Houston Chamber Choir.

Houston Chamber Choir.

Robert Simpson, artistic director of the Houston Chamber Choir announced the Choir’s 18th season, Where Class Meets Cool. The 2013-2014 season includes masterpieces by Brahms, Handel, Palestrina, and Duruflé, along with works by today’s leading composers including a newly commissioned piece by Jocelyn Hagan, recent winner of the McKnight award. Guest artists include Venezuelan conductor María Guinand and Richard Savino, who joins the choir as guest artist for Christmas at the Villa. The season closes with love songs from the 1860s and 1960s, featuring Brahms’s Liebeslieder Waltzes, paired with hits by The Beatles.

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Maestro Hans Graf conducted the Houston Symphony in his final concerts as Music Director on May 17 and 18 with a grand performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection. Graf will return to conduct two concerts during the Symphony’s 2013-14 Centennial Season as Conductor Laureate.

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The Ensemble Theatre’s 2013/2014 season includes Paul Oakley Stovall’s Immediate Family, Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Jeff Stetson’s The Meeting, John Henry Redwoods’s The Old Steeler and a new holiday musical by Carleton Keake.

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Mercury’s executive director Debra Lugo has stepped down. She will be attending graduate school at Princeton University.

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Dominic Walsh and Domenico Luciano in Matthew Bourne's pas de deux from Swan Lake Photo by Gabriella Nissen.

Dominic Walsh and Domenico Luciano in Matthew Bourne’s pas de deux from Swan Lake
Photo by Gabriella Nissen.

In May, Domenico Luciano and Dominic Walsh of Dominic Walsh Dance Theater performed Matthew Bourne’s “White Swan” duet from Swan Lake as part of “Love Stories” at the Atlanta Ballet.  This summer, DWDT is offering a weeklong summer intensive for intermediate to advanced ballet students.

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Ars Lyrica Houston’s 2013-14 season celebrates the organization’s 10th anniversary and its mission to revive the musical glories of the Baroque era. The season begins with Menus Plaisirs, a look at the musical pleasures of the ancien régime, and then Music for a Princess explores the musical passions of Prussian royalty. The annual New Year’s Eve celebration whisks guests to a Venetian Carnival. The New Year brings La Sposa dei Cantici, followed by the Texas première of Handel’s Susanna featuring mezzo-soprano Marie Lenormand, and then the season closes with two Bach wedding cantatas at A Baroque Wedding Feast.

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Gallery Jatad, dedicated to African and contemporary art, opened its first show with prints by Joelle Verstraeten. The show runs through June 25.

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First Saturday Arts Market switches to evening hours starting June 1. This marks the seventh summer the market has switched to evening hours to stay out of the heat.

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The deadline for University of Houston’s new Art Leadership program is June 28. This 36-hour Master of Arts (MA) degree takes an entrepreneurial approach to preparing creative professionals to administer, launch, develop, and maintain arts organizations of all sizes.

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The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, was recognized with two honors: in London, the exhibition catalogue WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath won the “Best Photography Book Award” at the 2013 Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards and, in Austin, Glassell School of Art director Joseph Havel was appointed a State Artist by the Texas State Legislature. The MFAH’s 17th annual African American Artists exhibition is accepting submissions at the Glassell School of Art on June 7, between 1 pm-7 p.m.

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Houston artists selected for the Texas Biennial include Joseph Cohen, Will Henry, Debra Barrera, David Aylsworth, Seth Mittag, Marcelyn McNeil, Michael Bise, Jonathan Leach, Daniel McFarlane, The Bridge Club, Melissa Tran, Prince Thomas, Dion Laurent, Natali Leduc, Rahul Mitra, Mark Ponder, Anne Regan, Adela Andea and Carrie Schneider.

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Gonzo247 cuts the ribbon in front of his mural at Houston is Inspired launch. Photo by Stephanie Wong.

Gonzo247 cuts the ribbon in front of his mural at Houston is Inspired launch.
Photo by Stephanie Wong.

The Nicole Longnecker Gallery opens on Saturday, June 1, 2013 in a newly built out space on Colquitt’s Gallery Row, with an  exhibit of new metal works from Devon Christopher Moore.

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Round Up B.F. Smith & Son Saddlery Circa 1940-1942 by Fort Worth artist Marshall Harris is the winner of the $50,000 Hunting Art Prize for 2013.

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Houston’s arts and culture community launched a major awareness campaign themed “Houston Is Inspired”, which kicked off at the GHCVB’s Travel Rally Day press conference held today at Market Square Park in Downtown Houston.