Houston Public Television and the Houston Symphony Present The Houston Symphony: A Maestro's Farewell

Airing Monday, May 24 at 8 p.m. on Channel 8, with a Simulcast on KUHF-FM,

88.7, and HDTV Broadcast on KHOU-DT

Apr 30, 1999, 01:00 ET from Houston Symphony

    HOUSTON, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- It's never easy to say good-bye,
 especially to someone who has taken you to unusual heights of excellence.  But
 if you have to, you might as well make the sendoff special.  And that's
 exactly what Houston Public Television and the Houston Symphony will be doing
 on May 24, with a live two-hour broadcast highlighting one of Maestro
 Christoph Eschenbach's final performances with the orchestra that he has
 helped raise to international prominence.
     The concert, which will be televised live on Channel 8 from Jones Hall in
 downtown Houston, will feature not only a trio of works chosen to showcase
 Eschenbach's and the Symphony's talent, but will also include a pre-show
 interview with Eschenbach by Dean Dalton, the long-time host of the Houston
 Symphony Broadcasts and KUHF's Morning Show.  KUHF will be simulcasting the
 event.  As even more evidence of the concert's significance, PBS producers
 will be on hand as well, and will record the performance for editing into a
 special one hour program that will be broadcast nationally at a later date.
 For those in the area who have High Definition Television equipment, the May
 24th concert will also be carried on Houston's KHOU-DT, the city's only High
 Definition channel.
     A native of Breslau, Silesia, Christoph Eschenbach had already established
 an enviable reputation as a concert pianist and conductor by the time he took
 over as the Houston Symphony's music director in September 1988.  During his
 era directing the Symphony, Eschenbach has overseen its growth into one of
 America's most respected musical organizations.  He has also taken it on tour
 throughout Europe and the Far East, where it has garnered critical acclaim
 while playing to enthusiastic audiences.
     During his time with the symphony, Eschenbach has emphasized an interest
 in a wide variety of music, and it's that interest that will take center stage
 on the evening of May 24.  Among the works featured in Channel 8's broadcast
 will be the world premiere of Flute Moon, a piece commissioned from composer
 Bright Sheng that's based on an art song by the 12th century Sung Dynasty poet
 Jiang Kui and which will feature Houston Symphony principal flutist Aralee
 Dorough; Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2, which will feature a Houston
 favorite in pianist Tzimon Barto; and Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra, an
 engagingly difficult composition that will turn the spotlight onto the world-
 class talents of the orchestra's musicians.
     To help ensure that the concert is as unforgettable for the viewers at
 home as it will be for those lucky enough to have seats in Jones Hall, Phillip
 Byrd of Brandenburg Productions, which regularly produces musical programming
 for PBS, has been brought in to direct the live broadcast.  That broadcast,
 Byrd says, will be as carefully orchestrated as the music it features, with
 eight cameras spread throughout the auditorium to capture every aspect of
 Christoph Eschenbach's penultimate concert series with the Houston Symphony.
 Though bidding farewell to a conductor of Eschenbach's status carries with it
 a tinge of sadness, The Houston Symphony:  A Maestro's Farewell promises to be
 a rousing experience, a memorable coda to what has been a remarkable, and
 meaningful, musical collaboration between a conductor, a symphony, and a city
 that has had the good fortune to enjoy them both.
     For additional information contact:
     Frankie Black   713-749-8238        Marshall Whinney   713-238-1490
     fblack@kuht.uh.edu                  marshall.whinney@housym.org
     KUHT/Houston Public Television      Houston Symphony

SOURCE Houston Symphony