Houston Symphony

Houston Symphony Wins Major International Music Award

One of the classical music industry’s highest honors will be awarded to the orchestra

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  • The Houston Symphony's recording of Alban Berg's opera "Wozzeck," released earlier this year by Naxos, has won the ECHO Klassik 2017 Award for Best Opera Recording (20th/21st Century Opera). (Photo Credit: Naxos)
    The Houston Symphony's recording of Alban Berg's opera "Wozzeck," released earlier this year by Naxos, has won the ECHO Klassik 2017 Award for Best Opera Recording (20th/21st Century Opera). (Photo Credit: Naxos)
  • Hans Graf (Houston Symphony Music Director, 2001-2013) and Aurelie Desmarais (Houston Symphony Chief of Artistic Planning, 1996-2017) worked closely together to realize the orchestra's performances of "Wozzeck" in March 2013 and to pursue its recording project, which led to the 2017 ECHO Klassik Award. (Photo Credit: Catherine Lu)
    Hans Graf (Houston Symphony Music Director, 2001-2013) and Aurelie Desmarais (Houston Symphony Chief of Artistic Planning, 1996-2017) worked closely together to realize the orchestra's performances of "Wozzeck" in March 2013 and to pursue its recording project, which led to the 2017 ECHO Klassik Award. (Photo Credit: Catherine Lu)
  • Then-Music Director Hans Graf conducts the Houston Symphony in  a rehearsal of Alban Berg's "Wozzeck" in  2013 at Jones Hall. (Photo Credit: Houston Symphony)
    Then-Music Director Hans Graf conducts the Houston Symphony in a rehearsal of Alban Berg's "Wozzeck" in 2013 at Jones Hall. (Photo Credit: Houston Symphony)
  • Hans Graf conducts the Houston Symphony in  a rehearsal of Alban Berg's "Wozzeck," featuring baritone Roman Trekel as "Wozzeck" and tenor Marc Molomot as the "Captain" in 2013 at Jones Hall. (Photo Credit: Houston Symphony)
    Hans Graf conducts the Houston Symphony in a rehearsal of Alban Berg's "Wozzeck," featuring baritone Roman Trekel as "Wozzeck" and tenor Marc Molomot as the "Captain" in 2013 at Jones Hall. (Photo Credit: Houston Symphony)
  • Hans Graf conducts the Houston Symphony in  a rehearsal of Alban Berg's "Wozzeck," featuring soprano Anne Schwanewilms as "Marie" in 2013 at Jones Hall. (Photo Credit: Houston Symphony)
    Hans Graf conducts the Houston Symphony in a rehearsal of Alban Berg's "Wozzeck," featuring soprano Anne Schwanewilms as "Marie" in 2013 at Jones Hall. (Photo Credit: Houston Symphony)

You may not have heard of it, but it's kind of like the European "Grammy." It's called the ECHO Klassik Award.

The Houston Symphony was awarded the distinguished 2017 ECHO Klassik Award for Best Opera Recording (20th/21st Century Opera), for their recording of Wozzeck.

Alban Berg's opera Wozzeck is about a soldier who commits a murder out of jealousy – a tragedy full of angst and compassion.

"Wozzeck is a very important piece, and in my opinion it's absolutely not justified that it's not better known," said former Houston Symphony Music Director Hans Graf, who conducted their performances of Wozzeck and produced their winning album.

Recorded during concerts at Jones Hall in 2013 and edited by then Houston Public Media engineer, Brad Sayles, the album was released earlier this year by Naxos.

Former Chief of Artistic Planning, Aurelie Desmarais, was also instrumental in the project. "It's the largest award that the Houston Symphony has received – the greatest level of international recognition for a recording," she said.

Graf and Desmarais will attend the red carpet gala to accept the Houston Symphony’s 2017 ECHO Klassik Award this Sunday, October 29 in a televised broadcast from Hamburg, Germany.

Hear the complete interview with Hans Graf and Aurelie Desmarais on performing and recording “Wozzeck,” and on winning the ECHO Klassik and getting ready for the red carpet, below:

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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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