The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance was held at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston on June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston.
The Symphony’s musical offerings include Classical concerts conducted by Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada or guests, featuring concerto soloists and major classical repertoire. Each Classical concert begins with a free, informative, 30-minute Prelude Pre-Concert Discussion that begins 45 minutes before the performance; POPS concerts conducted by Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski or guests, featuring popular artists or themes; Symphony Specials or single performances with special guest artists; Family Concerts, one-hour concerts on Saturday mornings with family-friendly themes; and Student Concerts, one-hour school day matinees for grades K through 8.
The Houston Symphony hosts a variety of other projects and programs for all ages:
- Free Summer Community Concerts is an annual series of 7-12 free concerts every June in venues throughout Houston (ex. United Methodist Church, Church Without Walls, Ripley House)
- Sugar Land Series - 3 concert series in Ft. Bend County
- The Engie Community Connections Program is designed to broaden our musical contact with our diverse Houston population.
- Ima Hogg Competition - a competition for international talent aged 16 to 26 years old
- The Houston Symphony League Concerto Competition - regional competition for musicians aged 18 years and younger
- The Houston Symphony won its first Grammy Award for a critically lauded recording of Alban Berg's "Wozzeck", under the category best opera recording (2017).