Houston Symphony

A Fond Farewell To The Houston Symphony’s Michael Krajewski

The long-time Principal Pops Conductor reflects on 17 seasons of Houston Symphony Pops.

Michael Krajewski at Houston Public Media

For well over a decade, Michael Krajewski has had an inside joke with Houston audiences.

He likes to pump up the crowd and add a little pizzazz to the start of his Houston Symphony pops concerts by having the orchestra introduce him, out of the blue, with the Theme from Rocky.

Probably the only conductor in the world with his own theme music, Krajewski will walk on-stage to Rocky for his last time at Jones Hall this weekend, capping off his 17-year tenure as Principal Pops Conductor with Classic Broadway – his farewell program, featuring the Houston Symphony and Chorus, plus Broadway stars Lisa Vroman, Doug LaBrecque and Rachel York. 

Over the years, Krajewski has helped put Houston’s pops programming on the map, by creating unique and unconventional shows, such as Cirque de la Symphonie (featuring cirque acrobats choreographed to live symphonic music) and PaintJam (featuring speed-painter Dan Dunn, creating large-scale paintings within the time frame of short orchestral pieces played live). 

While developing and experimenting with new program concepts, Krajewski always had fun on stage, with a humorous and easy-going style that made him an audience favorite – a guy who is always able to come up with the perfect joke or surprise to make a concert extra special.

Michael Krajewski stopped by the studio to reminisce about his nearly two decades with the Houston Symphony. And he shared some stories – from which artist he has most enjoyed working with, and the program he’s the most proud of, to how he came up with his personal “Rocky” theme and more.

The Houston Symphony Principal Pops Conductor, Michael Krajewski, presents his farewell program, Classic Broadway, on Friday, May 26, 8pm; Saturday, May 27, 8pm; and Sunday, May 28, 2:30pm at Jones Hall.

Michael Krajewski will be succeeded by Steven Reineke, who begins his new tenure as Principal Pops Conductor in June. Watch this 2016 interview with both conductors:

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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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