The goal of the Houston Symphony is to encourage and engage large, diverse audiences in Greater Houston and its surrounding areas with orchestral and non-musical performances, educational curricula, and community events. Visitors to the Houston Area will enjoy the many events and programs hosted by the Houston Symphony.



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History

The Houston Symphony was established in 1913 by Ima Hogg and has played a key role in the city’s public and cultural scene for over one hundred years. They proudly boast that they are the oldest, and largest performing arts establishments in Houston.

The opening orchestra performance was held in the famous Majestic Theater, located in downtown Houston, on the day of June 21st, 1913. Houston Symphony performances were featured at the Houston Music Hall beginning in the late 1930s to the early 1960s.

The 1940s saw the Houston Symphony on the road doing wartime visits at military bases in Louisiana and Texas to raise morale. The Symphony’s first nation-wide tour occurred in 1950, when they visited seventeen cities throughout the country and making it as far north as Chicago.

Jones Hall for Performing Arts became the Houston Symphony’s home in 1966. It’s Carnegie Hall inauguration happened in March of 1965 as an act of the International Festival of Visiting Orchestras. The Houston Symphony has since performed sixteen times at this infamous location with the most recent being in May of 2012 where it opened for the second annual Spring of Music Festival.

The Houston Symphony’s first overseas excursion occurred in June 1990 with a performance in Japan at the Singapore Arts Festival. The orchestra continued to tour overseas in Europe through the 1990s.

Educational Opportunities

The Houston Symphony offers a variety of programs for children of all ages as part of their educational outreach efforts. These programs focus on cultivating a life-long appreciation and love for music.

Elementary School Programs- The elementary school programs revolve around a complete orchestra experience. The programs are divided into a lower elementary school concert group and upper elementary school concert group. The lower elementary school group covers grades one to three and the Houston Symphony plays concerts for this group of students for learning purposes. The upper elementary school concert group is for grades four and five. The Symphony gears these concerts towards student development of active listening skills and concert content. The orchestra offer pre-and post-classroom visits before and after the concerts to help students process the music they have heard.

Middle School Program- Pre-concert classroom time as well as post-concert classroom time is part of this program to help students assimilate the music they have listened to during the concert put on for them by the Symphony. These concerts for grades six to eight are constructed to encourage students to continue their participation in music and reinforce their love of music through studying the intentions of composers and their motivation for their music throughout history.

High School Programs- These programs are geared for band and orchestra students grades nine through 12. The concerts the Houston Symphony plays for high school students are intended further develop the students’ musical studies through a comprehensive investigation of orchestral masterpieces. Attention is given to musical expression, collaborative skills, and composer intent. A high school residency program is also offered by the orchestra.

Special Events

Music Literacy Workshop- The orchestra offers an annual music literacy workshop open to all ages where attendees learn how to read music and play the piano.

Houston Symphony Family Series- The Symphony offers a series of concerts geared toward family entertainment. Families enjoy a night of fun with pre- and post-concert activities such as the Instrument Petting Zoo, performances by young musicians, and musical and craft activities.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert- Guests at this concert will get to experience the magic of Harry Potter again through music. Major moments from the film will be projected on a screen and accompanied by the Houston Symphony Orchestra in this unique event hosted in December of 2017.

Disney Fantasia: Film with Live Orchestra- The famous Houston Symphony will be showing scenes from Disney’s Fantasia 2000 and the original Fantasia while playing a live score.

Handel’s Messiah- Houston Symphony Orchestra will be led by conductor Paul Agnew in a celebration of Christmas that is traditional to Houston Area.

Tchaikovsky 4- Omer Meir Wellber make his inaugural appearance as conductor in this concert. There will be a Prelude pre-concert discussion forty-five minutes before the concert begins and will be led Musical Ambassador Carlos Andres Botero.

615 Louisiana St. Suite 102, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: 713-224-7575

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