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Acclaimed 26-week series heard on 80 radio stations nationwide.


PITTSBURGH – Bayer Corporation continues its major commitment to the cultural life of the region and the country as the major underwriter for WQED-FM 89.3’s acclaimed national productions of Pittsburgh Symphony Radio. Performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for the 26-week series are recorded live at Heinz Hall, and aired during the subsequent season.

Pittsburgh Symphony Radio has been a mainstay for over 25 seasons and is heard on WQED-FM 89.3 and on 80 stations across the country, from Texas and Florida, to the Midwest, and Puerto Rico.

Pittsburgh Symphony Radio is distributed nationally by Public Radio International.

Pittsburgh Symphony Radio consists of 26 two-hour programs hosted by WQED-FM 89.3’s Jim Cunningham. Cunningham is in his 22nd year as executive producer and host of the 27-year old program.

In the 2009- 2010 season, Pittsburgh Symphony Radio will feature performers such as violinists Joshua Bell and Sarah Chang; pianists Yefim Bronfman and Emanuel Ax; and a terrible towel waving performance by pianist Gabriela Montero. The series will also feature guest conductors Leonard Slatkin; Marek Janowski; Yan Pascal Tortelier; and the Symphony’s new Music Director, Manfred Honeck.

“Bayer Corporation has recognized the importance of having Pittsburgh Symphony Radio available to a nationwide audience,” said George L. Miles, Jr., president and chief executive officer of WQED. “The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is a world-class orchestra and deserves a national outlet for the whole country to enjoy.”

Bayer Corporation has a more than two-decade-long relationship with WQED-FM 89.3 and has been instrumental in program funding and infrastructure improvements. The company has funded construction of the WQED-FM 89.3 Bayer Broadcast Center for the Arts; digital conversion of the station; The Bayer Sunday Arts Magazine; and Symphony Weekend with Mariss Jansons.

WQED has had a long-term on-air relationship with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in regular series or specials since the television station went on the air in 1954. WQED-FM 89.3 has been showcasing the Orchestra since it went on the air in 1973.

Additional support for Pittsburgh Symphony Radio is made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

WQED Pittsburgh, honored with the 2007 and 2006 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award for Station Excellence, was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. WQED creates, produces and distributes quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within its community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQEX-TV (A ShopNBC affiliate); Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org); and The WQED Education Department.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been a vital part of the City of Pittsburgh’s heritage for more than 100 years. With its noble history of the finest conductors and musicians and its strong commitment to artistic quality and excellence, audiences around the world have claimed the PSO as their orchestra of choice. In September 2008, the PSO welcomed its ninth Music Director Manfred Honeck. Beginning in the early 1900s with frequent performances in Canada, the PSO confirmed its ranking as a world-class orchestra, earning critical acclaim for each tour abroad. Its 32 international tours include 18 European tours, eight trips to the Far East and two to South America. In January 2004, the PSO became the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II, as part of the Pontiff’s Silver Jubilee celebration.

About Public Radio International®

Founded in 1983, Public Radio International leads media by producing, acquiring and distributing innovative content that enables U.S. audiences to "hear a different voice," bringing new voices, global journalism and cultural perspectives to the American public. Through partnerships with BBC World Service and station-based and independent producers, the Minneapolis-based network provides over 400 hours of programming each week, content that is broadcast and streamed online by over 800 PRI affiliates nationwide, whose radio broadcasts reach over 29 million listeners each week. Podcasts of PRI programs consistently rank in the top U.S. 100. PRI owns Public Interactive LLC, public broadcasting's leading Web services company. PRI is also the managing partner of the satellite radio company American Public Radio LLC, established with Chicago Public Radio®, WGBH Radio Boston and WNYC ®. PRI programming is available via XM Public Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. For more information on PRI and its programs and services, visit www.pri.org.

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