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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.