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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.