Arts and Culture

Theater District Open House: A Houston Symphony Musician’s Behind-The-Scenes Look At The New Season

Percussionist Matthew Strauss takes us backstage, on-stage and into the audience with an intimate preview of 2016-2017


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"What's great about Opening Night is you have the most beautiful gowns, especially in Houston. I'd say more than most cities, people really like to get themselves dressed up ... everyone looks fantastic, and it gets us charged up as well," says Houston Symphony percussionist Matthew Strauss about what it's like to peer into the audience from the stage just before the downbeat of the first concert of the season.

As an "insider's guide to the new season," Matthew Strauss sits down to reveal what it takes for a Houston Symphony musician to prepare for a brand-new season of concerts – from seeing the schedule for the first time to practicing over the summer – and what the vibe is both back stage and on-stage on the Big Night. He also shares personal insights on upcoming concerts, including memories and anecdotes about working with classical music superstars, Gil Shaham and Yo-Yo Ma, who are both returning as guest soloists this season.

The Houston Symphony's 2016-2017 season will begin on September 17 at Jones Hall with the Opening Night Concert and Gala, featuring legendary actor, Sir Ben Kingsley, as the narrator in the orchestra's performance of Sergei Prokofiev's beloved musical tale, Peter and the Wolf.

Meet Houston Symphony musicians, interact with their Musical Instrument Petting Zoo for families and children, attend a Conducting 101 Session, get information about season subscriptions, and even hear a free concert performed by the full orchestra at the 23rd Annual TransCanada Theater District Open House, this Sunday, August 28th. Houston Symphony activities will take place in Jones Hall.


Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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