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

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Manfred Honeck & Anne-Sophie Mutter - Sep 16, 2021

Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director Manfred Honeck returned this week for the first full Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concerts in 18 months to open the Heinz Hall 50th anniversary season with Anne-Sophie Mutter at the Gala on September 16th.  Ms. Mutter will be playing a concerto by the Chevalier de Saint George and music by John Williams. She discusses her solo spots and the incredible success of her live Vienna Philharmonic cds with John Williams conducting. She works with John Williams a few days after Pittsburgh in Los Angles at a concert which will play tribute to cellist Lynn Harrell. She remembers her colleague along with Maestro Honeck’s thoughts. Other topics include pandemic reflections; the Mutter Virtuosi with which she will go on tour; upcoming recording plans which include a disc with Manfred Honeck conducting in Prague; why now is the time to belatedly look into African-American composers and other composers who have been long out of the spotlight; the importance of radio to classical music; and much more in this half hour with Jim Cunningham.  Recorded at the Fairmont Hotel in the floor 2 restaurant. 

PSO Front Row - Jack Everly - Jul 27, 2021

The Pittsburgh Symphony presents "Hollywood Hits" in a virtual concert found on the Pittsburgh Symphony website from August 23rd at 7:30pm through September 5th - with music from Game Of Thrones, Henry Mancini, George Gershwin and John Lunn's score for Downton Abbey. In his online concert, Jack Everly speaks to the camera in introductory remarks. Maestro Everly is one of America's most widely traveled guest conductors with regular spots at four orchestras and serving as conductor of "A Capitol Fourth" and the Memorial Day US Capitol celebrations with the National Symphony for many years. So is the American orchestra getting as many minutes on TV in 2021? You must judge. He speaks about the broad array of military trumpets that participated in this year's Olympic Fanfare by John Williams, remembers Gene Kelly and Oscar Levant, recalls almost conducting the Civic Light Opera, the challenges of pandemic programs, and the hope of getting audiences back in seats in this July 26, 2021 conversation by Zoom with Jim Cunningham.

Earl Lee - Jul 26, 2021

Pittsburgh Symphony Associate Conductor Earl Lee will lead four concerts at Hartwood Acres in July and August for he Summer With the Symphony series. He discuses his programs on July 30 and 31 with violinist Marta Krechkovsky in the Tchaikovsky Concerto, Rossini's Thieving Magpie Overture and Brahms First Symphony. On August 6 and 7, Maestro Lee joins cellist Will Chow to perform the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, Mendelssohn's Scherzo From A Midsummer Nights Dream and dances by Brahms and Dvorak plus Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony. He discusses his wife's work as flutist with the New York Philharmonic, studying Mendelssohn in Leipzig, and more in this interview with Jim Cunningham.

Byron Stripling & Nicki Parrott - Jul 23, 2021

Pittsburgh Symphony Principal  Pops Conductor Byron Stripling leads four concerts at Hartwood Acres in the Summer with the Symphony series. In this conversation with Jim Cunningham, he joins soloist singing and playing bass Nicki Parrott to talk about their favorite jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstein and George Benson, Nikki's journey from Australia to the USA, work with Pittsburgh bass superstar Ray Brown, how singers learn to control their breath at a whisper and the program at Hartwood Friday night July 23rd at 8:15pm titled "Songbook and Sunset," Saturday morning July 24th at 11:15am it's "Melodies and Movement" for families, and August 13th and 14th with "Summer and Sinatra." With food trucks! 

Robert Langevin - Jul 20, 2021

The Principal Flute of the New York Philharmonic, Robert Langevin, served as Principal in Pittsburgh for eight years until he was asked to join New York by Kurt Mazur. He discusses his new cd on the Bridge label "La Belle Epoque" with the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Syrinx, Faure Fantaisie and Morceau, Enesco Cantabile and presto, Mouquet Flute de Pan, Widor Suite and Gaubert Nocturne, Fantaisie and Madrigal with pianist Margaret Kampmeier. Robert remembers his years with Lorin Maazel and Mariss Jansons in Pittsburgh and New York, talks about his love of summers at Chautauqua, New York, recordings of Mozart and Nielsen and whether he has bribed the director of Live From Lincoln Center to feature his solos on the PBS New Year's Eve broadcasts. The tradition of French flute playing is explored in detail in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.

Center Stage - Schoenberg's "Verklarte Nacht" - Jul 15, 2021

Pittsburgh Symphony Acting Principal Viola, Tatjana Mead Chamis, and violinist Jeremias Sergiani-Velazquez talk about rrecording Arnold Shoenberg's "Transfigured Night" and the musical influences that shape them - including Tatjana in Germany at age 7 winding up in Utah with a slight European accent, studying at Curtis and working with the Philadelphia Orchetra's Joseph de Pasquale. Can either musician tango? Tatjana wants to and Velazquez played in a Grammy award winning tango ensemble but the steps are still a mystery. Jeremias describes his young years in Cordoba, Argentina riding the bus 10 hours to lessons in Buenos Aires, later joining Midori in playing chamber music for refugees in camps and shelters after the earthquake in Nepal and much more in this converstaion with Jim Cunningham.

Center Stage - Peter Sullivan - Jul 6, 2021

Pittsburgh Symphony Principal Trombone Peter Sullivan speaks about the music he recorded for Center Stage by Casterede and Defaye, his teaching, summer music making at Hartwood Acres and Aspen, his many recordings in Montreal before coming to Pittsburgh, and the current state of affairs with the Pittsburgh Penguins in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.

Center Stage - Will Chow - Jun 24, 2021

Pittsburgh Symphony cellist Will Chow talks about his recording of Zoltan Kodaly's Cello Sonata made Center Stage at Heinz Hall. Will picks a favorite recording of the Kodaly among many. In this discussion with Jim Cunningham he recalls his work with the Pittsburgh Symphony since joining in 2016, an appearance on From the Top with Chrisopher O'Riley, heading out with Curits on Tour during his workk at the Curtis Institute, recording Two by Four for the Cedille label with Jaime Laredo and Jennifer Koh and looks forward to working with fellow Curtis scholar conductor Earl Lee in the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations at Hartwood Acres this summer.

Center Stage - Rhian Kenny - Jun 22, 2021

The Principal Piccolo of the Pittsburgh Symphony since 1990, Rhian Kenny introduces music by Nova Scotia's Derek Charke--Lachrymose. Rhian explains her special pride in placing the solo in Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever having recently become an American citizen. She fills us in on her rowing adventure and pandemic year reflection of missing her colleagues as well as the joy she takes in her three daughters in this discussion with Jim Cunningham.

Jean Horne & Christine Thompson - Symphony Splendor - Jun 16, 2021

Tribune Review Fanfare writer emeritas Jean Horne joins Mendelssohn Choir regular Christine Thompson and Jim Cunningham to speak about the work of the Pittsburgh Symphony Association in creating Symphony Splendor taking place Sunday June 27th from 11am to 5pm. The event features 16 members of the Pittsburgh Symphony and other musical guests performing in 12 glorious and often unknown gardens in Shadyside and Squirrel Hill. The proceeds benefit the Pittsburgh Symphony in a self-guided rain or shine tour with check-in at the Mansions on Fifth - 5105 Fifth Avenue. Jean and Christine tell us we'll see "12 urban sanctuaries that are ablaze with floral fireworks, lavish beds and borders, soothing spaces with splashing water and darting elegant fish. Elegant and informal gardens where wonders never cease including one of the most talked about botanical marvels - a Smithsonian Institution designated garden." For additional information pittsburghsymphonyassociation.org or 412-392-3303.