Houston Symphony Holidays opens with Andrés Orozco-Estrada leading the Nutcracker

Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts the entire orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Favorite Nutcracker Highlights to kick off the Houston Symphony Holiday 2021 concerts (December 3-5, 2021) followed by the return of two traditions from symphonic holidays: Handel’s Messiah (December 10, 2021) 12, 2021) and Very Merry POPS (December 18-19, 2021).

POPS favorite Pink Martini is back by popular demand to start the new year of the Symphony (January 7-9, 2022). All performances are held at Jones Hall, decorated for the season with all manner of Christmas decorations, including a Christmas tree, and featuring holiday-themed libations to warm the spirits.

Invoking the entire Houston Symphony Orchestra to bring Tchaikovsky’s magnificent music to life, Andrés Orozco-Estrada transforms his talents as an internationally renowned performer on the score of the iconic ballet The Nutcracker, from December 3 to 5. “The Snowflake Waltz”, “The Plum Fairy Dance” and “The Flower Waltz” are just a few of the highlights of this concert program, which also includes Samuel’s unique and romantic violin. Barber concerto featuring violinist Gil Shaham and 19th century Italian double bass virtuoso Giovanni Bootsini’s Gran concertante duo for violin, double bass and orchestra, again with Shaham alongside Houston Symphony Principal Bass Robin Kesselman. The December 4th performance is also available via livestream.

On December 4 at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., Andrés Orozco-Estrada is conducting the first concert of the 2021-22 season of the PNC family series, Plaisirs musicaux de Casse-Noisette─for children! featuring some of the most beloved melodies from Tchaikovsky’s iconic score, with a live narrator to tell the fantastic story for young audiences. The 11:30 am performance is also available via livestream. Both performances also include an appearance of Santa Claus and a letterbox for letters to Santa Claus in Jones Hall. To get everyone in the holiday spirit, kids are encouraged to come dressed like their favorite holiday character. All spectators sit down for the Nutcracker─musical treats for kids! is socially distanced, with mandatory masks for anyone aged 4 and over.

One of the world’s greatest conductors of the Baroque repertoire, Bernard Labadie, returns to the Jones Hall stage to preside over the return of a Holiday classic from the Symphony: full performances of Handel’s inspiring oratorio Messiah , from December 10 to 12. Highlights include the beloved arias “Ev’ry Valley”, “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion”, “The Trumpet Shall Sound”, and of course, famous choirs including “Hallelujah”. Alongside Labadie and the orchestra are the soloists Magali Simard-Galdès, soprano; Lawrence Zazzo, countertenor; Andrew Haji, tenor; and Daniel Okulitch, baritone-bass, as well as the highly anticipated return of the Houston Symphony Chorus. The December 11 performance is also available live.

The Choir returns to the stage the following weekend as the Symphony Orchestra once again welcomes former POPS Principal Conductor Michael Krajewski to Jones Hall. Krajewski is leading the beloved Very Merry POPS family tradition on December 18-19 as part of the Bank of America POPS series. Returning singer Rodney Ingram also joins the Houston Symphony in this gig, along with soprano boy Peter Theurer in his Houston Symphony debut, featuring beloved holiday tunes like “Deck the Halls”, “White Christmas”, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman “,” The Christmas Song “,” O Holy Night “and many more. The evening performance of December 18 is also available live.

Pink Martini, the internationally acclaimed “little orchestra” that blurs the lines between classical, Latin, jazz and classical pop music, offers a rousing finale to the Symphony Orchestra’s holiday season. They return as part of the Bank of America POPS series to kick off 2022 in style, led by POPS lead conductor Steven Reineke, with lead singer China Forbes, January 7-9. The January 8 performance is also available via livestream.

For tickets and more information, please call 713-224-7575 or visit houstonsymphony.org. Live performances are available through a private link for ticket holders for $ 20. Everyone in the public is required to wear a mask at Jones Hall. For a full schedule of security measures, visit houstonsymphony.org/safety. Socially distanced headquarters are available in parts of the auditorium. All programs and artists are subject to change.

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