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New Year’s in Berlin

Sunday, December 31

Pre Concert Dinner* at Artista at 7:30 pm
New Year's in Berlin Concert in Zilkha Hall at 9:00 pm
Post Concert Gala* in Founders Club at 10:15 pm

Zilkha Hall / Hobby Center For The Performing Arts

Ars Lyrica’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration—which includes an elegant dinner, musical program, and festive gala—is always our most popular event of the year. For New Year’s Eve 2017 we visit the Berlin salon of Sara Itzig Levy, whose home was a meeting place for literary and musical giants, including Bach’s eldest sons and the young Felix Mendelssohn, Levy’s grandnephew. This Levy-inspired program includes several works from her legendary collection, including a W. F. Bach flute concerto and a C. P. E. Bach double concerto for fortepiano and harpsichord—a work closely connected with our legendary hostess, who played one of the solo parts at its 1788 première.

*separate ticketed events


  Mario Aschauer,  fortepiano

Mario Aschauer, fortepiano

  Matthew Dirst,  harpsichord

Matthew Dirst, harpsichord

  Colin St Martin,  traverso

Colin St Martin,


Austrian conductor, harpsichordist, and musicologist Mario Aschauer works at the interface of music scholarship and performance. He has built up a diverse repertoire specializing in Austrian Baroque music. As member of the Calamus-Consort he has performed at numerous renowned early music festivals such as Resonanzen Vienna, Bach Fest Leipzig, and Itinéraire Baroque en Périgord Vert (France). Having earned a degree in conducting from the Linz Bruckner Conservatory at the young age of seventeen, Mario had already conducted major works from the choral and symphonic canon before he graduated from high school. He holds a PhD in musicology from the University of Vienna and an MA in harpsichord performance from the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. Before Mario came to Texas to teach music history, historically informed performance, and early keyboard instruments at Sam Houston State University, he was a postdoctoral fellow and visiting guest lecturer at the Yale School of Music. 

Colin St-Martin, who since childhood was interested in 17th and 18th century European culture, began playing the traverso at the age of 14.  His studies took him to Brussels, Belgium, where he obtained a First Prize (bachelor of music) from the Royal Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of the renowned master, Bart Kuijken. He returned to the US to complete graduate work at the Early Music Institute at Indiana University. Currently, Mr St-Martin is busy as a performer and recording artist with many early music ensembles across the US in addition to being sought after as a master teacher. 

Sonja Bruzauskas, mezzo-soprano


After the concert, join us upstairs in the Founders Club for a special NYE gala German Cabaret performance by Sonja Bruzauskas with pianist, Tali Morgulis, reflecting the 1920's in Berlin that will include familiar Marlene Dietrich songs and songs by composers Kurt Weill and John Kander, with themed bites and drinks. Ring in the New Year with champagne and dancing with the Night Shift DJ, Chad Smith.

Gala Soloist: Sonja Bruzauskas, mezzo-soprano

Born and raised in Germany, mezzo-soprano Sonja Bruzauskas was trained on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Along with her expansive stage career in Musical Theater, Opera and Operetta, Sonja is a well established concert singer and recitalist, focusing on German Art Song and contemporary music. Appearances include the Staatsoperette Dresden, where Sonja was under full contract for several years before moving to the United States, the Santa Fe Opera, Volkstheater Rostock, Nordharzer Staedtebundtheater, Babelsberger Filmorchester, Bochumer Symphoniker, Baton Rouge Symphony , Da Camera, the Bach Society Houston, Mercury, the Greenbriar Consortium, the Houston Chamber Orchestra, the Houston Chamber Choir, ROCO, The Roundtop Institute and Ars Lyrica Houston.

Enter the gala raffle with purchase of feather boa, and your name will be entered into the raffle to win prizes TBD. Winners of raffle prize will be announced at the German cabaret themed gala in the Founders Club.


New Security Measures & Parking Information

A Note from the Hobby Center on new security measures at Zilkha Hall: As an extension of our patron services, we continue to look at best practices for security and safety at The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. As a result, we decided to implement pre-performance bag check and metal detector wanding. 5Star Event Services will be conducting the security checks at every performance and a Hobby Center employee will be on duty to assist the 5Star Team. For more information and a list of prohibited items, please CLICK HERE.

Parking at the Hobby Center

The parking garage is located directly behind the Hobby Center with easy access from both Rusk and Walker Streets. This above-ground, 7-level, 800-car garage offers convenient self-parking currently for $12 per vehicle.
If the parking garage fills up, you will be directed to the Memorial overflow lots and shuttle service.

Valet Service
Valet parking is available in front of the Hobby Center on Bagby Street between Rusk and Walker during Hobby Center performances and from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for Artista restaurant. Cost: Currently $25 per vehicle.

Contract Parking
Contract parking is available in the Hobby Center garage 24 hours a day. The business office is open 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The garage provides easy access to Houston's downtown tunnel system and is one of the most convenient parking locations for entering and exiting the downtown area.

Parking Availability
Valet and Hobby Center garage parking is subject to availability. Please note, Ballet patrons will be arriving and using the garage, please arrive early if you would like to park in the garage. Large attendance at various performances may create high demand limiting access, and resulting in the closing of valet and/or self-parking prior to the start time of a performance.If the parking garage fills up, you will be directed to the Memorial overflow lots and shuttle service.

View Hobby Center Parking & Directions HERE 

For any accessibility questions, please contact Judi Stallings at or 713.315.2412.

Click here for street closures related to both construction and special events. 

Click here for TxDOT highway accessibility
Find other convenient parking garages on this Downtown Interactive Parking Map

For a complete line-up of Ars Lyrica Houston's performances and information, artists and events, including education programming, visit ARSLYRICAHOUSTON.ORG