Conductors, soloists and composers involved in making great Pittsburgh Symphony performances talk about their music.

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Tatjana Mead Chamis and Jennifer Orchard - Feb 8, 2019

PSO violist Tatjana Mead Chamis and violinist Jennifer Orchard discuss their Saturday February 9th 7pm concert at Chatham University and play the Martinu Madrigal No. 1 Poco Allegro in the WQED-FM studio.

Herbert Blomstedt - Feb 7, 2019

Herbert Blomstedt,the former Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, returns to the Pittsburgh Symphony as a guest to conduct the Beethoven Symphony No. 6, "Pastorale," and the Dvorak Symphony No 8. He sings all the bird calls to suggest his ideas and tells Jim Cunningham he was interested in the Pittsburgh post after Andre Previn left, but there was still too much grit from the smoky city era. San Francisco had the water not far away and even the vagrants greeted him warmly. After 90 years what wisdom can he share? That’s at the end.

Peter Boyer and Andres Franco - Feb 1, 2019

Composer Peter Boyer and Pittsburgh Symphony Associate Conductor Andres Franco stopped by Afternoon Classics with Anna Singer to talk about Boyer's piece "Ellis Island."  

Inon Barnatan - Jan 24, 2019

Pianist Inon Barnatan makes his Heinz Hall debut playing Rachmaninoff’s First Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Maestro Long Yu.  He tells Jim Cunningham what sort of a guy Sergei Rachmaninoff was.  He shares why he loves living composers like Alan Fletcher, the former head of CMU Music, and how how he started with music in Tel Aviv. You will hear about his work in La Jolla with the Chamber Music Festival he now runs.  Other things of note - he took an Uber to get to Pittsburgh from Akron and enjoyed the ride, and he knows very few people named Inon!

Long Yu - Jan 23, 2019

Long Yu makes his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony the weekend of January 25 2019, Listen to his conversation with Jim Cunningham where he remembers his admiration for the Pittsburgh Symphony as a student in China, discusses the beauty of music by Qigang Chen and whether it fits with feng shui principles. Long Yu expresses his love of Rachmaninoff and Dvorak and what they reveal about their nationalities.  Maestro Long shares his thoughts on the Cultural Revolution in China, his grand concert in Beijing at the Forbidden Palace in October 2018 with Carmina Burana to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the DG company with the Shanghai Symphony, talks about his world premiere this Spring in New York with YoY o Ma and Wu Man, and suggests ways we can bring together people from the East and West.   

Behzod Abduraimov - Jan 11, 2019

Behzod Abduraimov returns to Heinz Hall to play the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto. He’s never seen David Lean’s Brief Encounter or The Seven Year Itch with Marilyn Monroe being wooed by the Rachmaninoff. But he has heard Eric Carmen sing the main melody.  Behzod lives in Tashkent and Kansas City, has a jam packed schedule, and he took a few days off to visit Cancun. He’s played at the Hollywood Bowl three times and loves the Van Cliburn and Rachmaninoff recordings of the Second Concerto. Lots more in this interview with Jim Cunningham.

Markus Stenz - Jan 11, 2019

Jim Cunningham speaks with Conductor Markus Stenz, who is the Principal Guest with the Baltimore along with his work in Cologne and as Chief of the Netherland Radio Orchestra. His Pittsburgh Symphony debut program is centered around the piano with Behzod Abduraimov playing the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto, with an American premiere of the Sunken Cathedral by Debussy arranged by Colin Mathews, Ferrucio Busoni’s Lullaby and the Poem of Ecstasy by Scriabin. Stenz discusses his extensive work with Hans Werner Henze and offers his thoughts for the new year 2019.