Classical Music

Houston Public Media Presents: Encore Houston

Introducing a new program on Houston Public Media Classical that features members of Houston’s classical music community.

Mercury performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater

Houston has a thriving art music scene, replete with amazing ensembles and performing organizations. Houston Public Media is producing a new program called Encore Houston that gives a platform to the talented musicians who perform here. Each episode of the show will feature a local group and a recording of a past concert, while also promoting that organization’s upcoming concerts.

For the program’s premiere, Encore Houston will present Mercury, an orchestra that aims to provide authentic performances of classical music on period instruments. Essentially, that means that the musicians are playing authentic instruments that would have been played when the music itself was written centuries ago.

The featured concert will be their 2016 performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, also known as the “Choral” Symphony. This massive piece was a game changer for classical music, and possibly the earliest successful use of a chorus combined with the typical symphonic form. The symphony is probably most famous for its fourth movement, sometimes called the “Ode to Joy” after the poem by Friedrich Schiller from which it gets its text. In this movement, chorus and soloists sing of unbridled joy and the celebration of unity and brotherhood under God, and the main musical theme remains one of Beethoven’s most popular melodies.

This concert will feature guest soloists soprano Mary Wilson, mezzo-soprano Sarah Mesko, tenor Zachary Wilder, and baritone Tyler Duncan, along with members of the Houston Symphony Chorus, all led by maestro Antoine Plante.

Tune in for the premiere episode of Encore Houston this Saturday night at 10 PM, with a second broadcast Sunday at 4 PM on Houston Public Media Classical!