Pianist Kirill Gerstein arrived from Russia in Boston as the 14 year old youngest student ever at the Berklee School of Music at the invitation of vibraphone legend Gary Burton. Now he has two additional degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and teaches in Germany. He made his Pittsburgh Symphony debut with Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in the same weekend but he had heard the orchestra on a tour stop in Stuttgart. He likes coffee and jazz and reflects on the psychiatrist who helped Rachmaninoff get out of his writers block.
Pittsburgh Symphony Principal Flute Lorna McGhee has already been heard this season playing concertos by Mozart and Ibert with Manfred Honeck and Juanjo Mena. She gives us an overview of the flute weekend beginning with a memorial Tribute to her colleague Bernard Goldberg former Pittsburgh Symphony Principal January 27 1:30 at Heinz Hall and two master classes with William Bennett one on Sunday January 28 at 6pm at Duquesne University’s PNC Recital Hall and the other at Carnegie Mellon University in Alumni Concert Hall with a double session and dinner break from 3:30-5:30 and 6:30 to 8:30. All the event are free and you can come and go as you please. Lorna tells about the great flute flute hero Marcel Moyse and her teacher Mr. Bennett along with a few thoughts about Manfred Honeck in his 10th anniversary year.
Lift Every Voice is the concert the Pittsburgh Symphony will play Saturday January 20 at 8pm at Heinz Hall featuring the world premiere of the August Wilson Symphony by Kathryn Bostic, the composer for the soundtrack of WQED’s American Masters portrait of August Wilson The Ground on Which I Stand. Phylicia Rashad will host the concert. Phylicia Rashad hosted WQED’s Project Literacy US program in 1988 on PBS. She is a Tony Award winning actress portraying Aunt Esther in August Wilson’s Columbia the Gem of the Ocean. She just finished production on the Fox series Empire and appeared in the Rocky film sequel Creed. She has received multiple doctorates for her work onstage and in film directing and acting and she just accepted an offer to direct a new production of Broadway. She holds a degree from CMU and Howard University her alma mater. Kathryn Bostic is a singer and pianist in addition to her film and theater writing. She has won multiple awards and has collaborated on Broadway with Rashad. Her soundtrack for the American Masters program brought Coldplay violinist Davide Rossi to the recordings studio. In the conversation they discuss their work with August Wilson. Phylicia reveals the three greatest roles for an actress and shares thoughts about her role as Clair Huxtable on the Cosby show. They discuss what they were doing on Martin Luther King Jr. day and run down events at the concert with a description of the August Wilson Symphony. Phylicia discusses her day at CMU and Kathryn her work with CAPA students.
Ifetayo Ali 15 year old cellist from Chicago and Sphinx competition winner talks about the Lalo Cello Concerto which she will pay for her debut with Lucas Richman and the Pittsburgh Symphony at Life Every Voice Saturday January 20 at 8pm at Heinz Hall. In 2013, at the age of ten, Ifetayo was honored at the Friends of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra Rising Stars Showcase, where she recorded the 1st movement of the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto (No. 1). To date, the video has over 75,000 YouTube views and over 10 million Facebook views.
Juanjo Mena conductor of the BBC Manchester Orchestra, born in the Basque region of Spain returns to Heinz Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony on January 12 and 14. He fills us in on the program with Jacques Ibert’s Flute Concerto played by Lorna McGhee with the Debussy Printemps, Ravel’s Noble and Sentimental Waltzes and the Stravinsky Firebird Suite. Maestro Mena reveals his plans for involving the community as the new conductor of the Cincinnati May Festival, talks about his new recordings for Chandos and much more.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music Director Manfred Honeck talks about this weekend's concerts, which include Handel's Messiah and Haydn's "The Creation."
Sam Helfrich talks about the staging he's designed for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's performances of Haydn's "The Creation" this weekend at Heinz Hall.
Manfred Honeck describes his Thanksgiving and discusses the Thanksgiving weekend concerts at Heinz hall with von Suppe’s Light Cavalry Overture, Noa Wildschut in her American debut with Ravel’s Tzigane and the Chausson Poeme, the Typewriter and Plink Plank Plunk by Leroy Anderson and Viennese favorites Gold and Silver WEaltdz by Lehar, Johann Srauss Jr’s Emperor Waltzes, Bandits’ Galop and more Viennese favorites. Maestro Honeck remembers his first concert with the Vienna Philharmonic and his work with Leonard Bernstein, fills us in on his trip to the Chicago Symphon with Schubert and discuses a new history of the Vienna Philharmonic just published.
Pittsburgh Symphony Co Principal bassoon David Sogg presents Musicological Musings for Music 101 with lunch at the Dorothy Porter Simmons Regency Rooms Wednesday November 29, 12:30. David describes his research into baroque music in Dresden and makes observations about the treasures off the city and his interest in German culture.
Dozens of Pittsburgh Symphony musicians, the Mendelssohn Choir, CMU students, pianist Henry Spinelli and many more will help the Pittsburgh Symphony Association with their most significant fundraising event of the year taking place away from Heinz Hall, "Symphony Splendor," a holiday home tour at Virginia manor in Mount Lebanon on Sunday November 19, 2017 from 11am to 5pm. With why you should go it’s Chris Thompson, Committee Chair of Music Acquisition and Diane Unkovic, Co Chair of the event and Association Board member. Chris Thompson is the wife of Thomas Thompson fifty year Pittsburgh Symphony veteran clarinetist and she sings as a member of the Mendelssohn Choir. Diane Unkovic has served in numerous civic capacities including serving as a staff member for Senator John Heinz and she is the wife of Dennis Unkovic of the law firm Meyer Unkovic and Scott.