Pittsburgh Symphony on Tour
Paris, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. Jim Cunningham reports on three concerts of the Pittsburgh Symphony on tour with maestro Manfred Honeck. Co-principal clarinetist Thomas Thompson talks about changes in touring over four decades. You'll hear a section of Honeck's world-premiere suite from Janacek's "Jenufa." Yuja Wang shares the highlights of this PSO tour. Percussionist Feza Zweifel - a tour 'extra' musician - shows how he maintains dexterity in a 5-star hotel lobby, and Jim encounters CMU grad and former PSO staffer Florian Wiegand, who now works for the Salzburg Festival.
Jim Cunningham captures audience reaction to the Pittsburgh Symphony with pianist Yuja Wang at the Salle Pleyel. PSO patrons traveling with the orchestra add their approval. Simeon and Teresa Honeck talk about watching their father Manfred conduct, and violinist Christopher Wu talks says what a pleasure it was to visit the Louvre with the Honeck children.
Jim Cunningham and orchestra members visited Giverny, where Claude Monet painted the water lillies in his garden including the large canvasses in the collection of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art. During the transfer from bus to train, Jim looks forward to a full rehearsal and concert at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.
Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director Manfred Honeck tells Jim Cunningham about the rehearsal at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, including some pieces that will be heard later on tour. He also talks about plans for Jean Nouvel's Philharmonie de Paris concert hall, set to open in two or three years. Principal English Horn Harold Smoliar talks about the Salle Pleyel acoustics, his birthday plans, and more.
Jim Cunningham reports from Paris with lunch companions Jayne Adair and Basil Cox, members of the Pittsburgh Symphony patrons group.
PSO Principal Tubist Craig Knox joins Jim Cunningham in the orchestra's Paris hotel for a late-night update via Skype. Craig Knox reports on his meetings with tuba players at every tour stop so far, including a get-together in Bucharest to sample homemade plum brandy and talk about Soviet times in Romania.
As the Pittsburgh Symphony gave the opening concert of the Musikfest Berlin, Jim Cunningham went behind the scenes of the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall, which offered the concert live on the Internet in high definition as a special free event. Jim talks with the founder and director of the Digital Concert Hall, Robert Zimmerman, and producer Christoph Franke.
Pittsburgh Symphony members sat in with musicians from the Camerata Regala – consisting of recent Romanian conservatory graduates – on Monday night at the smaller hall of the Sala Palatului. Jim Cunningham interviews Vlad Vizireanu, the young Romanian/American conductor for this Side-by-Side concert, South African piano soloist Ben Schoeman, and Mihai Hristu, who helped to organize the event.
Jim Cunningham reports on the Pittsburgh Symphony's opening concert of Musikfest Berlin 2013, Hornist Joseph Rounds shares his view of performing at the Berlin Philharmonie, and first impressions of Bucharest, where the orchestra is making its debut with a concert as part of the George Enescu Festival.
PSO Principal Cellist Anne Martindale Williams made friends earlier this year with some musicians in Romania, who came to greet her after the PSO's concert in Bucharest seen by 4,000 in the hall, and many more on live TV. Jim Cunningham sets the scene in this former Soviet-bloc state.