Podcasts

PSO Audio

Anne-Sophie Mutter & Manfred Honeck
09/12/2014 | listen
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck talk about their season-opening gala performance on Sep. 13th at Heinz Hall and recent events in their lives.


Stephen Hough
03/21/2014 | listen
Pianist Stephen Hough returns to the Pittsburgh Symphony in Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto #1. He shares details of Mendelssohn's music and the composer's link to singer Jenny Lind, and Hough's own editorial approach to blogging.


Donald Runnicles
03/20/2014 | listen
Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles, now  chief conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, talks about the music of Wagner which has been a passion of his since his early career in Freiburg, Germany. He also speaks about his work at the Grand Teton Music Festival, and his appearance on a web-based cooking show that features top-ranked classical musicians.


Gianandrea Noseda - Week I
02/21/2014 | listen

Giananadrea Noseda brings Alfredo Casella's Symphonic Fragments from "La Donna Serpente" to Heinz Hall to begin two weekends with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Noseda also diuscusses Prokofiev's Piano Concerto #5 as pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet makes his Pittsburgh debut, and the Symphony #2 by Schumann.


Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
02/20/2014 | listen
Pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet gives an inside look at Prokofiev's 5th Piano Concerto, which he describes as a bizarre, cubist, kaleidoscopic treatment of its themes. Bavouzet compares this concerto to works by Debussy and Liszt. Bavouzet credits his early exposure to electronic music with giving him insights into the "parameters of sound." He also talks about his ongoing cycle of Haydn sonata recordings and future projects.


Manfred Honeck
02/07/2014 | listen
PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck talks about combining Gustav Holst's "The Planets" and "The Elements," a PSO-commissioned suite by five Pittsburgh composers that represents the five classical elements. Maestro Honeck also previews the PSO's free Music for the Spirit concert on Feb. 13, 2014 in East Liberty.


Helene Grimaud
01/31/2014 | listen

French pianist Helene Grimaud returns to play the Piano Concerto #1 by Johannes Brahms. Her new recording of both Brahms concertos has been released on the Deutsche Grammophon label. Ms. Grimaud is nearly as famous for her work as a naturalist as she is for her music – she co-founded the Wolf Conservation Center in upstate New York in 1996. She spoke in the Regency Room at Heinz Hall about her two careers.


Manfred Honeck
01/29/2014 | listen
PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck talks about a program of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms featuring pianist Helene Grimaud, and about a benefit concert he will conduct organized by PSO musicians to support music education.


Lawrence Loh on The Music of John Williams
01/25/2014 | listen
PSO Resident Conductor and self-professed John Williams "fanboy" Lawrence Loh talks about the selections he chose for Pops concerts featuring a few lesser-known excerpts from Williams' movie scores as well as the hits. He also tells Jim Cunningham about some extra stage trappings that pump up the fun factor for these concerts.


Hila Plitmann
01/17/2014 | listen
Grammy-winning soprano Hila Plitmann  talks about her part in the final movement of "Darkness in the Ancient Valley" by Richard Danielpour, a work co-commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony and which honors the plight of the Iranian people. She also mentions her husband Eric Whitacre's work on a new musical, and her appearance in a production of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels.


Christoph Koenig
01/16/2014 | listen
PSO Guest conductor Christoph Koenig waxes philosophical about Haydn's "Philosopher" Symphony, Richard Strauss' Nietzsche-inspired "Also Sprach Zarathustra," and Richard Danielpour's "Darkness in the Ancient Valley," a tribute to the plight of the Iranian people. Koenig also gives an inkling of what to expect in the PSO's first "Behind the Notes" concert.


Peter Phillips of The Tallis Scholars
12/06/2013 | listen
The PSO welcomes The Tallis Scholars, founded and directed by Peter Phillips. While celebrating its 40th anniversary season, the choir performs an a cappella program of Renaissance sacred music and two motets by Bruckner at Heinz Hall to complement Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 "Romantic" conducted by Manfred Honeck.


Till Fellner
11/27/2013 | listen
Austrian pianist Till Fellner's PSO debut on Thanksgiving weekend features Beethoven's Piano Concerto #4 with Manfred Honeck conducting. Fellner talks about the details he discusses with Honeck, about recording Beethoven for ECM, and his interest in the use of music by film director Luis Bunuel.


Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
11/07/2013 | listen
Frequent Pittsburgh Symphony guest conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos talks about the US premiere of the Symphony #6 by Spanish-born Pittsburgh composer Leonardo Balada. The symphony was inspired by the Spanish Civil War. Frühbeck, now 80, shares memories of working with past legends Nathan Milstein, Joaquin Rodrigo, and others.


Charlie Humphrey - Three Rivers Film Festival
11/06/2013 | listen
Charlie Humphrey, Executive Director of festival presenter Pittsburgh Filmmakers, talks about the four opening night films on Nov, 8, a fourth theater joining the festival, local films and film makers, microcinema, the return of the Alloy Orchestra for silent film screenings, and more.


Yan Pascal Tortelier
11/01/2013 | listen
Guest conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier talks about the role of melody in Russian music, the Russian-French connection, and the Piano Concerto #2 by Prokfiev and Symphony #2 by Rachmaninoff. He also talks about French pastries, such as the macaron and croissant.


Noah Bendix-Balgley
10/23/2013 | listen
PSO Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley talks about the Scottish Fantasy by Max Bruch, his newly-acquired violin that he'll use in the performance, and whether the vacancy created by the impending retirement of NY Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow tempts him.


Nikolaj Znaider
10/23/2013 | listen
After building his career as a violinist, Nikolaj Znaider returns to Heinz Hall as guest conductor to lead the work he played as soloist there in 2005 -- Bruch's Scottish Fantasy. PSO concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley will solo this time, as Znaider conducts a program that includes Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture and Schumann's Symphony No. 4.


Pianist Yulianna Avdeeva
10/10/2013 | listen
Chopin Competition gold medalist Yulianna Avdeeva makes her Heinz Hall debut in Chopin's Piano Concerto #21, nicknamed "Elvira Madigan." The Moscow-born pianist talks about the aria-like quality of the famous slow movement, performances elsewhere with PSO music director Manfred Honeck, her experiences in Warsaw at the Chopin Competition, and her training in Moscow, Zurich, and Lake Como, Italy.


David Stock
10/01/2013 | listen
The Pittsburgh Symphony begins its "Year of Pittsburgh Composers" with the Symphony #6 by David Stock, who founded the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble in 1976. Mr. Stock describes his process and some traits of his Symphony #6, and talks about his first five symphonies, as well as his use of Jewish themes. He also recalls fellow composer Phillip Glass's early years as a composer for Pittsburgh's public schools and as a cab driver in NYC. Stock's Symphony #6 will be featured on the PSO's opening weekend with Orff's Carmina Burana.


