Archive for September, 2009

Sep 20 2009

Lucerne Festival Triumph

The 2009 Lucerne Summer Music Festival, with its overall theme of Nature, is now history. The Pittsburgh Symphony and Music Director Manfred Honeck brought the festivities to a close in the final concert with the massive sound of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, followed by their encores—Grieg’s Morning Mood, and the Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5. […]

Sep 18 2009

Wagner, Tribschen, n’At

The concert goers at Switzerland’s Lucerne Festival look like holders of Swiss bank accounts.They look like they are descended from royalty young and old. The fountain outside goes up and down with some irregular rhythm and is almost as big as the fountain at Point State Park. Boats are docked right in front of the hall. […]

Sep 17 2009

Cuckoo Clocks from Lucerne

Jim Sweenie reminds me from time to time of Orson Welles’ line as the character Harry Lime in The Third Man, when Lime critiques the comfortable Swiss lifestyle by observing that despite warfare and terror under the Borgias, the Italians had produced Michelangelo, Leonardo, da Vinci, and the Renaissance. “In Switzerland they had brotherly love, […]

Sep 16 2009

Alles Gute in Bonn

The Pittsburgh Symphony played Beethoven from the city where the composer was born on December 16, 1770. The PSO played at Bonn’s renowned Beethovenfest with Viktoria Mullova as soloist in Beethoven’s Violin Concerto. Built in 1959, the concert hall has a concrete, solid, post-WWII look about it, but the audience is very fashionable and sophisticated. […]

Sep 16 2009

Hear the PSO Live from Bonn

Here’s a link to a live stream of Germany’s WDR 3, whose live Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast begins today at 2:05 pm EDT.

Sep 15 2009

Essen, Germany

The steel-making town of Essen warmly welcomed the musicians from the Steel City as the Pittsburgh Symphony made its debut with Music Director Manfred Honeck on the European continent. Just an hour away by bus from the hotel in Cologne, the the orchestra had its first chance to hear Christine Schäfer at a 4:30 rehearsal. […]

Sep 15 2009

Berliners in Cologne

If you’ve seen the movies Fargo, Blood Simple, or Raising Arizona, you know one of Monessen’s most famous residents. Actress Frances McDormand graduated from Monessen High School in Westmoreland County. Monessen is named for Monongehela and the German town of Essen, with their historic steel making industries now considerably diminished on both sides of the […]

Sep 14 2009

Guten Tag Aus Köln!

It was a day for touring the Cologne Cathedral with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the accompanying patrons’ tour. You can climb to the top of the cathedral towers but it’s a long and I think strenuous climb with the wind blowing, climbers in front and back in the claustrophobic stairwell. I was happy as a clam […]

Sep 13 2009

Sunday in Cologne

West German Broadcasting (WDR) in Cologne After the flight to Chicago, a five hour wait in the airport, safe arrival in Frankfurt, and a two hour bus trip, the two groups have arrived safely. It’s a gray day in Cologne. Our group, Group B, was briefly delayed by an accident on the smooth six-lane highway […]

Sep 11 2009

Wilkommen!

With his contract just extended through the 2015-2016 season, Music Director Manfred Honeck leads his first Pittsburgh Symphony European Tour with stops in Germany and Switzerland from September 12-20. Check this blog daily for photos, interviews and commentary on the trip. The PSO will give the final two orchestra concerts of the prestigious Lucerne Festival. […]