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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.