The Complete Anne-Sophie Mutter
09/11/2013 | listen
Jim Cunningham's complete interview with superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter at the Lucerne Festival. Mutter talks about her collaboration with Honeck and the PSO, her new Dvorak CD with Honeck and the Berlin Philharmonic, and news of her former husband, Andre Previn.


Pixar in Concert
06/15/2013 | listen
Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh talks about the composers for the "Pixar in Concert" performances including high-definition projected scenes from Pixar's award-winning animated movies. Maestro Loh will conduct "Pixar in Concert" at Heinz Hall and in Philadelphia, and conducts the PSO Pops season finale with saxophonist Kenny G.


Yuja Wang
06/07/2013 | listen
Pianist Yuja Wang talks about Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1, which the 26 year-old superstar plays for the Pittsburgh Symphony's season finale weekend with the orchestra led by Manfred Honeck. Wang also talks about fashion, her upcoming CDs, how she spends her limited free time in New York, and more.


Manfred Honeck on the PSO's season finale
06/05/2013 | listen
Music Director Manfred Honeck talks about two big Russian works that close the season: Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1 and Shostakovich's Symphony #5, and the tiny pianist, Yuja Wang, who plays the concerto. Honeck also speaks about recent conducting debuts in New York and elsewhere, and the PSO's next European Tour starting in August.


Yan Pascal Tortelier
05/20/2013 | listen
Guest conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier talks about his program including Elgar's tone poem "In the South (Alassio )" and Ravel's "Rapsodie espagnol" and recalls his own recent trip to southern Italy with his mother. Tortelier also talks about his relationship with the Pittsburgh Symphony and working with pianist Valentina Lisitsa on Grieg's Piano Concerto.


Nicola Benedetti
05/10/2013 | listen
English violinist Nicola Benedetti returns to Heinz Hall to play the Tchaikovsky concerto, She talks about why she and audiences never tire of this piece, recalls her unforgettable first performance of the concerto, and about her latest CD, The Silver Violin, which takes Erich Wolfgang Korngold's music from the golden age of Hollywood as its inspiration.


Kazem Abdullah
05/09/2013 | listen
Meet American maestro Kazem Abdullah, making his Pittsburgh Symphony debut with works by Brahms, Hindemith, and Tchaikovsky. Coming from a non-musical midwestern family, Abdullah pursued a dual career as a clarinetist and conductor. He has completed his first year as General Music Director in Aachen, Germany, where legendary conductors Herbert von Karajan and Wolfgang Sawallisch previously held the job. He is an avid gardener in Aachen where his lemon tree, a gift, just bore its first fruit.


Joshua Bell
04/12/2013 | listen
Violinist Joshua Bell talks about Bernstein's Serenade for Violin and Orchestra, his Stradivarius violin and its former owner Bronislaw Huberman, his new job as music director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, his interests in technology, his history with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and his one vice.


Jeanette Sorrell
04/03/2013 | listen
Guest conductor and harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell, founder and director of Cleveland's acclaimed Apollo's Fire baroque orchestra, talks with Jim Cunningham about her approach to Bach's Six Brandenburg Concertos for her Pittsburgh Symphony debut. She talks about tempos, textures and solos - especially the florid harpsichord cadenza in the fifth concerto, and the great conductors she studied with including Bernstein, Norrington, and Leonhardt.


Denis Matsuev
02/15/2013 | listen
Pianist Denis Matseuv returns to play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #2. He talks about receiving unknown Rachmaninoff pieces to record at the composer's piano, and about meeting an elderly PSO patron who remembered seeing Rachmaninoff in Pittsburgh. Matsuev also talks about hockey, Russian ballet, his Star on Baikal Music Festival. and the strength of the new generation of post-Soviet musicians.


Maria Friedman
01/29/2013 | listen
English actress Maria Friedman worked with Marvin Hamlisch many times after he first heard her voice on radio. Ms. Friedman is on the roster for the Pittsburgh Symphony's Marvin Hamlisch tribute concert titled "One Singular Sensation" on January 29th, 2013. She recalls what he was like to work with, and talks about the memorial events she has been part of since Hamlisch's death in August 2012.


Michael Francis
01/25/2013 | listen
English Guest conductor Michael Francis makes his Pittsburgh Symphony debut in a program featuring Mozart's Symphony #40, Dovrak's violin concerto with Christian Tetzlaff, and two powerful (and violent) Czech legends: Sarka from Smetana's Ma Vlast, and Taras Bulba by Janacek. Francis talks about his unplanned rise from the bass section of the London Symphony Orchestra to become one of the fastest-rising conductors.


Christian Tetzlaff
01/25/2013 | listen
Making his Pittsburgh Symphony debut, violinist Christian Tetzlaff talks about Dvorak's violin concerto and chamber music. You'll also hear why he sometimes puts honey on his fingers before a performance.


Gianandrea Noseda - Part 2
01/15/2013 | Currently Playing
For week 2 of his visit, the PSO's Victor de Sabata Guest Conductor, Gianandrea Noseda, conducts La notte di Plàton by de Sabata, a frequent and influential Pittsburgh Symphony guest conductor between the tenures of music directors Fritz Reiner and William Steinberg. Noseda talks about de Sabata's music and reputation as a conductor. He also gives an Italian's assessment of Richard Strauss' Aus Italien, and Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand (to feature Benjamin Hochman.) Noseda also talks about his recording projects, an appearance at the New York Stock Exchange, and some favorite Italian films.


Enrico Dindo
01/11/2013 | listen
Cellist Enrico Dindo makes his PSO debut in the Shostakovich Cello Concerto #2, which he had the opportunity to discuss with Mstislav Rostropovich, the dedicatee of the concerto. Dindo talks about his relationship with Gianandrea Noseda, his work as Principal cello at La Scala from age 22, and his 11th-hour entry into competition that launched his transition to a solo career.


Gianandrea Noseda - Part 1
01/10/2013 | listen
PSO favorite Gianandrea Noseda returns to Heinz Hall for two consecutive weeks. In the first, Noseda introduces Italian cellist Enrico Dindo, who will make his PSO debut in the Shostakovich Cello Concerto #2. Then, Noseda conducts Dvorak's Symphony #7, which the maestro finds to be very passionate.


Fawzi Haimor
12/12/2012 | listen
Meet PSO Assistant Conductor Fawzi Haimor. The Middle Eastern/Filipino/American maestro is in his first season at Heinz Hall. He tells Jim Cunningham about his background and his conducting duties with the Pittsburgh Symphony.


