The orchestra came of age in the 1940s as Maestros Hoffmann and Kurtz hired strong professional musicians who remained part of the orchestra for 30 or more years. Leopold Stokowski brought the orchestra international visibility by commissioning new music and making recordings and, in Sir John Barbirolli's years, the Houston Symphony flowered under the influence of lush English Romanticism.
The orchestra moved into Jones Hall, its current home, in 1966, and in 1971, the Symphony signed its first 52-week contract with the musicians. The Houston Symphony has become widely acclaimed as one of the top orchestras in the world.
The Houston Symphony fills each busy season with more than 170 concerts attended by an estimated 350,000 people each year. These concerts include the Classical Season, made up of the Gold Classic Series, the UBS Great Performers Series and the Shell Favorite Masters Series; the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pops Series at Jones Hall; a gala Opening Night concert; Messiah performances at Christmas; Time Warner Family Concerts; the ChevronTexaco Fiesta Sinfonica Familiar; The Houston Chronicle Dollar Concert; and the Salute to Educators concert.
During the summer, the orchestra performs in its summer home, The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, tours the region with free Sounds Like Fun! concerts for children and presents Perry Homes Summer Symphony Night, a series of free concerts at Miller Outdoor Theatre, where it has performed for more than 60 years.
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