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

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Manfred Honeck and Mary Persin - 2022-2023 Season Announcement - Mar 25, 2022

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music Director Manfred Honeck and Vice President of Artistic Planning Mary Persin, sat down with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham to talk about the Orchestra's 2022-2023 season.  They also discuss their upcoming "Concert for Ukraine" performance taking place on Saturday April 2nd at 7:30pm.  

Juanjo Mena - Mar 16, 2022

Pittsburgh Symphony Guest Conductor Juanjo Mena discusses the Lutoslawski Concerto for Orchestra, Debussy Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun featuring Lorna McGhee and Rodrigo and Concierto de Aranjuez with Pablo Sainz Villegas. He talks with Jim Cunningham about his work in Cincinnati with the May Festival, his recent recordings, and his thinking about the world emerging from a pandemic and immersed in conflict with Russia and Ukraine.

David Ludwig, Nancy Goeres, Ron Samuels, Michael Rusinek and Philip Pandolfi - Feb 17, 2022

David Ludwig has composed the Sinfonia Concertante for two clarinets and two bassoons which receives the world premiere February 18 and 19 at Heinz hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck. The new Dean and Director of the music Division at Juilliard  composer David Ludwig sat down with the soloists Michael Rusinek Principal Clarinet with Second Clarinet Ron Samuels, Bassoon  Philip Pandolfi, Principal Bassoon Nancy Goeres and Jim Cunningham to talk over the special features and the creation of the concerto, whether they will wear black, the shape of the music and how it was created.  

Reza Vali & Kian Soltani - Feb 10, 2022

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performs two world premieres, plus music of Smetana, Schumann and Stravinsky this weekend at Heinz Hall.  WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham spoke to composer Reza Vali about his brand new piece ""The Girl from Shiraz" from Persian Folk Songs, which features as soloist, Kian Soltani.  Kian also joins the conversation to talk about the Reza Vali piece, as well as playing the Schumann Cello Concerto.  

Michael Daugherty - Feb 10, 2022

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performs two world premieres, plus music of Smetana, Schumann and Stravinsky this weekend at Heinz Hall.  WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham spoke to composer Michael Daugherty about his brand new piece "Fifteen: Symphonic Fantasy on the Art of Andy Warhol."   He also talks about other pieces he's working on, winning multiple Grammy's, and more.  

Manfred Honeck - The Firebird - Feb 10, 2022

Manfred Honeck returns to Heinz Hall to conduct Stravinsky's Suite from "The Firebird," along with two world premieres, and music by Schumann and Smetana.   He chats with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham about this program, what he's been up to since he was last in Pittsburgh, and more.   



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.   

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.