Gregg Baker, bass-baritone
11/21/2012 | listen
Bass-baritone Gregg Baker will sing about three rivers on the PSO's Thanksgiving weekend program: Mancini's Moon River, Gershwin's Old Man River, and the Volga River. He'll also sing two Lehar songs chosen by Manfred Honeck that were written for tenor voice. Baker talks about his long association with the PSO, his work with Eartha Kitt, his role in an historic Porgy and Bess at Radio City Music Hall, and some pending new roles in his long career.


F. Murray Abraham
10/12/2012 | listen
Actor and Pittsburgh native F. Murray Abraham, who played the role of Salieri in the Oscar-winning film Amadeus, will narrate Manfred Honeck's dramatic presentation of Mozart's Requiem. Mr. Abraham talks about his Pittsburgh roots, the music and letters in this production of the Requiem, his concurrent roles in the enduring 1983 films Amadeus and Scarface, and of course, speaks passionately about music.


Leonard Slatkin - Oct 03 2012
10/05/2012 | listen

Principal Guest Conductor talks about conducting the PSO in the orchestral world premiere of Scott Eyerly's "Arlington Sons," written for father-and-son singers David and Robert Pittsinger, inspired by a Pittsinger patriarch's service guarding the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington Cemetery. Slatkin also talks about Olga Kern's special gift with Rachmaninoff's piano Concerto #3, the Symphony #3 by American composer William Schuman, and Slatkin's newly-published book, "Conducting Business."


David Pittsinger & Richard Pittsinger
10/05/2012 | listen
Met opera bass-baritone David Pittsinger commissioned Scott Eyerly to write a piece for David and his son Richard, a boy soprano who also has an international career. The Pittsingers talk about Eyerly's "Arlington Sons" which they perform in the work's orchestral premiere with the PSO. It honors David's grandfather, a guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The two singers talk about their careers, in David's case including a long assocition with Pittsburgh Opera and its former General Director Tito Capobianco.


Thomas Hampson
09/21/2012 | listen
Baritone Thomas Hampson talks about some magnificent but obscure songs by Richard Strauss that he'll sing with the PSO on the season's opening weekend. Hampson also talks about his concert with the Israel Philharmonic at Salzburg, and his forays into the world of Twitter and iPad apps, including golf and news apps -- as well as the Thomas Hampson app. With the fall season ahead, he talks about sensible tips to avoid colds and keep his voice healthy.


Manfred Honeck - Season finale with Mahler's 6th
06/12/2012 | listen
Manfred Honeck talks in depth about Mahler's "Tragic" Symphony #6, including powerful hammer blows, and delicate, distant cowbells such as Honeck heard in his hometown of Nenzing, Austria. Also, a work by Eugene Goosens that will feature the PSO's Gorton family: retiring Co-Principal Oboist James Gorton; his wife, Principal Harpist Gretchen Van Hoesen Gorton; and their daughter, Toronto Symphony Principal Harpist Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton.


Joshua Bell
06/04/2012 | listen
Violinist Joshua Bell talk about Brahms's Violin Concerto, which he'll play with the PSO led by Manfred Honeck. Bell talks about some of his media outreach projects, such as appearing on Dancing with the Stars, and his new post as Director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, founded by Sir Neville Marriner.


Manfred Honeck - Brahms and Richard Strauss
06/04/2012 | listen
Maestro Honeck talks about having the three big Strauss tone poems in one concert, as necessitated by recording the orchestra's next CD. He also talks about the young Strauss's keen insight in "Death and Transfiguration."


Gianandrea Noseda - Paris Festival
04/23/2012 | listen
Gianandrea Noseda discusses the opening program of the PSO's three-week Paris Festival which includes Respighi's La Boutique Fantasque, Debussy's Iberia, and de Falla's The Three-Cornered Hat. Noseda talks about his recording projects and is reluctant to praise French films out of deference to Italian cinema.


Gianandrea Noseda, Week 1
04/20/2012 | listen
The PSO's Gianandrea Noseda leads Romantic-era pieces by Hector Berlioz (excerpts from Romeo & Juliet) and Johannes Brahms (Piano Concerto #2) with soloist Nicholas Angelich. Noseda addresses the possible origins of the Capulet & Montague feud, and talks about his work as guest conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.


Stephen Hough
03/30/2012 | listen
Pianist Stephen Hough talks about Saint-Saens' "Egyptian" Concerto, and about life in New York, hats, cooking, his own compositions including a mass and a sonata, blogging and tweeting, Kindles and reading.


Leonard Slatkin
03/29/2012 | listen
PSO Principal Guest Conductor Leonard Slatkin talks about a colorful program of Steven Stucky's Son et Lumiere, Saint-Saens' "Egyptian" concerto featuring pianist Stephen Hough, and Slatkin's own suite of favorites from Prokofiev's Cinderella. Slatkin also talks about his forthcoming book, his travels in Japan, and the work of his father, mother, and brother in the arts.


Sarah Chang, violin
03/23/2012 | listen
Violinist Sarah Chang returns to Heinz Hall with a 2011 arrangement of Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story" by Hollywood's David Newman. Sarah talks with WQED's Jim Cunningham about Bernstein, her favorite films, tweeting, Phantom of the Opera, Vivaldi's Four Seasons and much more.


Yan Pascal Tortelier
03/21/2012 | listen
Tortelier, the PSO's former Principal Guest Conductor, returns with Bernstein's West Side Story Suite played by violinist Sarah Chang as arranged by Thomas Newman, Morton Gould's Spirituals for Orchestra, and Jean Sibelius' Symphony #1.


Triple Concerto Soloists: Vosburgh, Caballero, and Knox
03/09/2012 | listen
Andrè Previn's world premiere Triple Concerto features Pittsburgh Symphony principal brass players George Vosburgh, trumpet; Bill Caballero, horn; and Craig Knox, tuba. They talk about features of the concerto, influences in Previn's music, and the process of working together in one of the world's great brass sections.


Andre Previn
03/08/2012 | listen
Former Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director Andre Previn premieres his Concerto for Trumpet, Horn, and Tuba, commissioned by the PSO. He talks about the composition, his impressions of the orchestra, and memories of composers he's worked with in Hollywood (he recalls playing ping pong with Schoenberg) and on the PBS Previn and the Pittsburgh series.


Emanuel Ax
03/02/2012 | listen
Pittsburgh favorite Emanuel Ax returns to play Mozart's Piano Concerto #22, which inspired Ax's email address. Ax gives an insider's view of the concerto, talks about his long relationship with the PSO, his recent activities, his interest in tennis and football, and about the trend of older people taking up the piano.


