Pittsburgh Symphony on Tour
Jim Cunningham files his first report from Hannover, Germany. He talks about about the upcoming concert by percussionist Martin Grubinger.
Jim Cunningham visits the Beethovenhaus, the composer's birthplace in Bonn. He also get comments from the director of the Beethoven Festival, which has presented the PSO three times. You'll hear excerpts from a benefit concert in Cologne organized by PSO musicians including principal oboist Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida for their "day off" on Friday. PSO Director of Artistic Planning Robert Moir talks about his work on this tour organizing return appearances for the orchestra with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter in 2016.
Jim Cunningham reports via Skype on Friday's activities during the orchestra's day off in Bonn. He is joined by PSO Assistant Principal Second Violinist Dennis O'Boyle and "extra" violinist Rachel Stegeman.
Jim Cunningham meets the young Austrian percussion wizard Martin Grubinger, who talks about his chosen encores at the Lucerne and Beethoven Festivals, and about his work at age 6 with PSO maestro Manfred Honeck. By the Rhine river, with coal barges in the background, Jim gets comments from PSO violinist Laura Motchalov, and "extra" percussionist Mike McConnell.
Jim Cunningham reports on the PSO's second concert at the Lucerne Festival. Brass players Neal Berntsen and Alberto Suarez share their perspectives, as do music director Manfred Honeck and Lucerne Festival director Michael Haefliger. Jim also meets Angela Rosengart, a family friend of and occasional model for Pablo Picasso.
A percussion concerto, Ravel's precisely rhythmic Bolero and fiery Bolero made for great concerts at both the Lucerne and Beethoven Festivals. Jim Cunningham reports from Bonn with Mildred Myers, board member of both the Pittsburgh Symphony and WQED, who has witnessed several concerts on this tour. In excerpts from the Swiss Radio 2 broadcast, you'll hear a few seconds of Martin Grubinger's encore at the Lucerne Festival, and clips from Ravel's Rapsodie espagnole and Bolero.
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter talks about the qualities of the Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck that keep bringing her back to the orchestra on its European tours. She says that her new recording of the Dvorak concerto with Honeck and the Berlin Philharmonic is now available, and that she'll return to Pittsburgh to open the 2014-2015 season with a Bruch concerto. PSO Principal Cellist Anne-Martindale Williams praises the string section in Ein Heldenleben and ranks Lucerne's KKL among her favorite venues.
Percussionist Martin Grubinger rehearses John Corigliano's "Conjurer" concerto. Jim Cunningham catches violinist Ellen Chen Livingston and violist Marylene Gingras-Roy on a windy day for their thoughts on this tour. Violinist David Gillis praises Anne-Sophie Mutter for her Dvorak and Lutoslawski performances.
Jim Cunningham reports on musical activity at the Lucerne Festival and interviews Pittsburgh Symphony concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley, bassist John Moore and his wife, violinist Susanne Park, on the street in Lucerne, Switzerland on a rainy day before the first of two Pittsburgh Symphony concerts at the Festival.
The Lucerne festival celebrates 75 years of embracing the new in classical music. Pittsburgh Symphony players make new memories on this tour and recall old ones -- cellist Mikhail Istomin who grew up in the Soviet Union and enjoyed his first visit to Bucharest last week to play Shostakovich, and principal harpist Gretchen Van Hoesen, who met two old friends in Bucharest while traveling with her husband, retired PSO oboist James Gorton, and their daughter, Toronto Symphony principal harpist Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton, who is performing with Mom on this tour.