Homecoming King

Concertmaster Frank Huang returns to the stage at Jones Hall for a three-night event.

By Nick Esquer November 3, 2015

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Concertmaster Frank Huang, formerly of the Houston Symphony, now heads the New York Philharmonic

It’s homecoming season here in Houston. High schools are picking their kings and queens and University of Houston is primed to host Cincinnati this Saturday for its homecoming game. For famed concertmaster Frank Huang, playing with the Houston Symphony next week is a homecoming in more ways than one.

“Coming back this way feels a lot different,” he notes. Huang, who spent five years as concertmaster for the Houston Symphony, returns to the stage at Jones Hall to lead his former orchestra mates in a three-night ode to Dvorák. He recently took up the same post for the New York Philharmonic, bidding adieu to the city he’s called home since he was seven.

“Houston is still my hometown, I think of it as my hometown. A lot of my family is still there and there’s a lot I miss about it.”

Huang began playing violin shortly after moving from Beijing as a child. As his nimble fingers grew, allowing him to better handle the instrument, his talent soared. He made an appearance as a soloist with the Houston Symphony at age 11 and headed to New York to study at Julliard after undergrad.

“I have a new perspective now, since moving to New York again. It’s interesting not being a student here.”

After heading back to Houston to lead the Symphony, Huang, a winner of several international accolades, saw the city’s evolution and surge as an arts haven.

“Few cities have all forms of fine arts, like opera, classical, ballet. The last few years there has been a lot of excitement around our orchestra.”

Huang’s return will be one of emotion and reminiscence. And food. “My wife and I are major foodies, so I miss all the restaurants here, like Uchi. Houston has come a long way as far as food.” And this is coming from someone who lives in New York. That’s music to our ears.

Nov 12 & 14 at 8; Nov 15 at 2:30. $25-129. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713-224-7575.