Pittsburgh's Byron Janis overcame secret physical handicaps through sheer determination to become one of the 20th century's greatest pianists. His story is told in a new film premiering on PBS, and a new autobiography. Byron Janis shares some recollections with QED's Jim Cunningham.
Russian pianist Olga Kern makes her Heinz Hall debut in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #1. She talks about her work with conductor Leonard Slatkin, Rachmaninoff's concertos, her musical family and its ties to Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky, and meeting Van Cliburn as Gold Medalist at the 2001 Van Cliburn Competition.
PSO Principal Guest Conductor Leonard Slatkin talks about his forthcoming book, his recent Western sightseeing trip, his work with PSO Composer of the Year Joan Tower and her "For the Uncommon Woman," the Dvorak 6th Symphony and Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #1 with soloist Olga Kern, and Slatkin's latest download-only recording from Naxos.
Robert Morris University's Dr. Connie Ruzich recaps Thomas Friedman's remarks at Heinz Hall for the Pittsburgh Speakers Series. The New York Times columnist and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner addresses America's future in a world he envisions as "Hot, Flat, and Crowded."
Pittsburgh Opera's Christopher Hahn remembers "La Stupenda", the great Australian coloratura soprano Joan Sutherland, who fostered a revival of the bel canto style, and visited Pittsburgh in 1986 and 1998.
Emmy-winning filmmaker Ken Burns talks about the followup to his 1994 9-part PBS series. The story arc includes the Pirates' Barry Bonds and steroids, the 1994 baseball strike, the role of money, and the great players who restored the fans' love of the game.