Houston Symphony and other Texas orchestras, pivoting with creativity and flexibility

Posted on: January 5, 2021

Houston Symphony Executive Director John Mangum introduces one of the orchestra’s livestreamed concerts.

“Some Houston Symphony concert goers may not realize that Jones Hall, the orchestra’s home, has two balconies,” writes Steven Brown in Wednesday’s (12/30) Arts and Culture Texas. “When social distancing requires that hundreds of seats remain empty … the orchestra has flung open the top balcony’s doors. ‘That’s one of the benefits of Jones Hall being so large,’ says John Mangum, the orchestra’s president…. The size of Jones Hall and other cities’ similar venues helps … Texas’ orchestras [to craft] concert programs and guest-artist rosters on the fly…. Sometimes, guest artists don’t even get to the point of making a plane reservation. European residents face travel restrictions, Mangum notes…. The Houston Symphony, Mangum says … is working on bringing music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada [from Europe to the U.S.] during the spring…. Meanwhile, technology has brought the orchestras a new outlet in the form of streaming.… Mangum expects streamed concerts … to outlast the pandemic. ‘This is all rooted in our mission. It’s critical for us to provide live musical experiences to people in our community, even if they’re delivered over virtual platforms,’ he says.” Also included in the article are the Fort Worth Symphony and Dallas Symphony Orchestra.