Pittsburgh Symphony on Tour
Manfred Honeck begins his first PSO European tour in Essen with a program featuring Bruckner's Fourth Symphony and Richard Strauss's Four Last Songs. Jim's post-concert report from the Autobahn is interrupted by a tunnel, but resumes back at the hotel as Concertmaster Andres Cardenes comments on the beautiful violin part in the Strauss.
The orchestra had Monday off in Cologne to recover from jet lag before its first tour concert. Former Cologne resident and Assistant Concertmaster Mark Huggins visited his old apartment, the Cologne Cathedral, and archaeological dig at the Rathaus with QED's Jim Cunningham. Audio of the Rathaus bells, or "glocken."
Jim Cuninngham and the PSO arrive in Cologne, home base for concerts in Essen and Bonn. Violist Penny Brill demonstrates how she entertained herself during the long trip. Jim includes a brief sample of a string sextet from the smaller of two concert halls in Westdeutsche Rundfunk's broadcast facility.
Jim Cunningham reports on the final Asian tour concert, which opened the 2009 World Games Stadium with the 1812 Overture and Beethoven's Ode to Joy. We hear from Martin Schebesta, director of the Vienna State Opera Chorus, bass-baritone Greg Baker, and PSO bass trombone Murray Crewe.
On Tuesday, the PSO rehearsed Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" for the dedication of Kaohsiung's new stadium, built to host the 2009 World Games. Wednesday's performance concludes the orchestra's week-long Asian Tour. Jim Cunningham sat down with Music Director Manfred Honeck to look reflect on tour highlights.
The Pittsburgh Symphony prepares to inaugurate the main stadium for the 2009 World Games for a sellout crowd of 37,000. Trumpeter Chad Winkler and percussionist Andrew Reamer describe the rehearsal, and Chinese-born cellist Adam Liu fulfills a dream with his first Taiwan visit.
Co-Principal Clarinet Thomas Thompson recalls touring Japan with the PSO under William Steinberg, Principal Horn William Caballero comments on Kaohsiung's steamy climate, and Principal Viola Randolf Kelly is amazed at Shanghai's skyward growth.
The PSO delivered in Shanghai, as the audience was on its feet demanding a rare and unexpected third encore. Jim Cunningham sets the scene, and pianist Orion Weiss reflects on his two Beethoven "Emperor" concerto performances in China with the Pittsburgh Symphony.
The PSO impresses at the Oriental Arts Center. Jim Cunningham brings highlights of the concert. Bass Jeff Grubbs finds his favorite Shanghai tea shop, musicians take a Short Ride in a 270 MPH Maglev train, and ponder the appeal of Hello Kitty®.
An impression of the PSO's concert from one of China's few full-time music critics, and comments from Heidi Gorton, who returned to Beijing to perform with her PSO parents Gretchen Van Hoesen and James Gorton; PSO violinist and China Central Conservatory professor Hong-Guang Jia; and Concertmaster Andres Cardenes.