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Virtuosi of Houston

 

For 20 years, Virtuosi of Houston’s mission has been to create a pre-professional climate and performance opportunities for Houston’s most focused young musicians (11–18 years of age), regardless of race, religion or financial status and to bring an expanded repertoire of chamber music to Houston.

Virtuosi of Houston (VoH) is a premier youth chamber orchestra for gifted instrumentalists created to increase education and performance opportunities leading to a music profession for Houston’s middle to high school age musicians and to bring an expanded repertoire of chamber works to Houston audiences. The chamber group is smaller than a typical symphony orchestra, allowing these exceptional musicians to experience increased confidence, leadership, responsibility and skill through individual attention from two world-class conductors.

Talented young musicians focus on a chamber orchestra repertoire under a unique co-conductor structure of instruction and direction by two professors from the University of Houston Moores School of Music. Franz Anton Krager, Professor and Director of Orchestras and Andrzej Grabiec, Professor of Violin the founding artistic directors and conductors of VoH, actively participate in 30 pre-concert rehearsals per year. VoH holds auditions each Spring and Fall before the season begins. VOH ensures that our unique music education and professional performance opportunities are available to all who meet our artistic standards by offering tuition support for those who need it. According to a public opinion survey conducted by Americans for the Arts, 91% of respondents believe that the arts are vital to a well-rounded education and 96% agree that the arts belong to everyone, not just the fortunate or privileged. Local school districts cut elementary art and music programs, and in some cases only the affluent are able to access the arts.
For those families who aren’t able to afford VoH programs, financial assistance is available.

WHAT WE DO AND WHO WE SERVE

Our 2015–2016 season orchestra consisted of 52 members, from 32 different zip codes and three are homeschooled students. We provide between $4,000 and $20,000 in tuition assistance to low-income students annually. Any student that qualifies to be a part of the VoH orchestra is accepted regardless of their family’s financial circumstance. No student is ever turned away due to his or her family’s inability to pay the tuition. The distinct desire to provide all potential students the opportunity to engage in activities that they may not be exposed to otherwise is what drives our community impact.

VoH programs focus on expanding music education and performance opportunities through chamber music rehearsals and concerts, a concerto competition, master classes, a small ensemble program, and a small ensemble summer workshop.

VoH performs four major public concerts each year. Two of those concerts are at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall, one free concert at Jone’s Hall for the Houston Symphony’s Youth Orchestra Festival and one at our annual fundraising dinner and concert. We open each season with our Opening Night Concert in December. The Youth Orchestra Festival is in January. We have the Annual Immanuel and Helen B. Olshan Annual Concerto Concert in April which features the two first place winners in the winds/piano division and the strings division. These concerts provide our students unique opportunities to perform in world-class venues typically experienced only by musicians who have already completed their university studies and achieved professional standing.