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

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Pianist Igor Levit - Jun 13, 2019

Igor Levit makes his Heinz Hall debut Friday June 14th and Sunday June 16th 2019 with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony at Heinz Hall. He talks about hearing the orchestra when he was very young when the Pittsburgh visited Hanover, Germany where he moved from Russia at the age of 8. Now Igor is on the move having won multiple competitions and the coveted Gilmore Prize.  He suggests a YouTube video you must see which was made in Pittsburgh by composer/pianist Frederick Rzewski at Wholey’s Fishmarket. Igor Levit is a champion of Rzewski’s "The People United Will Never Be Defeated." He explains why he describes himself on his website as “Citizen. European. Pianist.” And says he’s looking forward to playing the Mozart Elvira Madigan Concerto with a conductor he admires and says he can’t wait to tour Europe with the Pittsburgh Symphony in October 2019 in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.

Manfred Honeck - Strauss, Mozart and Joshua Bell - Jun 12, 2019

WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham sat down with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music Director Manfred Honeck to dicuss this weekend's season finale concerts featuring Strauss' "Alpine Symphony" and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 with soloist Igor Levit.  He also talks about the Saturday-only concert with Joshua Bell.  

Joshua Bell - Dvorak Violin Concerto - Jun 11, 2019

Violinist Joshua Bell plays the Dvorak Violin Concerto, Dvorak’s "Song to the Moon" from the opera "Rusalka," plus Ravel’s Tzigane with Manfred Honeck conducting the Pittsburgh Symphony - one night only, June 15th, at Heinz Hall. Joshua is playing only two other American dates this summer - at Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart in August. He talks about all three pieces, his work with Marvin Hamlisch, his teacher Josef Gingold, appearing in the Amazon Prime series "Mozart in the Jungle," visiting the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, playing in the subway, and the children’s book "The Man With the Violin," plus winning the Glashutte award in Dresden this past March.   

James Gourlay - PSO Brass - Arts Festival - Jun 10, 2019

James Gourlay came by to speak with WQED about the performance from members of the  Pittsburgh Symphony Brass at the Three Rivers Arts Festival. He gives a glimpse of what to expect at the concert, in addition to who will be there. The group will perform on Monday, June 10 at 7:30 pm on the Dollar Bank Main Stage.

PSO Live Broadcast Intermission Interviews - June 7, 2019 - Jun 10, 2019

From June 6-9, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performed Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.  The concert began with a world premiere of a piece from American composer Jonathon Leshnoff's Double Concerto for Clarinet and Bassoon that featured the PSO's very own Principal Clarinet Michael Rusinek and Principal Bassoon Nancy Goeres. WQED live broadcasted the event, and during intermission, Jim Cunningham was able to speak with Maestro Manfred Honeck, soloists Michael Rusinek and Nancy Goeres, and CEO and President of the PSO Melia Tourangeau.

Manfred Honeck - Beethoven's 9th - Jun 5, 2019

Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director Manfred Honeck visited the QED morning show with Jim Cunningham to talk about the four performances and recording session of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony beginning June 6th at Heinz Hall and the live broadcast on Friday night at 8pm. He discusses the world premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Double Concerto with Michael Rusinek and Nancy Goeres Principal Clarinet and Bassoon. There is a family update and talk of how the concerts he gave in the Netherlands went last week.

Composer Jonathan Leshnoff - Jun 5, 2019

Composer Jonathan Leshnoff has the world premiere of the Concerto he’s written for Pittsburgh Symphony Principals Michael Rusinek, clarinet and Nancy Goeres, bassoon. Can you tap your foot to it?  He thinks you can and tells Jim Cunningham  his composing story so far from Brunswick, New jersey to Towson State in Baltimore. Why is he third only to John Williams and John Adams on the list of most often performed American composers? Some ideas are discussed.  There is also an edited version of this interview with video on Youtube and Vimeo.

Pianist Beatrice Rana - May 31, 2019

Beatrice Rana makes her Pittsburgh Symphony debut playing the Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto. Talking with Jim Cunningham, she describes her musical life to age 26, shares her thoughts about the Prokofiev Third, talks about her Warner Classics recordings of the Goldberg Variations and concertos by Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, her appearance at the Hollywood Bowl, how she makes her sauce for pasta and whether Italians are exactly as portrayed in the Federico Fellini film Orchestra Rehearsal.  

Pietari Inkinen - May 31, 2019

Pietari Inkinen makes his Heinz Hall debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony conducting the Pittsburgh premiere of the Sibelius "Pohjola’s Daughter," the Tchaikovsky Fourth Symphony and the Third Concerto by Prokofiev with pianist Beatrice Rana. In this conversation with Jim Cunningham recorded in the Dorothy Porter Simmons Regency Rooms with the Friends of the Pittsburgh Symphony, Maestro Inkinen talks about the program and Finnish musical life and culture including making small talk and the perfect sauna.

Jennifer Orchard - Clarion Quartet - May 30, 2019

Pittsburgh Symphony Violinist Jennifer Orchard of the Clarion Quartet has the story on their May 30th concert at the Gerald Lee Morosco Architects office in East Liberty. Shostakovich is part of the plan.