Lars Vogt
02/10/2012 | listen
Guest pianist Lars Vogt talks about Mozart's least-played piano concerto, No. 16, which he performs with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck. Vogt, who resides in Berlin, talks about his work with Honeck and another of his favorite conductors, the Berlin Philharmonic's Simon Rattle.


Thomas Hampson
02/03/2012 | listen
Baritone Thomas Hampson joins the Pittsburgh Symphony conducted by Manfred Honeck in Brahms' beloved A German Requiem paired with Dvorak's seldom-heard Biblical songs. Hampson describes the similarity of approach by both composers and the interesting companions these two works make.


Juraj Valcuha
01/12/2012 | listen
Slovak conductor Juraj Valcuha talks about the colorful pieces on his concerts at Heinz Hall, Ravel's Mother Goose Suite, Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, and Steven Stucky's Spirit Voices featuring percussionist Evelyn Glennie.


Sam Helfrich
12/01/2011 | listen
Stage and opera director Sam Helfrich will help the PSO stage, yes, with costumes, sets. orchestra in the pit and all that, Handel's Messiah as you've never experienced it before. Helfrich staged Pittsburgh Opera's 2009 Eugene Onegin and has worked with Opera Boston, Glimmerglass and other opera companies.


Gabriela Montero
11/18/2011 | listen
Pianist and improviser extraordinaire Gabriela Montero returns to Heinz Hall in Prokofiev's Piano Concerto #3 with guest conductor Christoph König. She talks about the challenges of Prokofiev's music, the art of improvisation, and her own first concerto, titled "Ex Patria," written as a reaction against the leadership of Hugo Chavez in her native Venezuela. Gabriela also talks about meeting and then concertizing with her boyfriend, a singer.


Christoph Knig
11/18/2011 | listen
German conductor Christoph König gives his first impressions on working with the PSO, and talks about Prokofiev's string writing, the art of improvisation, his work with orchestras in Luxembourg and Porto, his recordings, and early life in the opera house and growing up in the former East Germany.


James Galway
10/28/2011 | listen
Sir James Galway talks about Mozart's Flute Concerto #2, and why Mozart disliked the flute. He also talks about the little-known creator of the Fantasie Brillante on Themes from Bizet's Carmen. Sir James reminisces about his concerts with the PSO including a memorable visit to Moscow with Lorin Maazel, and talks about the writing of his memoir, The Man with the Golden Flute: Sir James, a Celtic Minstrel .


Xiang Yu, violin
10/21/2011 | listen
22-year-old Chinese violinist Xiang Yu makes his PSO debut in Prokofiev's Violin Concerto #2. He talks about Prokofiev, winning the 2010 Menuhin competition, and his journey from Inner Mongolia to Beijing to Boston, where he studies with Donald Weilerstein. Xiang Yu mentions his extramusical activities, such as swimming, and coaches Jim Cunningham in some basic Mandarin phrases.


Marvin Hamlisch
10/12/2011 | listen
In a busy downtown restaurant, Pittsburgh Symphony Pops music director Marvin Hamlisch talks with Jim Cunningham about his travels to Africa and Europe, how he's winning his personal "battle of the bulge," highlights of the 2011-2012 PSO Pops season, the new sound system in Heinz Hall, special Gershwin-related surprises this season, and the need for subscriptions to keep the pops going.


Rudolf Buchbinder
09/22/2011 | listen
Viennese pianist joins the PSO on opening night in Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F, just two weeks after the orchestra played two concerts at the Grafenegg Festival in Austria, where Buchbinder is the founding director. Buchbinder talks about his esteem for the Gershwin concerto, the concept behind the Grafenegg Festival, his many Beethoven recordings, and his passion for movies, art, and his 540-horsepower Maybach luxury sedan.


Noah Bendix-Balgley
07/18/2011 | listen
The Pittsburgh Symphony's new Concertmaster, 27 year old Noah Bendix-Balgley, is a laureate of the 2009 Queen Elizabeth of Belgium Competition and winner of other prizes. He talks about his background, which includes leading a string quartet in Germany and serving as a guest concertmaster across Europe. He also reveals a family tie to the PSO.


Michelle DeYoung
05/20/2011 | listen
Mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, who has recorded Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with four different orchestras including the PSO, returns in Mahler's Kindertotenlieder on the 100th anniversary of the composer's death. She talks about the challenges and joys of singing this deeply emotional song cycle.


Joan Tower, composer
05/13/2011 | listen
Composer Joan Tower talks about her world-premiere piece, titled "Stroke," which was commissioned by the PSO. She describes how she incorporated a heartbeat and sequence of instrumental solos into music inspired by the stroke that left her brother half-paralyzed. She also comments on her uncommon fanfares, and some activities beyond her tenure as Pittsburgh Symphony Composer of the Yea.


Leonard Slatkin
05/06/2011 | listen
PSO Principal Guest Conductor Leonard Slatkin has championed David del Tredici's "Final Alice" since he witnessed the premiere. Slatkin describes unusual aspects: the enormous orchestra, Theremin, and soprano with megaphone. He also discusses Peter and the Wolf with text revised by Pittsburgh humorist Peter Leo, and the Detroit Symphony's new direction after a long and bitter strike.


Hila Plitmann
05/05/2011 | listen
Soprano Hila Plitmann talks about the unusual soprano part in David del Tredici's "Final Alice," based on "Alice in Wonderland," which reflects some aspects of the composer's personality. She talks about her work with film composer Hans Zimmer on "The DaVinci Code" and the upcoming "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." And her husband, choral composer Eric Whitacre comes up for discussion.


Herbert Blomstedt
04/11/2011 | listen
Once a potential PSO Music Director, Herbert Blomstedt returns to Heinz Hall for the first time in 25 years. He talks about Brahms, Schumann, religion, Swedish Radio, and San Francisco where he was Music Director for 10 years.


Garrick Ohlsson
04/05/2011 | listen
American pianist Garrick Ohlsson talks about  his work with Herbert Blomstedt, the Brahms Piano Concerto #2, new recording projects, his recent and future concerts, life in San Francisco, and more.


Nicola Benedetti
03/02/2011 | listen
Scottish violinist talks with Jim Cunningham on the occasion of her Pittsburgh Symphony debut in showpieces by Chausson and Ravel. She talks about the high-profile events that launched her career, her music education efforts including El Sistema projects in Scotland, and her work with composers James MacMillan and John Tavener.


Lars Vogt, piano
02/25/2011 | listen
On his fourth appearance at Heinz Hall, German pianist Lars Vogt talks with QED's Jim Cunningham at a Friends of the PSO event. Subjects include Beethoven's Piano Concerto #1, the Spannungen Festival, soccer, and teaching music to young players including Vogt's own daughter.


