After the PSO's Lithuanian debut in Vilnius, Jim Cunningham talks with Lituanian National Opera and Ballet Theater translator Laura Karnaviciute about working with great artists, and her memories of the 1991 Soviet takeover in Vilnius. Jim also learns basic Lithiuanian phrases. Anne Hall, from the US embassy, talks about the strong US-Baltic ties.We also hear excerpts of Rihm's Lichtes Spiel, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, and Tchaikovsky's Symphony #5.
Jim Cunningham catches up with lovebirds Andrew Reamer, percussion, and his wife, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Ruth Ann Baker. Andy talks about what it's like to be part of the percussion section on this tour, and reveals some special touches in Honeck's Mahler 5. Ruth Ann looks forward to seeing Vienna's tourist sights, ideally in a new pair of shoes.
The Pittsburgh Symphony makes its debut in Lithuania, where basketball fever is in the air. On Sunday, PSO Principal Harp Gretchen Van Hoesen and Co-Principal Oboe James Gorton joined Jim Cunningham to explore historic sites and sample traditional potato-centric cuisine. Monday, the orchestra rehearses repertoire for upcoming tour stops and plays a concert at the opera and ballet venue in Vilnius.
The PSO's Lithuanian debut was enthusiastically received with lightning-fast Mendelssohn played by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and a rousing Tchaikovsky Symphony #5 led by Manfred Honeck. Jim Cunningham talks with a new PSO fan, US Deputy Ambassador Anne Hall, and an old Honeck fan, Gintautas Kevisas, manager of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet and artistic director of the Vilnius Festival.
After the opening concert of this tour, Jim Cunningham shares audio clips from encores and Tchaikosvky's Fifth Symphony. Orchestra CEO Larry Tamburri is glad that the concerts have begun, eager to take the orchestra to Lithuania, and satisfied that costs are fully covered. And Jim visits a record store (surprise!) to browse some of the world's rarest and most valuable discs.
Jim Cunningham talks with percussionist Brandon Schantz after the first rehearsal of the tour, plays a snippet with Anne-Sophie Mutter rehearsing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, and chats with Michael Hermann, founder of the Rheingau Musik Festival. You'll also hear a clip of the young French orchestra, Les Siecles, playing Liszt's Dante Symphony from last night at the Kurhaus.