Houston Symphony Broadcasts

Houston Symphony Director Hosts First-Ever Concert With Spanish Dialogue

The concert is part of a larger effort to attract a new audience to classical music.

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Andres Orozco-Estrada made history when he was named the first Hispanic music director of the Houston Symphony.

This fall marks his debut season, and Orozco-Estrada has made it his mission to bring the love of classical music to as many people as possible.

“The goal always with the music, or with the arts in general, is to make the people understand, but through the natural way, that the human being without the arts is empty,” he said.

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Houston Symphony Music Director Andres Orozco-Estrada/Photo by Julie Soefer.

The Houston Symphony hopes to reach new audiences this season by expanding its outreach efforts. So how do you get more Houstonians interested in classical music?

Orozco-Estrada hopes to do it one show at a time. He’s hosting a special performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony during which he’ll offer commentary to give background on the piece. After the performance, Orozco-Estrada will host a Q-and-A session with the audience. It’s not new for composers to offer their commentary on music, but at this concert, all the dialogue will be in Spanish.

“You come to Houston and you see so many Hispanics,” he said. “The population is so big, but not always close to the classical music. Because of this it’s important to give them the opportunity to feel more comfortable.”

That inclusive spirit is a common theme in Orozco-Estrada’s work. He invited 200 high school band and orchestra students to watch the first rehearsal of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

For Cypress Woods High School junior Sharon Zhou, seeing the symphony perform at Jones Hall was a first. Zhou, who plays the cello herself, says she was impressed after seeing Orozco-Estrada in action.

“How he moved, like he was completely with the music,” Zhou said. “He conveyed what he wanted the musicians to do, and his facial expressions too.”

The Spanish dialogue concert takes place Sunday evening.

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