Houston Symphony replacing flood-damaged library

Posted on: April 8, 2009

In Sunday’s (4/5) Houston Chronicle, Tara Dooley writes, “The smell lingers. Now, it is confined to a row of 35 brown boxes shelved by the door to the Houston Symphony’s new music library. But in the summer days after water from Tropical Storm Allison surged through the underground levels of Jones Hall, destroying a layer of the symphony’s inner workings, the odor was toxic. … Eight years after the floodwaters receded, the Houston Symphony has bought more than 1,000 works, less than half what made up library before the storm. Most of the big works of the orchestral repertoire are in the house: Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Bruckner. Some works will be gone forever. ‘There were pieces we commissioned which were one of a kind,’ said Thomas Takaro, Houston Symphony librarian. ‘Not classical pieces. But if we commissioned a pops arrangement, we might have had the only copy.’ … As the symphony plans its 100th birthday celebration in 2013-14, retrieving those works has become a priority and sentimental journey, [Senior Director of Artistic Planning Aurelie] Desmarais said. … The cost to replace the sheets of music so far has neared $50,000, not including the time and extra staff needed to recover and prepare the new music.”

Posted April 8, 2009