Photo: Julie Soefer
The Houston Symphony and Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada announced the extension of Orozco-Estrada’s contract as music director for another three seasons beyond his current five-year contract that began with the 2014-15 season. In the middle of his third season as music director, Orozco-Estrada will now continue to lead one of America’s most dynamic and forward-thinking orchestras through the 2021-22 season.
Orozco-Estrada is the fourth Houston Symphony music director to hold the Roy and Lillie Cullen Chair, a position endowed in perpetuity by The Cullen Foundation. Since assuming the post, Orozco-Estrada has elevated the orchestra’s artistry, engaged new and traditional audiences with his spontaneous approach on and off the podium, reimagined the concert-going experience through unique partnerships and the innovative use of technology, and raised the international profile of the Houston Symphony. Orozco-Estrada's priorities will include dynamic and memorable concerts, a growing catalog of recording projects, the commissioning of new works in collaboration with living composers, and touring activity that is helping to burnish Houston’s reputation as a cultural destination. Orozco-Estrada is the Houston Symphony’s 15th music director and the first Colombian-born conductor to assume this post in the orchestra’s 104-year history.
“I feel extremely honored to continue this journey together with the musicians of this great orchestra,” said Houston Symphony Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada. “I’m grateful for the support and the vote of confidence given to me from day one and very much look forward to strengthening my relationships with members of the orchestra. We will continue to explore inspiring new works and projects that allow us to embrace new and loyal audiences as well as further our artistic growth.”
“Andrés’ leadership, artistic vision and ability to interpret music so genuinely that it evokes powerful feelings and emotions from both musicians and audiences alike is both a gift and a driving force that reminds us that music is more than just notes,” said Mark C. Hanson, Executive Director and CEO, Margaret Alkek Williams Chair. “Andrés’ depth of musicianship, extraordinary ability to connect with orchestra members on stage and people in the community, along with his dedication to the art form, have earned him the respect and admiration of so many fans throughout Houston and the rest of the world.”
"My fellow Board members and I are so proud of the successful partnership between Andrés and our talented musicians that produces so many inspiring concerts each season,” said Steven P. Mach, President of the Board. “We look forward to continuing to support our organization's artistic ambition."
The announcement comes just days before Orozco-Estrada leads two programs marking the conclusion of his three-season cycle of all nine Beethoven symphonies, which began in his inaugural season and will conclude with Symphonies No. 6 & 7 this weekend and a new, semi-staged production of Beethoven's Fidelio on March 31 and April 2. This much-anticipated announcement also follows the international release of the Houston Symphony’s and Orozco-Estrada’s most recent recordingof Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, which is part of a 3-disc series featuring Dvořák’s last four symphonies. The series marks Orozco-Estrada’s first commercial recording project with the orchestra.