The Baton is Passed

One of the most-watched orchestral openings in America — the position of the Houston Symphony’s new music director — is now filled. When the respected Hans Graf, 15th and longest serving conductor in the Symphony’s 99-year history, retires at the end of the 2012–2013 season, his replacement will be Andrés Orozco-Estrada, a brilliant star on the rise and the orchestra’s first-ever Hispanic director. The appointment of the Colombian-born, Vienna-trained violinist/conductor was the result of an exhaustive three-year search by a 12-person committee of musicians, board members and staff. What sealed the deal was Orozco-Estrada’s Jones Hall debut this past October as a visiting conductor, in which he, the orchestra and the audience enjoyed an instantaneous rapport. Stay tuned: Our new music man — who mirrors the new-century diversity of Houston and is fluent in Spanish, German and English — steps onto the podium and wields his baton as director designate with the 100th anniversary 2013–2014 season.

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