Serge Zimmermann
02/09/2011 | listen
Like his father Frank-Peter Zimmermann, violinist Serge Zimmermann makes his US debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony. He talks about his father, influential violinists such as Milstein, working with Manfred Honeck, and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.


Viviane Hagner
01/31/2011 | listen
German violinist Viviane Hagner talks about Haydn's Violin Concerto #1, her Stradivadrius, explorations of new music, recent recording including a Vieutemps concerto, cultural life in Berlin, and more.


Arild Remmereit
01/28/2011 | listen
Guest conductor Arild Remmereit talks with Jim Cunningham about his new post with the Rochester Philharmonic, how he went from being a rock guitarist in platform shoes to a conductor on the podium, and about his PSO program of Sibelius, Haydn and Mozart.


Johannes Moser
11/29/2010 | listen
The German cellist with Canadian roots makes his Heinz Hall debut in Dvorak's Cello Concerto. He talks about a lost love immortalized by Dvorak, Victor Herbert's influence on Dvorak, and favorite moments in this concerto. On the personal side, Moser talks about his family, his work with a German poet and a toy pianist, and his recent conquest of the Alps on a mountain bike.


Joan Tower
11/19/2010 | listen
The PSO's Composer of the Year talks about working with conductor Leonard Slatkin, an early champion of her music, and about her Clarinet Concerto, Tambor, Made in America, Sequoia, Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman, and the PSO-commissioned Stroke which will premiere in May, 2011.


Leila Josefowicz
11/08/2010 | listen
Visiting the PSO to play Shostakovich's Violin Concerto #1 with guest conductor Susanna Mälkki, Leila Josefowicz talks about the concerto in detail, and about her upcoming winter in Europe performing contemporary works.


Susanna Malkki
11/03/2010 | listen
Finnish conductor Susanna Malkki makes her Heinz Hall debut with works by Sibelius, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky. As Pierre Boulez's successor as Music Director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, she has moved from the darkness of the far north to Paris, the City of Light. She talks about what Finlandia means to the Finns, Sibelius's character, and the affinities of this Russian/Finnish program.


Ludovic Morlot
11/01/2010 | listen
The Seattle Symphony's next Music Director, the young French maestro Ludovic Morlot (b. 1974), makes his Heinz Hall debut with works by Weber, Bruch, Tower, and Ravel. Morlot talks about getting the right choral sound in Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe, his background as a violinist, and his work with great conductors in Boston and Tanglewood.


Olga Kern
10/22/2010 | listen
Russian pianist Olga Kern makes her Heinz Hall debut in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #1. She talks about her work with conductor Leonard Slatkin, Rachmaninoff's concertos, her musical family and its ties to Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, and meeting Van Cliburn as Gold Medalist at the 2001 Van Cliburn Competition.


Leonard Slatkin
10/22/2010 | listen
PSO Principal Guest Conductor Leonard Slatkin talks about his forthcoming book, his recent Western sightseeing trip, his work with PSO Composer of the Year Joan Tower and her "For the Uncommon Woman," the Dvorak 6th Symphony and Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #1 with soloist Olga Kern, and Slatkin's latest download-only recording from Naxos.


Yuja Wang
09/23/2010 | listen
The diminutive powerhouse pianist Yuja Wang plays Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" to open the Pittsburgh Symphony's 2010-2011 season. She tells Jim Cunningham about her next CD, talks about upcoming performances, working with conductor Claudio Abbado, PSO friends from her native China, and her tastes in pop music.


Renee Fleming
09/16/2010 | listen
Renee Fleming appears with Manfred Honeck and the PSO in the "Bella Notte" gala on Sep 16, 2010 to begin a new season at Heinz Hall. The Western PA native talks about singing at the BBC Proms, her family, her mentor Mildred Posvar, communicating with an audience, the art of singing and more.


Manfred Honeck on Beethoven's Ninth
06/04/2010 | listen
Manfred Honeck talks about his interpretation of Beethoven's Ninth, including an unusual understanding of tempo markings, and his take on the march in the Ode to Joy.


Hilary Hahn
05/07/2010 | listen
Violinist Hilary Hahn gives an insider's view of the Sibelius Vioin Concerto. She talks about appearing on one of Conan O'Brien's final Tonight shows, cooking on the road, upcoming CDs, and her work with last week's PSO soloist Valentina Lisitsa.


Richard Danielpour
04/30/2010 | listen
On the occasion of his final visit as PSO Composer of the Year, Richard Danielpour talks about "Rocking the Cradle," his orchestral response to the sacrifice of war. He talks about his inspiration, the individual movements, his use of Tibetan bowls in the percussion, and his amazement at Manfred Honeck's intuitive understanding of this work.


Valentina Lisitsa
04/28/2010 | listen
The Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa made her PSO debut on short notice in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #2. Jim Cunningham asks her about the composer's second, third and "fifth" concertos, secrets for playing Rachmaninoff well, "pop" versions of his themes, her home in North Carolina and her (jokingly) claimed identity as a "redneck" pianist.


Yefim Bronfman
04/16/2010 | listen
Pianist Yefim Bronfman talks about his hometown of Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Beethoven's Piano Concerto #3, the composer as futurist, how he might have played his concertos, Mozart's influence on Beethoven, Bronfman's appearance on "Iron Chef," his teachers, favorite recent movies, stage fright, and more.


Juraj Valcuha
04/15/2010 | listen
Guest Conductor Juraj Valcuha leads the PSO's first performances of Zemlinsky's The Mermaid. Valcuha talks about aspects of the music relating to Zemlinsky's love life. The Slovakian maestro also talks about his fondness for the cimbalom and early 20th century music, gives an update on his career, and compares Beethoven's Piano Concertos.


Stephen Hough
04/09/2010 | listen
The English pianist makes his long-overdue debut with the PSO in Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #2. He talks about the composer's concertos, and his understanding of the latest evidence surrounding Tchaikovsky's death. He also talks about his blog, and topics from Catholicism to practice tips.


Yan Pascal Tortelier
03/19/2010 | listen
Guest conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier talks about Berlioz' Harold in Italy, based on the literary character by Lord Byron and featuring the viola as "Harold," and about Holst's The Planets, which Tortelier learned during his father's career in England. Tortelier also mentions his new relationship with Brazil's Sao Paulo State Orchestra.


Benjamin Hochman
03/11/2010 | listen
Pianist Benjamin Hochman talks about Mozart's lesser-played Concerto #19, Mozart's cadenzas, developing his Mozart style, his influences such as pianist Edwin Fischer, his studies in Israel,


Jonathan Biss
03/05/2010 | listen
Pianist Jonathan Biss talks about Brahms' second piano concerto; the love triangle involving Brahms and Clara & Robert Schumann, recording 'live' at Wigmore Hall in London, touring, appearing with the Concertgebouw and Cleveland orchestras; and his parents, violinist Miriam Fried and violist Paul Biss.


