Houston Symphony’s experimentation follows technological shift

Posted on: January 19, 2011

In Sunday’s (1/16) Houston Chronicle, Tara Dooley writes, “The Houston Symphony returns to Earth next season. After successfully exploring the solar system in music and images last year, the symphony turns its attention homeward for the 2011-2012 season with Orbit—An HD Odyssey. The project pairs a new movie of NASA images of Earth with music by American composer John Adams and Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, used to great effect in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The multimedia performance is part of the symphony’s promise to experiment. In addition to the movie project, the symphony is premiering a new Friday evening concert format and presenting its own series of programs in Sugar Land. … The orchestra’s 2011-2012 season is, in part, an acknowledgement of fundamental shifts underway in classical-music programming. ‘Everything around orchestras is changing dramatically,’ said Judith Kurnick, spokeswoman for the League of American Orchestras. … ‘Anybody who presents any sort of program in this environment has to pay attention to the social and cultural changes around them.’ … The [Houston Symphony] this fall also introduces a shortened format called Access. National Public Radio’s Miles Hoffman is set to narrate the 80-minute, Friday-night programs, which feature a mixture of music, interviews and information.”

Posted January 19, 2011