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Houston Symphony's newest music director arrives in Bayou City

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Houston Symphony is introducing its new music director-designate to the Houston community this weekend. Andres Orozco Estrada returns to conduct the orchestra. He's the first Hispanic chosen to lead it.

Orozco Estrada last performed in Houston nearly a year ago. It was his live audition for the job and it paid off.

We went to Vienna, Austria in April to get an exclusive introduction to Orozco Estrada, where he was leading Vienna'S Tonkensler Orchestra at one of Vienna's most historic halls.

But this weekend, the South American-born conductor, who always dreamed of standing center stage and leading musicians, is now in Houston to begin writing his legacy with the Houston Symphony at our famed Jones Hall for the Perfomring Arts.

"I say to the musicians I really wanted to make a very big speech but I couldn't wait more to just make music, and that's what we did," he said.

Orozco Estrada arrived in Houston Thursday and got right out into the community to meet some of his new neighbors. He hopes they will become symphony fans. Orozco Estrada conducts at Jones Hall thsi weekend. The performance features violinist Midori playing Mendelssohn.

The connection between this conductor and his musicians helped him get the nod to succeed Hans Graf, as one musicans told us.

"A lot of us didn't know anything about him and the minute he lifted his arms up, I went, 'Oh my God, he is amazing,'" Rodica Gonzalez said.

And that's the same connection the Colombia-born, Vienna-trained conductor hopes for with his audience when he officially begins as music director in the fall.

Orozco Estrada says we should expect him to bring music which reflects the countries in which he was raised and trained, music bridging continents and cultures -- a mix that reflects Houston's diversity.

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houston symphony, local, gina gaston
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