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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.