Conductors, soloists and composers involved in making great Pittsburgh Symphony performances talk about their music.

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Andres Franco - Extraordinary Measures - Apr 1, 2020

Pittsburgh Symphony Resident Conductor Andres Franco speaks with Jim Cunningham about being at home with his wife Co Principal Clarinet Victoria Luperi. Working on the Northside, coffee culture, beans from Commonplace Coffee, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony and Pablo Casals Bach, Extraordinary Measures, the PSO website and looking forward to a return to music this summer.  He reports that Mom is well, she is an engineer in Columbia, his native country.

Manfred Honeck - In Austria - Mar 25, 2020

WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham spoke with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music Director Manfred Honeck from his home in Austria.  Maestro Honeck talks about his Beethoven Fidelio in Vienna just before the Coronavirus shutdown.  The performance features his brother Rainer and son Mathias and actor Christoph Walz as director.   He also talks about his family and how they are spending their time in Vorarlberg, Austria; whether he is seeing any signs of Spring in Austria; the coronavirus and its effect on concert life; the Extraordinary Measures effort on the PSO website; his advice for practicing your instrument while at home; what he is reading; and much more.

Alina Ibragimova - Mar 11, 2020

Alina Ibragimova makes her Heinz Hall debut Friday and Sunday playing the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 with Jakob Hrusa and the Pittsburgh Symphony. In this conversation with Jim Cunningham, she gives a roadmap for the music, describing Shostakovich haunted nature, tells us her story from growing up in Russia not too far from Moscow, the Russian school of string playing, David Oistrakh, talks about her appearances on the BBC for the Promenade concerts, and as a young artist.  Plus, she talks about her more than 18 cds for the Hyperion label including music by Roslavets and Lekeu. What she is reading these days too!

Sir Mark Elder - Mar 6, 2020

Enjoy this lengthy and in depth conversation with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham and Sir Mark Elder, who is the guest conductor for this weekend's Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concerts.  He talks about this weekend's program, his previous appointments, and much more.  


Tamara Tunie and Kathryn Bostic - Lift Every Voice - Mar 2, 2020

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presented "Lift Every Voice" this past weekend at Heinz Hall.  WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham had a chance to interview Host and Vocalist Tamara Tunie and composer Kathryn Bostic about the concert.  



Baiba Skride - Feb 20, 2020

Baiba Skride makes her Heinz Hall debut this weekend to perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with Juraj Valchua conducting.  Learn more about Baiba in this interview with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham.


Vasily Petrenko - Feb 13, 2020

Vasily Petrenko is in town to conduct the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in works by Elgar, Sibelius and Ravel.  He tells WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham about this weekend's program and what else he's been up to.



Ray Chen - Sibelius Violin Concerto - Feb 13, 2020

Ray Chen returns to Heinz Hall to perform the Sibelius Violin Concerto this weekend.  He sat down with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham to talk about the piece and the importance of classical music.  

Mary Persin - Music 101 and 2020-2021 Season - Feb 11, 2020

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Vice President of Artistic Planning, Mary Persin, stopped by the QED Morning Show to talk about the newly announced 2020-2021 season - the Orchestra's 125th.  She also talks about her Music 101 presentation taking place at Heinz Hall on Wednesday February 12th at 12:30pm.



Peter Boyer - Ellis Island - Jan 29, 2020

Composer Peter Boyer is in town to hear his "Ellis Island: The Dream of America" played by the Pittsburgh Symphony with conductor Andres Franco and actors from CMU. The second performance takes place January 30th at 10:30am. In this interview with Jim Cunningham, he talks about the music and the PBS Great Performances broadcast (available on Passport), plus his work with composers Elmer Bernstein and David Raksin, and his Grammy nominated "In the Cause of the Free" with the Cincinnati Orchestra.