Houston Snapshots

Deft Hands and a Sharp Baton-A New Conductor Begins His Tenure at Houston Symphony Opening Night Concert & Gala

Event Date:  September 16, 2022
Location:  Jones Hall & The Corinthian
Event:  Concert and Gala
No. of Attendees:  300
Money Raised:  $540,000
Beneficiary:  Houston Symphony
Honorary Chairs:  Leisa Holland Nelson Bowman and Leila Perrin
Chairpersons:  Drs. Susan and Dennis Carlyle
Décor and Florals:  The Events Company
Entertainment:  The David Caceres Band
Photography:  Priscilla Dickson and Daniel Ortiz

Deft Hands and a Sharp Baton-A New Conductor Begins His Tenure at Houston Symphony Opening Night Concert & Gala

A new symphonic leader hit the podium for Houston Symphony’s Opening Night Concert & Gala at Jones Hall. With deft hands and a sharp baton, forty-six-year-old Slovakian conductor Juraj Valčuha showcased our city’s great orchestra at its best as he led them magnificently through “Verdi’s Requiem.” Requiems are traditionally a Roman Catholic mass to honor the dead and sung in Gregorian chant. Complete with a thrilling symphonic score, virtuosic solo moments, and dramatic libretto, “Verdi’s Requiem” tells of the fate of the living who fear death and beg for deliverance.

Formally dressed guests were in awe as they entered the auditorium. The stage featured an 80-piece orchestra, 117-member Houston Symphony Chorus alongside four opera singers:  Soprano Ana Maria Martinez, mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya, tenor Jonathan Tetelman, and bass Dmitry Belosselskiy.

Post-performance, guests were seamlessly transported several blocks away by Karr Limousine for the gala dinner part of the evening. Once again, Spec’s Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods did an amazing job pairing the wines with the meal courses. Richard Flowers and his The Events Company transformed the space with crystal chandeliers and greenery, tables beautifully covered in green linens with all-white floral centerpieces atop. The David Caceres Band, a popular Houston ensemble, was the gala’s musical entertainment.

Chairpersons Drs. Susan and Dennis Carlyle, ConocoPhillips (sponsor and corporate underwriter for the 36th year) and Houston Symphony officials were elated with the more than $540,000 raised for the Symphony’s initiatives.

Welcome to Houston Juraj Valčuha. We are proud to have your excellence represented within our excellent Houston Symphony.

Socially present (not previously mentioned):  Regina and John Mangum, Margaret Alkek Williams, Hallie Vanderhider, John Rydman, Sharon and Bill Bullock, Bobbie Nau, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Mariglyn and Stephen Glenn, Janet Clark, Barbara Burger, Chris Powers, Betty and Jesse Tutor, Betsy and Fredric Weber, Mary Lynn and Steve Marks, Lilly and Thurmon Andress, Aggie Foster, Tammy and Wayne Nguyen, Vicki West, Ralph Burch, Joan and Bob Duff, Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Dee and Lea Hunt, Beth Wolff, Cynthia Wolff, Leslie Siller, Alex Blair, Heidi Rockecharlie, Valerie and Tracy Dieterich, Cheryl Byington, Justice Brett and Erin Busby, Jill and Ray Kirk, Mary Ann and Robert Wilkins, Susan and Ed Osterberg, Jacquie Baly and James Craig, Matthew Loden, Scott Evans and Jeff Henry, Kirk Kveton and Daniel Irion, Marguerite Swartz and Mary Sage, Yoon Smith and Malaika Mukoro

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