The Woodlands, TX – Maestro Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony return to The Pavilion May 18 at 7:30 p.m. to perform a Salute to Strauss, The Waltz King. The evening is a delightful tribute to the immortal waltzes of Johann Strauss Jr., one of the most beloved of all 19th-century composers. Concertgoers can dance the night away in the aisles or on the hill to many of Strauss’ timeless melodies.

The performance begins with Strauss’ famous operetta, “Overture to Die Fledermaus (The Bat),” Opus 362. Also on the program are “Éljen a Magyár! (Hail to Hungary!),” Opus 332 and “Im Krapfenwaldl,” Opus 336 as well as two of his classic waltzes, “Rosen aus dem Süden (Roses from the South),” Opus 388 and “Kaiser-Waltzer (Emperor Waltz),” Opus 437. Strauss created lively polkas such as “Perpetuum Mobile” and “Bauern-Polka (Peasant Polka),” both of which Maestro Graf leads before the evening’s conclusion (Opus 257 and 276 respectively). The atmosphere of the night captivates the charm and elegance of old Vienna.

Austrian-born Hans Graf has been conducting the Houston Symphony since opening night of the 2001-02 season. Believing “there is something to learn from musicians and orchestras everyday,” Graf conducts all over the globe. In the United States, he has led the orchestras of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, St. Louis, Baltimore, Dallas and St. Paul, among others. He has also participated in some of this country's prestigious festivals including Blossom, Tanglewood, Wolftrap and the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center.

Pre-concert activities in the North Plaza include the Instrument Petting Zoo at The Pavilion Partners tent; The Wheel of Prizes with Chick-fil-A; Pavilion Talk, a free pre-concert discussion led by noted music scholar and college professor Ira J. Black that provides guests with insight into the evening’s program from 6:45 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.; and a Meet and Greet with Alison Young, on-air personality with KUHF 88.7 FM. Guests can also register-to-win Tommy Bahama’s “Best Seats in the House.” All pre-concert activities are free to anyone attending the evening’s performance. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Bring the whole family and have a picnic on the hill. Lawn seating is free, courtesy of The Wortham Foundation. Free lawn chairs also are available for this and all other performing arts events this season. Picnics are welcome. Keep in mind that beverages cannot be brought into The Pavilion.

Although lawn seating is free, tickets or vouchers are required and are available at the following locations: The Pavilion Ticket Office, Learning Express at Market Street, and at select Chick-fil-A, H-E-B and Woodforest National Bank locations. Visit for exact locations.

Reserved seating tickets to this Houston Symphony concert are $15 for covered reserved, $10 for uncovered reserved. Tickets can be purchased at The Pavilion Ticket Office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and on event days through intermission. The Ticket Office is located at the north entrance to The Pavilion at 2005 Lake Robbins Drive in The Woodlands. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets.

Preferred parking is available in the on-site Town Center Garage, located along Six Pines Drive. Parking is $5 per vehicle for this and most performing arts events. Tickets for on-site parking can be purchased in advance at all Ticketmaster locations and The Pavilion Ticket Office.

Hats Off to Reading Celebration! Prior to the Houston Symphony's performance, the annual "Hats Off to Reading" celebration, an event that promotes student literacy and a love of reading, takes place in The Pavilion's Event Tent from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. This event, sponsored by the Reading Odyssey Committee, a coalition of CISD librarians, the Montgomery County Memorial Library System, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School Library, Scholastic Book Fairs and The Pavilion, is free and open to the public. As a reward for their reading achievements during the school year, students can take home a free book (while supplies last) and participate in fun and educational activities, including face painting, hat making, bookmark crafts and more. Adding to the fun, Savvy, a local “tween pop” performance group, performs on the Side Stage from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. Following their performance, children can get autographs from Savvy and have the opportunity to purchase Savvy CDs. So come early and celebrate reading and the arts!

For more information regarding upcoming events at The Pavilion, call 281-363-3300 or visit

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion's 2006 Performing Arts Season is generously sponsored by BMW of Houston North, The Community Associations of The Woodlands, Houston Community Newspapers, Houston Endowment Inc., Mercedes-Benz of Houston North, The Pavilion Partners, The Wortham Foundation, and Continental Airlines, official airline of The Pavilion.

Performing Arts Season Generously Sponsored By

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | The Howard Hughes Company Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Texas Children's Hospital Sponsors | The Wortham Foundation Sponsors | Woodlands Township Sponsors | Pavilion Partners Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Aramark Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Sewell

Live Nation Venue Sponsors

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Citi Sponsors | Bud Light Sponsors | Saint Arnold Brewing Company Sponsors | Nissan