Houston Symphony

A Tale Of A Forgotten Cello Concerto, Passionate Spanish Music And New Friends

A conversation with Maestro Kazuki Yamada about his Houston Symphony debut, and with cellist Brinton Averil Smith about a very special concerto that he’s performing.


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“Say ‘Castelnuovo-Tedesco’!” – Brinton Averil Smith and Kazuki Yamada at Houston Public Media

When asked to describe in three words the long-lost Cello Concerto by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Houston Symphony Principal Cellist, Brinton Averil Smith, mischievously responds: "Really, really hard."

But those words could also be replaced by "melodic, tuneful, beautiful," which Smith also uses when talking about a concerto that has been his life-long dream to perform.

The Houston Symphony presents Brinton Averil Smith as the soloist in Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Cello Concerto – a work that has not been professionally performed since its 1935 World Premiere – on a program that also features two beloved Spanish-inspired pieces (Emmanuel Chabrier's España and Manuel de Falla's The Three-Cornered Hat)

Acclaimed Japanese conductor Kazuki Yamada makes his Houston Symphony debut, marking only his second time to conduct a U.S. orchestra, an occasion he finds "very exciting."

Stopping by for an interview earlier this week, Maestro Yamada talked about a special "telepathy" that the Houston Symphony musicians seem to have, and the chemistry he feels with the orchestra; and he and Brinton Averil Smith described their love for and personal connection with the pieces on this program.

The Houston Symphony presents the program, Falla & España, on Friday, April 14, 8pm and Saturday, April 15, 8pm at Jones Hall.

Watch excerpts of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Cello Concerto performed by Principal Cellist Brinton Averil Smith and his wife, pianist Evelyn Chen, courtesy of the Houston Symphony.

Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior 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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