One of the opera world's rising young conductors is former Pittsburgher Christopher Franklin, the son of University of Pittsburgh musicologist and Bach authority Don Franklin. Christopher Franklin developed his career in Italian opera houses, including some major ones, and now has a handful of opera CDs to his credit including a new release on the Naxos label. He spoke with Jim Cunningham via Skype between performances of Rossini's Cinderella with Minnesota Opera.
Brooklyn-born conductor Gilbert Levine conducted several of historic concerts for Pope John Paul II beginning with a concert to Commemorate the Holocaust in 1994 and ending with the Pittsburgh Symphony's Concert of Papal Reconciliation at the Vatican in 2004. The story of how the Jewish Levine forged a musical bond with the pontiff is told in his new autobiography "The Pope's Maestro."
Bruce Fink, Duquesne University psychology professor and translator of the writings of 20th-century French psychologist Jacques Lacan, talks about his first novel, inspired by his dual interests: Lacan and classical music.
Renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson reveals how the arts helped him gain admission to the schools that mattered, and takes questions from the Pittsburgh Speakers Series audience at Heinz Hall on Nov. 17, 2010.
Dr. Connie Ruzich recaps remark by renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson at the Pittsburgh Speakers Series, presented at Heinz Hall by Robert Morris University.
British classical music critic Norman Lebrecht, who stirred up controversy with his books "The Maestro Myth," and "Who Killed Classical Music," talks with Jim Cunningham about his new book "Why Mahler," and gives his perspectives on musical personalities with Pittsburgh connections.
The puppeteer and voice of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, and Oscar's right arm puppeteer Jim Martin talk up Ka-Blam! at the Toonseum on Nov. 6, 2010.
Dr. Connie Ruzich from Robert Morris University recaps the remarks of "Eat, Pray, Love" author Elizabeth Gilbert at the Pittsburgh Speakers Series.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love" talks about her favorite Pittsburgh poet, her early start as a writer, the success of "Eat, Pray, Love," the circumstances of her second marriage, being branded as a "chick lit" author, whether she "ruined" Bali, and her favorite destination.
Pittsburgh's Byron Janis overcame secret physical handicaps through sheer determination to become one of the 20th century's greatest pianists. His story is told in a new film premiering on PBS, and a new autobiography. Byron Janis shares some recollections with QED's Jim Cunningham.