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New season, new maestro for Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra

Conductor Hector Guzman steals the show in his March 11 audition for maestro of the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra with guest pianist Joaquin Achucarro. Courtesy photo

After a long audition process last season, the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra has chosen a new conductor: Hector Guzman.

The orchestra received 144 applicants for the position from as far away as Russia, Argentina and Israel. Five finalists performed a concert each during the 2016-17 season in a process that involved the entire community in choosing the next musical maestro.

“The conductors prepared a concert in order to give us a taste of their style and direction,” said Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra marketing director Madeline Schmidt. “Each finalist was incredible, but Guzman got some unique feedback that we felt made him stand out above the other candidates. Across the board, he got very high marks.”

Guzman came out on top with his performance of music from the movies “Avatar,” “Gravity” and “Lord of the Rings” as well as pieces by Moncayo and Tchaikovsky. The audience was stunned by Guzman’s guest artist, Joaquin Achucarro, a world-renowned pianist, Schmidt said.

Guzman has an impressive background. He is the founding music director of the Plano Symphony Orchestra, for which he conducted 12 consecutive sold-out seasons. He also conducts the Irving and San Angelo symphony orchestras in addition to touring as a guest conductor for prestigious orchestras around the world.

Maestro Guzman will conduct his first concert with the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 30 with a performance of “Beethoven Meets Broadway.” Achucarro will return as guest pianist to play Beethoven the first half of the concert.

The second half of the concert will highlight broadway music with acclaimed tenor Steve Amerson and local soprano Cassie Torres McNabb singing selections from “West Side Story,” “Les Miserables,” “Phantom of the Opera” and more.

The next year should be one to remember, Schmidt said. In a partnership with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Opera Workshop, the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra plans to bring in guest singers throughout the season.

“Every concert will be different and exciting,” Schmidt said. “We designed this season to feature something for every music lover.”

From American composers to Broadway to cultural music, any music lover will find something to enjoy in the new symphony season. In addition to the music, each concert includes lively pre-show entertainment in the lobby and a cash bar.

Subscriptions to the 2017-18 season are on sale now. Be sure not to miss any of the six highly anticipated concerts by becoming a season ticket holder. The lineup for the coming season includes:

  • Sept. 30: “Beethoven Meets Broadway”

  • Oct. 14: “Dia de los Mozart”

  • Nov. 11: “Star-Spangled Symphonic Salute!”

  • Dec. 9: “Home for the Holidays”

  • Feb. 10: “Some Enchanted Evening”

  • March 10: “Symphony Spectacular!”

See Guzman lead the new season at the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Performing Arts Center, 6300 Ocean Drive. Visit pac.tamucc.edufor information on parking, directions and more. Purchase tickets online at or by calling the box office at (361) 883-6683.

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