Pianist Yuja Wang talks about Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1, which the 26 year-old superstar plays for the Pittsburgh Symphony's season finale weekend with the orchestra led by Manfred Honeck. Wang also talks about fashion, her upcoming CDs, how she spends her limited free time in New York, and more.
Music Director Manfred Honeck talks about two big Russian works that close the season: Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #1 and Shostakovich's Symphony #5, and the tiny pianist, Yuja Wang, who plays the concerto. Honeck also speaks about recent conducting debuts in New York and elsewhere, and the PSO's next European Tour starting in August.
Guest conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier talks about his program including Elgar's tone poem "In the South (Alassio )" and Ravel's "Rapsodie espagnol" and recalls his own recent trip to southern Italy with his mother. Tortelier also talks about his relationship with the Pittsburgh Symphony and working with pianist Valentina Lisitsa on Grieg's Piano Concerto.
English violinist Nicola Benedetti returns to Heinz Hall to play the Tchaikovsky concerto, She talks about why she and audiences never tire of this piece, recalls her unforgettable first performance of the concerto, and about her latest CD, The Silver Violin, which takes Erich Wolfgang Korngold's music from the golden age of Hollywood as its inspiration.
Meet American maestro Kazem Abdullah, making his Pittsburgh Symphony debut with works by Brahms, Hindemith, and Tchaikovsky. Coming from a non-musical midwestern family, Abdullah pursued a dual career as a clarinetist and conductor. He has completed his first year as General Music Director in Aachen, Germany, where legendary conductors Herbert von Karajan and Wolfgang Sawallisch previously held the job. He is an avid gardener in Aachen where his lemon tree, a gift, just bore its first fruit.
Violinist Joshua Bell talks about Bernstein's Serenade for Violin and Orchestra, his Stradivarius violin and its former owner Bronislaw Huberman, his new job as music director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, his interests in technology, his history with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and his one vice.
Guest conductor and harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell, founder and director of Cleveland's acclaimed Apollo's Fire baroque orchestra, talks with Jim Cunningham about her approach to Bach's Six Brandenburg Concertos for her Pittsburgh Symphony debut. She talks about tempos, textures and solos - especially the florid harpsichord cadenza in the fifth concerto, and the great conductors she studied with including Bernstein, Norrington, and Leonhardt.
Pianist Denis Matseuv returns to play Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #2. He talks about receiving unknown Rachmaninoff pieces to record at the composer's piano, and about meeting an elderly PSO patron who remembered seeing Rachmaninoff in Pittsburgh. Matsuev also talks about hockey, Russian ballet, his Star on Baikal Music Festival. and the strength of the new generation of post-Soviet musicians.
English actress Maria Friedman worked with Marvin Hamlisch many times after he first heard her voice on radio. Ms. Friedman is on the roster for the Pittsburgh Symphony's Marvin Hamlisch tribute concert titled "One Singular Sensation" on January 29th, 2013. She recalls what he was like to work with, and talks about the memorial events she has been part of since Hamlisch's death in August 2012.
English Guest conductor Michael Francis makes his Pittsburgh Symphony debut in a program featuring Mozart's Symphony #40, Dovrak's violin concerto with Christian Tetzlaff, and two powerful (and violent) Czech legends: Sarka from Smetana's Ma Vlast, and Taras Bulba by Janacek. Francis talks about his unplanned rise from the bass section of the London Symphony Orchestra to become one of the fastest-rising conductors.