Gianandrea Noseda
03/04/2010 | listen
Noseda conducts a Liszt transcription, a personal favorite Haydn Symphony, and Brahms' Piano Concerto #2 with Jonathan Biss in week 1. On the menu for week 2: Rossini, Mozart and Tchaikovsky, and he'll roll up his sleeves to cook with his friend, celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich, on WQED-HD.


Gregg Baker
02/20/2010 | listen
Baritone Gregg Baker, who sang Beethoven's 9th Symphony in Asia with the Pittsburgh Symphony last year, returns to portray three great black baseball pioneers in Richard Danielpour's Pastime with Leonard Slatkin conducting. Baker also talks about Danielpour's 2005 opera, Margaret Garner, in which he created the role of Robert.


Leonard Slatkin & Mason Bates
02/19/2010 | listen
Leonard Slatkin and composer Mason Bates talk us through an American Voyage in music, including Bates' Liquid Interface for orchestra and electronics, Bernstein's Three Dances from On the Town, Gershwin's An American in Paris, and Richard Danielpour's Pastime, a tribute to three black baseball heroes.


Anne-Sophie Mutter
02/05/2010 | listen
The legendary violinist teams up with Manfred Honeck and the PSO for concerts at Heinz Hall and on tour. She talks about the orchestra, her recordings, Andre Previn, Brahms, Joachim, motherhood, New York attractions, von Karajan, and more.


Emanuel Ax
01/22/2010 | listen
Grammy-winning pianist Emanuel Ax returns to Heinz Hall in Beethoven's Emperor Concerto with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Ax talks about Beethoven's genius, the future of New York classical radio station WQXR, his work with Yo-Yo Ma, and more.


Beethoven's Deafness
01/21/2010 | listen
What did Beethoven hear as his deafness progressed? What caused his hearing loss, and how did he overcome it? Dr. Catherine Palmer from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center explores these questions with QED's Jim Cunningham.


John Lithgow
12/03/2009 | listen
Actor John Lithgow talks about Mozart's Requiem, as he narrates a recreation of Mozart's funeral mass with the PSO. He also talks about his books and songs for kids, the TV series Dexter and Third Rock, his Broadway roles, and more.


Sa Chen
11/25/2009 | listen
The Chinese-born pianist talks about Sichuan food, Tchaikovsky and his Concerto #1, her first American Thanksgiving, her career development, Germany, and meeting Van Cliburn as a medalist at his namesake competition.


Chee-Yun
11/06/2009 | listen
South Korean violinist Chee-Yun talks about working with conductor Marek Janowski, the special qualities of the Mendelssohn E Minor concerto, and about her recent guest appearance on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm."


Jean-Yves Thibaudet
10/30/2009 | listen
The French piano soloist talks about the concertos of Saint-Saens, buying his trademark red socks at the Vatican, and his interest in jazz pianist Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, jazz clubs, Parisian restaurants, and Gershwin. He also mentions future Khatchaturian and Liszt projects.


Marek Janowski
10/29/2009 | listen
Janowski talks about Halloween, Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique, his recordings "in concert" with the Pittsburgh Symphony for the Pentatone label at Heinz Hall, Saint-Saens' Piano Concerto #2, and the future of the arts in Germany at a time of financial crisis.


Leonard Slatkin - Part 2
10/20/2009 | listen
The Pittsburgh Symphony's Principal Guest Conductor talks about making a little "symphony" of Samuel Barber's "perfect" little pieces; Copland's El Salon Mexico and dances from "Rodeo," John Williams as the 20th century's most influential composer, and getting speeding tickets in the expansive landscapes of the American West.


Richard Danielpour & Angela Brown
10/16/2009 | listen
PSO Composer of the Year Richard Danielpour talks about "A Woman's Life, written for soprano Angela Brown and the PSO with texts by Maya Angelou. Danielpour and Brown talk about their work with each other and with Maya Angelou on this new song cycle.


Leonard Slatkin - Part 1
10/16/2009 | listen
The Pittsburgh Symphony's Principal Guest Conductor talks about Richard Danielpour's "A Woman's Life" and his work with the composer, the seldom-heard music of Peter Mennin, old-school Sibelius, and Slatkin's provocative blog.


Andres Cardenes
10/01/2009 | listen
To open the PSO season, and his final year as Concertmaster, Andres Cardenes talks about Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations, Poulenc's Sinfonietta, and performing for world leaders at the G20 Pittsburgh Summit.


Manfred Honeck - Part 2
06/09/2009 | listen
The PSO Music Director examines how Mahler devloped his monumental Symphony #2, from its origins as a tone poem to a symphony with chorus on the scale of Beethoven's Ninth. Honeck talks about Mahler's place in Viennese culture, and the philosophy behind his "Resurrection" symphony.


Manfred Honeck - Part 1
06/06/2009 | listen
The Pittsburgh Symphony's Music Director Manfred Honeck talks about Beethoven's Violin Concerto and soloist Frank Peter Zimmerman, Beethoven's Egmont overture and Mozart's Prague Symphony.


Yefim Bronfman
04/30/2009 | listen
Frequent PSO guest pianist Yefim Bronfman talks about Mozart's minor-key Piano Concerto #24, his appearances with the L.A. Philharmonic and recent premiere performances.


Andres Cardenes, concertmaster
04/24/2009 | listen
Andres Cardenes talks about his shoulder surgery, leaving the PSO after 21 seasons, the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra's farewell concert, and his future goals as a soloist, recording artist and teacher.


Leonard Slatkin
04/17/2009 | listen
The Pittsburgh Symphony Principal Guest Conductor talks about Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #3, Vocalise and Symphonic Dances, as well as his blog, family connections in Hollywood, and TV projects in Detroit.


Simon Trpceski
04/03/2009 | listen
The Macedonian piano virtuoso makes his Pittsburgh debut in Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. He talks about the appeal of Rachmaninoff, the role of taste, and about Rachmaninoff's enormous hands.


Gianandrea Noseda - Part 2
03/31/2009 | listen
Noseda will begin the PSO's 3-week Rachmaninoff Festival. He champions the Symphony #1, whose premiere was ruined by Glazunov, and Rhapsodizes about Macedonian guest pianist Simon Trpceski. Noseda also shares his pasta sauce secrets.


Nikolaj Znaider
03/27/2009 | listen
The Pittsburgh Symphony's guest violinist talks about recording the Korngold concerto (which he performs at Heinz Hall), about his growing involvement in conducting, and with some reservation, his private life.


