Archive for October, 2012

Oct 31 2012

Muti Cancels Vienna Philharmonic Concerts

Manfred Honeck’s loveable brother-in-law Florian Partl has passed on word that Riccardo Muti has cancelled his weekend Musikverein concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic, which several members of the Pittsburgh SYmphony were planning to attend. Too bad. Just the same, anytime the Vienna Philharmonic plays it is special, and when Manfred Honeck’s brother Rainer is serving […]

Oct 31 2012

Café Central, Vienna

St. Stephen’s, still undergoing restoration Tonight’s rehearsal with the Vienna Singverein suggests the signs are good for an All Saints Day “Resurrection” Symphony No. 2 by Gustav Mahler. Pittsburgh Symphony clarinet Thomas Thompson says that singers are extraordinarily powerful. I picked up a series of recruiting postcards cards with fresh young faces on one side […]

Oct 29 2012

Third Man Theme, Vienna

Poster at the Musikverein It hasn’t snowed in Vienna in October for fifty years, but it did last night to welcome the Pittsburgh Symphony for their first ever week-long residency at the home of the Vienna Philharmonic, the Musikverein. There will be four concerts, three programs, a world premiere, and a European premiere – plus a […]

Oct 27 2012

In the Midnight Hour

Nikolaj Znaider in Madrid with the PSO Both Pittsburgh Symphony tour concerts in Madrid began at 10:35 pm with the traditional announcement (in Spanish) about turning off your cell phone. Both Friday and Saturday nights had completely full houses. I saw only a handful of empty seats.  Last night, Nikolaj Znaider played a highly charged […]

Oct 25 2012

Buenos Noches, Barcelona

The first concert of the 2012 European Residency tour is over. Mahler’s Second Symphony cast its spell of beauty and terror leading to a transformation and a choral resurrection. The two choirs from Spain were gorgeous: the Orfeó Català and the Cor Cambra del Palau de la Musica Catalana. We heard soprano soloist Laura Claycomb […]

Oct 24 2012

Miró, Miró on the Wall

The Pittsburgh Symphony’s instruments arrived at the hotel this morning, allowing the players who can’t carry their instruments with them to reunite. It was a terrific repeat of yesterday’s California-style weather. I joined a group of string players including violist Paul Silver, violinist Carolyn Edwards, and cellists David Premo, Aaron Zelkowicz, and Michael Lipman for […]

Oct 23 2012

Ramble on Las Ramblas

On Tuesday evening, cellist Adam Liu demonstrated his practice cello for me and Bronwyn Branerdt, who is a regular cellist with the New York Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. This Prakticello has a wood structure which comes apart to fit in a suitcase, unlike a regular cello that’s typically strapped into the […]

Oct 23 2012


Pool at the Hotel Art Barcelona This Pittsburgh Symphony tour began smoothly with arrival in sunny Barcelona on time. Waiting for the shuttle bus at Heinz Hall on Monday morning, violist Penny Brill told me the Mahler Second Symphony last Friday night was “what it’s all about, why we do what we do as musicians, […]

Oct 22 2012


Jim Cunningham is on his way to Europe with the Pittsburgh Symphony! “Group A” assembled at Heinz Hall this morning for the flight to Atlanta, where their flight overseas departs this evening. Manfred Honeck will lead the PSO for concerts in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, and Luxembourg, as well as a week-long residency […]