago
We all know Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker– it's as much a part of the holidays as hot cocoa and snow (well, maybe not in Texas). But what happens when this classical piece gets a jazzy makeover? Enter Duke Ellington and his unique take on the beloved ballet. In 1960, Ellington and his collaborator Billy Strayhorn reimagined the familiar ballet with a distinct swing style. While still following the general structure of Tchaikovsky's work, Ellington and Strayhorn infused the music with improvisation, syncopation, and the lively sounds of the big band era. From Imperial Russia to t ..read more
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Education and Community Engagement 2022–23 Rewind
Houston Symphony
by Olivia Cantrell
3M ago
You may know the Houston Symphony for its remarkable performances in Jones Hall, but the Symphony is also committed to enriching lives through music beyond the confines of a performance hall. The Houston Symphony’s Education and Community Engagement initiatives are designed to reach the diverse communities of Houston through a robust array of programs. Last season, we served nearly 125,000 people across Greater Houston through bedside performances in area hospitals, free and low-cost community concerts, school visits, and more—all led by our talented orchestra musicians and our dedicated Com ..read more
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Meet the Musician: Joan DerHovsepian
Houston Symphony
by Olivia Cantrell
3M ago
Welcome to "Meet the Musician," a behind-the-scenes blog series getting to know the Houston Symphony's exceptional musicians. In this series, we take you up close and personal with the artists who sit on stage at Jones Hall every weekend. Read on to learn more about the inspirations, challenges, and musical passions that drive these remarkable artists. And, of course, you'll learn some fun facts along the way! Dive in and help us celebrate the diverse stories and experiences that make each musician an integral part of our symphonic family. Name: Joan DerHovsepian Position: Principal ..read more
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