Gianandrea Noseda - Part 1
03/26/2009 | listen
Noseda talks about his productions at the Met and his program of Viennese composers Schubert, Korngold and Webers as he conducts the first of two weekends at Heinz Hall.


Beethoven's Oboe Concerto
03/18/2009 | listen
Pittsburgh Symphony co-principal oboist James Gorton discusses Beethoven's long-lost oboe concerto. Gorton will premiere Renate Rosenblatt's reconstruction of the slow movement with the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra,


Yuja Wang
03/06/2009 | listen
The diminutive 22 year old Chinese pianist Yuja Wang makes an impressive Pittsburgh Symphony debut in Prokofiev's Piano Concerto #2 with guest conductor Hannu Lintu. She talks about her work with Charles Dutoit, the teachers she shares with Lang Lang, and what's on her iPod.


Hannu Lintu
03/04/2009 | listen
Relatively-unknown Finnish conductor Hannu Lintu makes his Pittsburgh Symphony debut on late notice in a program of Debussy, Prokofiev and Stravinsky that was intended for maestro Charles Dutoit. Jim Cunningham meets Hannu Lintu backstage at Heinz Hall.


Jorge Federico Osorio
02/27/2009 | listen
Noted Brahms interpreter Jorge Federico Osorio, born in Mexico and based in Chicago, talks about his career and long fascination with Brahms before his unexpected Pittsburgh Symphony debut in Brahms' Concerto #1.


Manfred Honeck on Dvorak and Brahms
02/23/2009 | listen
The PSO's Music Director talks about the musical relationships between Dvorak, Brahms, and Schumann as he prepares Brahms' Piano Concerto #1 and Dvorak's Eighth Symphony.


Honeck on Carmina Burana
02/19/2009 | listen
PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck gives his view of Carl Orff's spectacular masterpiece, Carmina Burana. He also talks with Jim Cunningham about Haydn's Oboe Concerto.


Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
02/06/2009 | listen

Spanish guest conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos shares insights on Ravel's Bolero and Lalo's Symphonie espagnole , which he conducts along with Beethoven's 8th Symphony in his Pittsburgh Symphony concerts.


Yan Pascal Tortelier
01/29/2009 | listen
The PSO's former Principal Guest Conductor returns to lead his own orchestration of Ravel's Piano Trio, along with Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice , Sibelius' The Swan of Tuonela , and Grieg's Piano Concerto with soloist Orion Weiss.


Gabriela Montero
01/26/2009 | listen
She played for President Obama's inauguration, then made her inaugural PSO appearance in Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue." Pianist Gabriela Montero may be elected a winner at the Grammy Awards for her CD of Baroque improvisations.


John Adams
01/13/2009 | listen
Pittsburgh Symphony 2008-2009 Composer of the Year (and guest conductor) John Adams talks about his "Doctor Atomic" symphony, highlights from "Nixon in China," and "On the Transmigration of Souls," as well as his recently-published autobiography, titled "Hallelujah Junction."


Jonathan Biss
10/31/2008 | listen
Pianist Jonathan Biss talks about performing Mozart's Piano Concerto #22, which he recently recorded with the conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.


Marek Janowski
10/21/2008 | listen
PSO Endowed Guest Conductor Marek Janowski leads two consecutive weekends at Heinz Hall. Topics include violinist Arabella Steinbacher (making her Pittsburgh debut), Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony, and the state of state-run radio and orchestras in Germany.


John Adams
10/17/2008 | listen
Pittsburgh Symphony Composer of the Year John Adams talks with Jim Cunningham about his operas "Doctor Atomic" and "Nixon in China," his orchestral work "Slonimsky's Earbox" and more.


Derek Bermel, Wendy Walters and student composers
10/16/2008 | listen
Composer Derek Bermel and librettist Wendy S. Walters created "The Good Life," to celebrate Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary. They also advised student composers Scott Wasserman and Matthew Heap who join in the conversation with QED's Jim Cunningham.


Leonard Slatkin
10/15/2008 | listen
PSO Principal Guest Conductor Leonard Slatkin premieres "The Good Life," a choral work by Derek Bermel. Slatkin describes the new piece and talks about working with two living composers; John Adams is present for his "Slonimsky's Earbox." Other topics: Dvorak's "New World" Symphony, Slatkin's Detroit orchestra.


Manfred Honeck Backstage
09/10/2008 | listen
Ted Sohier interviews Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director Designate Manfred Honeck backstage during a live broadcast of the Pittsburgh Symphony on May 9, 2008. Honeck assumes his full duties at a September 19th gala at Heinz Hall.


Yan Pascal Tortelier
06/12/2008 | listen
Tortelier talks about his French Finale with the PSO, Faure's Requiem, Saint-Saens' "Organ" Symphony, French music, Tortelier's own recordings, and summer road trips in France.


Garrick Ohlsson
06/06/2008 | listen
Ohlsson talks about his Beethoven cycle on CD, reissues, great pianists of the past, Lorin Maazel, Mozart's Piano Concerto #27, and more.


Louis Langrée
06/05/2008 | listen
Louis Langrée, Music Director of the Mostly Mozart Festival, talks about the festival, Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music, Shostakovich's 11th symphony, his background, and making a record with a broken arm.


Pinchas Zukerman
05/30/2008 | listen
Conductor and violinist Pinchas Zukerman talks about his protege Benjamin Hochman, the young Israeli pianist, and the works on their all-Mozart program with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Zukerman gives some of the history of his instruments, and anticipates his 60th birthday.


Benjamin Hochman
05/30/2008 | listen
On the eve of his PSO debut, Israeli pianist Benjamin Hochman talks about his mentors Pinchas Zukerman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, and classmates Jonathan Biss and Lang Lang. He also covers his musical interests and approach to music-making.


Principal Clarinetist Michael Rusinek
05/12/2008 | listen
Michael Rusinek talks about Alan Fletcher's new Clarinet Concerto, inspired by Samuel Barber's music and commissioned for him by the PSO. The Canadian-born clarinetist also talks about his U.S. citizenship, and working with students in China.


Pianist Horacio Gutierrez
05/05/2008 | listen
Pianist Horacio Gutierrez tells Jim Cunningham about his appearances with the PSO beginning in the Previn era, the appeal of Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto, favorite movies, his recent recovery from gastric lymphoma, and music in Cuba.


Manfred Honeck
05/05/2008 | listen

Manfred Honeck discusses his appearances with American orchestras featuring "Ein Heldenleben" by R. Strauss and plans for the Pittsburgh Symphony, as well as his work in opera pit, Alan Fletcher's new Clarinet Concerto, and tours in Japan.


