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Yo-Yo Ma headlines new season
Symphony's schedule includes a 3-day stop here by master cellist


The nine-program pops series will feature the Houston debut of the 18-year-old New Zealand singing sensation Hayley Westenra.

For its 2006-07 season, the Houston Symphony announced a coup.

Yo-Yo Ma, the world's most popular cellist, will stop here for a full three-concert subscription series program instead of his now customary one-night gala. He'll play the world's most favorite cello concerto, Dvorák's (Jan. 18, 20-21, 2007).

"Aurelie (Demarais) was talking with angels' tongues," music director Hans Graf quipped about his artistic administrator's success in snaring Ma.

On the other hand, because celebrity pianist Lang Lang's schedule was so full, Houston could get him for only one, nonsubscription concert (May 16, 2007). He'll play works of Chopin and Liszt.

Overall, the 2006-07 classical programs continue the symphony's careful balance between selling tickets and offering artistically challenging programs.

The nine-program pops series will feature the Houston debut of the 18-year-old New Zealand singing sensation Hayley Westenra.

Typical of Graf's ideas is the pairing of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with the last-movement setting of Schiller's Ode to Joy, and John Adams' meditation honoring victims of 9/11, On the Transmigration of Souls (Sept. 14, 16-17).

He will also pair two Russian works memorializing horrific foreign invasions: Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, Leningrad (Nov. 9, 11-12).

Among more popular programs will be a Who's Who of Russian composers with pianist Louis Lortie playing concertos of Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev (Sept. 28, 30, Oct 1). An all-Gershwin program closes the season with Rice University pianist Jon Kimura Parker soloing in the Piano Concerto (May 17, 19-20, 2007).

Graf will also conduct Bruckner's Symphony No. 8 (Jan 12-14, 2007) and Shostakovich's Suite on Sonnets of Michelangelo Buonarroti with Beethoven's Eroica Symphony (March 1, 2-4, 2007).

Two conductors will make debuts: Norwegian Arild Remmereit and Brit Jane Glover (for Handel's Messiah).

Returning maestros are Jeffrey Kahane, Thomas Dausgaard, Robert Spano (music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra), Carlos Kalmar, Peter Oundjian, Claus Peter Flor (an all-Wagner program) and Itzhak Perlman (two nonsubscriptions concerts on which he'll also play).

Soloists debuting are Chinese pianist Yuja Wang and American pianist Jeremy Dent.

For information, call 713-224-7575.


source : Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
Credits : Info thanks to "LoveDaisy21"
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