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

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Moon Doh - PSO Assistant Conductor - Jan 20, 2022

Moon Doh arrived as Pittsburgh Symphony Assistant Conductor just two weeks ago and now leads his first subscription concert at Heinz Hall January 22 and 23. He discusses the joy of Bartok and tells Jim Cunningham that his path from Korea has been winding but wonderful most recently with several appointments in Germany. He has climbed hundreds of steps to the top of Cologne Cathedral in whistling wind and he promised to share lessons in dancing Gangnam Style.   

Jacob Joyce - PSO Assistant Conductor - Jan 20, 2022

Jacob Joyce, Pittsburgh Symphony Assistant Conductor, makes his Heinz Hall subscription concert debut this Saturday and Sunday January 22 and 23 conducting concertos by Corelli and Geminiani, plus Stravinsky sharing the program with his colleague Moon Doh who conducts Bartok. Jacob explains why he loves baroque music and tells us about his work with the Indianapolis Symphony plus his story so far. He also talks about his work with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony as their new conductor.



Richard DiAdamo - Jan 14, 2022

The story of a veteran Pittsburgh Symphony violinist who joined in 1968 under William Steinberg. Richard DiAdamo is admired by his colleagues for his artistry and, more recently since retiring, an heroic struggle with cancer which metastasized to multiple areas and further caused strokes and blindness. He started the violin at age 8 in Philadelphia studying with Armand DiCamillo of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Richard traces his path to the Eastman School of Music, his participation in the Howard Hanson American Music Festivals, study with Joseph Knitzer and Carroll Glenn followed by work at the Taos School of Music in New Mexico. He joined the Syracuse Symphony conducted by Karl Kritz who had emigrated to the US in 1937 first serving as assistant in the early years of the Pittsburgh Symphony.  Richard played alongside violinist Louis Krasner who commissioned the Alban Berg Concerto.  He founded the Amati String Trio. He won the Pittsburgh Concert Society Audition in 1981. The following year he gave the world premiere of Thomas Janson’s  Harlequin for Richard DiAdamo which won praise from critics Robert Croan in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Tim Page who described it as “committed and praiseworthy” in the New York Times following the first New York performance at Symphony Space with David Stock conducting.

Richard DiAdamo remembers his work as a coach of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony and Three Rivers Young People’s Orchestra as well as teaching and founding the strings program at Washington and Jefferson College. He told Andrew Duckenbrod writing for the Post Gazette in 2006 "I am retiring from the symphony but not the violin...I plan on getting up every day and doing my practice. I am looking forward to practicing some solo pieces that I really haven't had the time for."  Marvin Hamlisch called him onstage to speak about his retirement plans which included polishing classic cars—a Packard, a Mercedes and Carman Ghia. Among the highlights of his thousands of concerts across four decades were the visit to Rome to play Mahler at the Vatican, the opening of Heinz Hall with Mahler’s Second Symphony and tour concerts with William Steinberg in Japan and Andre Previn at the Musikverein in Vienna.

Manfred Honeck is a fan, checking in regularly. Richard made a rosary for Maestro Honeck which he treasures. Richard DiAdamo does not let his health problems get him down. He continues to inspire his colleagues with an indomitable spirit loving life with his wife Catherine DiAdamo who joins in the conversation with Jim Cunningham.   

Benjamin Grosvenor - Jan 13, 2022

Benjamin Grosvenor returns to Heinz Hall to play the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2.  Always a crowd favorite, Benjamin talks about the piece's appeal, handling the Covid pandemic and more in this conversation with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham.  

Lorenzo Viotti - Jan 13, 2022

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Guest Conductor Lorenzo Viotti makes his Heinz Hall debut to conduct music of Verdi, Rachmaninoff, Strauss and Ravel.  He spoke with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham about the concert, knowing former PSO Music Director Mariss Jansons and more.  

Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida and Bill Caballero - Dec 7, 2021

Today (12/7) is the Musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Day of Music.  Due to Covid, they were only able to perform live at one location - WQED-FM!   Principal Oboe Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida and Principal Horn Bill Caballero stopped by during our Fundraiser to talk about the Day of Music and why you should support WQED-FM.  They were also joined by pianist Rodrigo Ojeda to perform three pieces live in the studio.  

James Ehnes - Dec 3, 2021

Violinist James Ehnes returns to Heinz Hall to perform the Barber Violin Concerto this weekend with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  He spoke with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham about the piece, his recent recordings, and his love of the Winnipeg Jets hockey team.   



Manfred Honeck and Maria Duenas - Nov 24, 2021

Manfred Honeck returns to Heinz Hall for the Thanksgiving weekend concert of Strauss waltzes and polkas in the spirit of the Vienna New Year’s Day concerts seen around the world and on WQED-TV from the ORF and PBS. This year at Heinz Hall, Maria Duenas makes her debut with the Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1. Maria is 18 years old. She tells her story and describes the special qualities of the instrument she plays.  Manfred Honeck remembers his concerts playing the New Year’s Day program in Vienna and suggests the spirit of the program with encores expected. The interview with Jim Cunningham took place in the upstairs rehearsal room in order to record video which can be found on Vimeo.

Symphony Splendor Holiday House Tour 2021-Jean Horne and Christine Thompson - Nov 11, 2021

Fanfare columnist for the Tribune-Review, Jean Horne, and Christine Thompson, long time member of the Mendelssohn Choir, both have worked tirelessly for the Pittsburgh Symphony Association event Symphony Splendor Holiday House Tour 2021 taking place at a gilded age Shadyside House Mansion the weekend of November 19th.  The story of the house and the forty musicians of the orchestra who will perform is discussed with Jim Cunningham. Christine also has details on the upcoming Choir events and Jean reveals at least one secret of her column.  

Behzod Abduraimov - Nov 11, 2021

Pianist Behzod Abduraimov returns to Heinz Hall to make his debut with Juraj Valcuha in the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2. They’ve recorded together in Italy for Decca but never given a live concert until Pittsburgh. Is playing with a mask fun? No. Especially during this concerto, which requires heavy lifting but he’s managing. Behzod talks all about Prokofiev and his recent recordings of Rachmaninov’s own piano in Lucerne, Switzerland, where he toured the villa Rachmaninov.