Voice of the Arts

Insights and anecdotes from musicians, dancers, artists, actors and directors, as well as audience response.

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Marianne Cornetti - Pittsburgh Festival Opera Online - Jul 10, 2020

WQED-FM's Anna Singer spoke with Marianne Cornetti about "Unstaged" - Pittsburgh Festival Opera's online opera festival.  Ms. Cornetti kicks off the Festival on Friday July 10th, but additional events run through July 26th - all on the Pittsburgh Festival Opera website.  Learn all about it in the conversation.



Cellist Inbal Segev - Jun 29, 2020

Cellist Inbal Segev recorded music by Lucas Richman with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Now she has a new cd on the Avie label with the London Philharmonic conducted by Marin Alsop with Anna Clyne's Dance and the Elgar Cello Concerto.  She talks about Anna Clyne and creating the new music and her work with other women composers and the great classic by Elgar.  Topics include what she is doing during the pandemic in New York, a commissioning project and much more in this interview with Jim Cunningham. 

On Air Tribute to Benno Bernt - Jun 26, 2020

WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham pays tribute to former WQED and PSO Board Member Benno Bernt on the QED Morning Show - Thursday June 25, 2020, including interview clips with Benno's wife Connie.


Connie Bernt remembers her husband Benno - Jun 23, 2020

Connie Bernt remembers her husband Benno, who died June 18, 2020 following a stroke. A WQED and Pittsburgh Symphony board member, Benno was born in 1931 in Bielitz, Austria now part of Poland. He met his wife Connie as her accompanist when she sang Ave Maria at a wedding. Benno studied at CMU as a graduate business student at age 22. He later was the CFO of National Steel, President of Rayovac Battery, served in management at Whirlpool where he invented the trash compactor, Chrysler Corporation, Thomas Organ Company and he founded the Technology Transfer Office at CMU.  With Connie, he founded the "Friends of The PSO." Benno was a terrific pianist and doublebass player having studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Benno Bernt held a degree from the Technical Research and Teaching Institute of Vienna where he also earned a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Commerce in Vienna, Austria.

Ken Butler - PA Firefly Festival 2020 - Jun 9, 2020

Ken Butler Treasurer and organizer of the 8th Annual Pennsylvania Firefly Festival in Kellettville Pa describes the virtual festival this year, there’s a great T shirt, the Citizen Science Project, activities fun and educational for all ages, the challenges fireflys face, the lantern and sequential glow of fireflys, the beauty of the Allegheny National Forest at night, how to support the Firefly in its fragile natural environment, the research projects underway and much more in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.

Lee Pringle - Jun 8, 2020

Lee Pringle, the Founder and Artistic Director of the Colour of Music Black Classical Musicians Festival Orchestra shares his thoughts about the reaction to the death of George Floyd and the protests around the country following his death. What people who love classical music and the arts might do to join the movement toward understanding  and diversity in the orchestra world, about the William Grant Still Symphony the orchestra performs in their Youtube video statement on George Floyd and a summary of his views regarding the slow rate of change in the orchestra world and the challenges African American artists face in progressing during non pandemic times made even more difficult during the pandemic. Lee Pringle points out that European nations have always celebrated their native culture whether Germans, Russians or Israelis and the Chinese have had a world wide focus with Shen Yun generating a much broader audience for music and art from China.  American government and foundations though have been almost silent in supporting African American art and music. He suggests that the NEA support of American orchestras is structured in a way that makes it extremely difficult to find adequate support for people of color who have always faced the frustration of acquiring entrance to an art form that has remained almost exclusively Caucasian across more than a century in the US.    

Elise Adibi - May 28, 2020

Pittsburgh born artist Elise Adibi remembers her father Dr. Siamak Adibi who died May 10th, 2020. Dr Adibi and his wife Joan have been constant supporters of WQED-FM, The Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera and Chatham Baroque. Elsie mentions in the interview that her father was listening to the sation right up until his last moment on earth.

Dr. Adibi left Iran to study at Johns Hopkins and settled in Pittsburgh in 1966 after practicing in Boston taking the post of chief of gastroenterology and clinical nutrition at Montefiore Hospital and teaching at the Pitt School of Medicine. Dr Adibi wrote two books and was invited back to Iran several times. Elise talks about her work as an artist living in LosAngeles during the pandemic. Dr. Adibi’s funeral will be live streamed on Saturday May 30 at 10am.

Yvonne Hudson - Cocktails and Cuisine - May 14, 2020

Yvonne Hudson spoke with WQED-FM's Anna Singer about "Cocktails and Cuisine," an online event for Crisis Center North.  The event is Friday May 15th, 2020 at 6pm.



Matthew Mehaffey - Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh - Concerts at Home - May 11, 2020

The Robert Page Music Director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh talks from his home in St Paul Minnesota about the Mendelssohn  Fan Faves contest , the thoughts shared with other choral directors about when we’ll get back to singing, the Mendelssohn plans for next fall, what he’s up to in Minnesota during the pandemic and the hits of choral music.

Susan Jaffe - Pittsburgh Ballet Theater - May 6, 2020

The new Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theater taking over for Terrence Orr next season Susan Jaffe is a superstar of the dance world. She danced and served as ballet mistress of the American Ballet Theater in New York. Most recently she has been Dean of the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem where she worked with John Mauceri.  She is looking at a place in O’Hara Township to settle in to life in Pittsburgh, thinking about a new Nutcracker, mulling over plans for upcoming seasons, working in the online world until the pandemic has calmed down, loves classical music, is thinking about a pet to add to her home life, and explains why she wanted to be a dancer in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.