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Press Releases

Quintets in an iconic Hermann Park space: Houston’s award-winning WindSync continues 15th anniversary celebration with a garden of music

December 19, 2023 | By Patricia Price
Managing Director, 8VA Music Consultancy

Internationally recognized wind quintet WindSync continues its 15th anniversary concert season in Houston on Thursday, January 25, 2024, with Taxonomies. The program was designed to complement the experience of McGovern Centennial Gardens by night, with a curation of music inspired by plants, botany, and taxonomies of nature and music. Music begins at 6:30 pm, with doors to open at 6 pm.

Much of WindSync’s touring program returns home to Houston for the first time in Taxonomies. The musical offerings on hand include Mozart’s Serenade in C minor, a moody masterpiece originally composed for eight wind players, and Buxtehude’s Passacaglia in D minor for organ--two works that are bound by their brilliant use of variation as well as their tricky taxonomies. Also on the program is celebrated composer Viet Cuong’s new wind quintet Flora, which was written for WindSync in 2023 and spotlit at the ensemble’s Germination event in December. The work, which combines influences of early music with mimicry of electronic effects like delay pedal, was inspired by the life cycles of desert plants. Make Our Garden Grow, a selection from Leonard Bernstein’s opera “Candide,” will make a timely appearance on the program while the film “Maestro” is available for streaming on Netflix.

Taxonomies is the third event of WindSync’s 2023-2024 season, but it is the first that will feature a full program of music for quintet alone, showcasing the range of WindSync’s musical firepower. Following Taxonomies, WindSync will continue its 15th anniversary season with the eighth annual Onstage Offstage Chamber Music Festival April 23-28, including performances in public spaces and a collaboration with composer Nicky Sohn, one of Houston’s “Cool 100” (CityBook), and with the Houston Youth Symphony Coda Music Program. To celebrate the 15-year milestone, this year’s festival will also include a reunion concert with WindSync alumni musicians and past collaborators at the Rice University Shepherd School of Music, where the ensemble was founded.

Who: WindSync
What: Taxonomies concert
When: Thursday, January 25, 2024, 6:30 pm
Where: McGovern Centennial Gardens, 1500 Hermann Dr, 77004
Cost: $35 General Admission; additional ticket tiers available
Dieterich Buxtehude: Passacaglia in D minor, BuxWV 161
W. A. Mozart: Serenade in C minor, K. 388
Viet Cuong: Flora
Leonard Bernstein: Make Our Garden Grow
More info: WindSync.org/taxonomies

About WindSync
Since the ensemble’s founding in 2009, WindSync has built a reputation as one of North America’s finest wind quintets, backed by national and international-level prizes in chamber music performance from the Concert Artists Guild, Fischoff, and M-Prize Chamber Arts competitions. WindSync infuses their traditional genre of Western classical chamber music with relevancy and energy by focusing on innovation, collaboration, and special programming for children and families, receiving recognition for their activities in 2022 with the Fischoff Ann Divine Educator Award. In Houston, they curate and perform a three-concert series each season and present the Onstage Offstage Chamber Music Festival, designed to connect the people and neighborhoods of Houston through music education and music in public spaces. WindSync has appeared in concert at the Library of Congress, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Ravinia, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and they have been named since 2018 to the touring roster of the Texas Commission on the Arts. They recently joined the management roster of MKI Artists and maintain a year-round national presence as a touring ensemble. Their first commercial release album, All Worlds All Times, debuted in 2022 at no. 2 on the Billboard Traditional Classical chart, and in 2024, they will release their album of the works for chamber winds by composer Miguel del Aguila, recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios.
Garrett Hudson, flute
Emily Tsai, oboe
Graeme Steele Johnson, clarinet
Kara LaMoure, bassoon
Anni Hochhalter, horn

About Viet Cuong, composer
Called “alluring” and “wildly inventive” by The New York Times, the music of American composer Viet Cuong has been performed on six continents by musicians and ensembles such as the New York Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, So Percussion, Alarm Will Sound, and Atlanta Symphony, among many others. Cuong’s music has been featured in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center, and his works for wind ensemble have amassed several hundreds of performances worldwide. Passionate about bringing these different facets of the contemporary music community together, his recent projects include a concerto for Eighth Blackbird with the United States Navy Band. Cuong also enjoys exploring the unexpected and whimsical, and he is often drawn to projects where he can make peculiar combinations and sounds feel enchanting or oddly satisfying. His works thus include a snare drum solo, percussion quartet concerto, and double oboe concerto.




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