Krajewski embraces pops-conductor role

Posted on: July 3, 2014

“The theme of ‘Rocky’ rings out, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art flashes onto the screen. But who’s that bounding up the famous steps? It isn’t a boxer, it’s a bald man in a tuxedo,” writes Steven Brown in Sunday’s (6/29) Houston Chronicle (subscription required). “With volleys of laughter, the audience welcomes Michael Krajewski, whose gags are key to his appeal as the Houston Symphony’s principal pops conductor. For 14 years, Krajewski and his wry humor have helped draw pops-concert crowds that stretch into Jones Hall’s top balcony…. He holds four orchestral posts: principal pops conductor of the Houston Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, and Florida’s Jacksonville Symphony, and music director of the Philly Pops in Philadelphia….  Pops conducting offers its own rewards, Krajewski says. He has created programs devoted to Broadway classics, John Williams’ movie scores, soundtracks of James Bond films, Simon and Garfunkel hits, and other favorites…. ‘There’s an enormous satisfaction when the audience likes it,’ Krajewski says…. Krajewski’s knack for balancing the tried-and-true with new programs … has helped the Houston Symphony’s pops series flourish, says Mark Hanson, the orchestra’s executive director…. Says Dave Kirk, the symphony’s principal tuba player, ‘As far as I’m concerned, the orchestra should build a statue to him.’ ”

Posted July 3, 2014