Violinist Chee-Yun
04/28/2008 | listen
Violinist Chee-Yun talks about Mozart concertos, PSO Concertmaster Andres Cardenes, composer Krysztof Penderecki, pianist Barry Douglas, clothes shopping, and her performance at the Clinton White House.


Andrés Cárdenes
04/23/2008 | listen
Pittsburgh Symphony Concertmaster and Guest Conductor Andrés Cárdenes talks about his PSO concert featuring Hindemith's Concert Music for Strings and Brass, Schumann's "Rhenish" Symphony and Mozart's Violin Concerto #3 with guest soloist Chee-Yun.


Pianist Emanuel Ax
04/04/2008 | listen
Pianist Emanuel Ax talks about his friendship with Alfred Brendel, the history of great pianists in Pittsburgh especially Byron Janis, the perfection in Chopin's music, playing Chopin in his native Poland, and about Chopin's remains.


Charles Dutoit
04/03/2008 | listen
Charles Dutoit discusses his new post with The Philadelphia Orchestra; the ties between Debussy's "Jeux" and Diaghilev's tennis-match ballet scenario; Janacek's "Sinfonietta;" and he defends the orchestration of Chopin's Piano Concerto #2.


Conductor Stephane Deneve on Ravel and Roussel
03/13/2008 | listen
Conductor Stephane Deneve explains the title of Ravel's "Pavane pour une enfant defunte," recalls visits to Ravel's home, talks about Roussel's "Bacchus et Arianne," the recent birth of his first child, and his first hearing of the Pittsburgh Symphony in Europe.


Principal Harp Gretchen Van Hoesen
03/07/2008 | listen
Principal Harp Gretchen Van Hoesen gives a detailed preview Andre Previn's brand-new concerto, commissioned for her by the Pittsburgh Symphony. She talks about Previn's PSO years, her teachers, her father, and her prized lavender harp.


Andre Previn's new harp concerto
03/06/2008 | listen
Andre Previn talks about his new harp concerto for the Pittsburgh Symphony's Gretchen Van Hoesen, Copland's "Appalachian Spring," his forthcoming opera, "Brief Encounter," and his new jazz CD, "Alone."


Marin Alsop
02/22/2008 | listen
Marin Alsop tells Jim Cunningham about her Pittsburgh Symphony program with two settings of Romeo & Juliet and a world premiere by John Corigliano.


PSO Composer of the Year John Corligliano
01/09/2008 | listen
PSO Composer of the Year John Corligliano talks about Francois Girard's film "The Red Violin," his score for that movie and how it became the "Red Violin" concerto.


PSO Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda
11/21/2007 | listen
PSO Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda explains what three works by Respighi, Prokofiev and Stravinsky have in common on his Nov. 23 & 25 concerts. He also talks about Ottorino Respighi's relationship to Fascism.


more with Gianandrea Noseda
11/21/2007 | listen
Gianandrea Noseda talks about Stravinsky's Firebird, and Yefim Bronman, soloist in Prokofiev's Piano Concerto #3 on the Nov. 23 & 25 concerts. Noseda also speaks about successes at the Met and with his BBC Philharmonic.


Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos
10/11/2007 | listen
Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos recalls his first Beethoven Fifth as leader of a Spanish military band, and talks about Wagner excerpts, Ravel and Debussy suites with chorus, the Sibelius Violin Concerto, and the rebirth of Bilbao, Spain.


Marvin Hamlisch
10/03/2007 | listen
PSO Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch talks with QED's Jim Cunningham about "Broadway Hear and Now," the PNC Pittsburgh Symphony Pops' 2007-2008 season opener. Hamlisch also talks about upcoming Broadway shows, revivals, gossip, and his recent weight loss.


Music Director Designate Manfred Honeck
09/14/2007 | listen
Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director Designate Manfred Honeck talks with Jim Cunningham before making a cameo appearance with the orchestra at a special season preview concert on September 7th.


James DePreist on Marian Anderson
05/18/2007 | listen
Philadelphia native James DePreist remembers his aunt, Marian Anderson, the legendary contralto and civil rights icon. DePreist is Permanent Conductor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at the Julliard School. Interviewer: Jim Cunningham.


Garrick Ohlsson on Rachmaninoff
05/11/2007 | listen
He played "It" at his previous Heinz Hall appearance. Garrick Ohlsson tells Jim Cunningham what "It" is, and talks about Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #3, the 1996 movie "Shine," and the composer's own recordings.


Lynn Harrell
04/17/2007 | listen
The renowned cellist explains why he jokes around with Haydn's Concerto in C. Harrell also talks about legendary musicians such as Mstislav Rostropovich and George Szell.


Kunzel on Williams
02/26/2007 | listen
Pittsburgh Symphony Pops guest conductor Erich Kunzel talks with Anna Singer about the music of John Williams. Kunzel conducted a 75th birthday tribute to the legendary Hollywood composer.


Pianist Emanuel Ax & Jahja Ling
02/07/2007 | listen
Pianist Emanuel Ax and guest conductor Jahja Ling joined forces with the Pittsburgh Symphony in the Brahms Piano Concerto #1 at Heinz Hall, February 9th -11th, 2007 at Heinz Hall. Stephen Baum began a backstage discussion between soloist and conductor.


Guest Conductor Arild Remmereit
01/31/2007 | listen

When guest conductor Arild Remmereit made his Pittsburgh Symphony debut in 2005 on one week's notice, the New York Times called Remmereit “the hottest conductor you've never heard of.” He'd just covered for Christoph von Dohnanyi at La Scala and for Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos. In February, 2007, the Norwegian Remmereit conducted Hummel's Trumpet concerto, Peer Gynt by Grieg, and Carl Nielsen's first Symphony.


Press Conference
01/24/2007 | listen

Manfred Honeck has been appointed as the Pittsburgh Symphony's next Music Director, beginning with the 2008-2009 season. Orchestra personnel react to the appointment at a press conference.


Christopher Theofanidis Interview
01/18/2007 | listen

Christopher Theofanidis is the Pittsburgh Symphony's 2006-2007 Composer of the Year. In January, 2007, he was on hand for performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra of his “Visions and Miracles.” He answered Stephen Baum's questions, beginning with the most common one. How do you pronounce your name?


WQED-FM 89.3 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Public Radio International

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featured specials

  • Portraits for the Homefront: The Story of Elizabeth Black
    The poignant story unfolds as we explore Black’s lost art career, seek out elderly veterans who encountered Miss Black on the battlefield, and present to amazed and appreciative families portraits that never arrived.
  • Classical Crossroads
    Where classical music crosses paths with rock and roll, world music, folk music and jazz. Listen to interviews with people who make good music here.