Pittsburgh Symphony on Tour
Cheering and stomping from the Albert Hall audience brought the PSO's second BBC Proms concert to a close, after Mahler's 5th Symphony and two encores. Jim Cunningham talks with PSO violinist Jeremy Black, BBC Proms director Roger Wright, PSO supporters Tom and Donna Hotopp, PSO Board Chair Richard P. Simmons, English music critic Peter Brown, and former PSO principal guest conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier.
Jim Cunningham interviewed Suzy Klein, the presenter for the first of two live concerts from the Royal Albert Hall featuring the Pittsburgh Symphony, and wound up co-hosting the broadcast with her. Until Sep 12, you can hear the complete concert at bbc.co.uk/radio3/proms
After the PSO's first of two Proms concerts, Jim Cunningham meets a dedicated "Prommer," Christiane Honeck, and some high-powered Pittsburghers travelling with the orchestra - for pleasure, or to attract businesses to expand in Pittsburgh. And Jim explores the Sir John Soane Museum.
At the Lucerne Festival, Jim Cunningham went to hear the Concertgebouw Orchestra's concert. That orchestra's manager Joel Klein is a former Pittsburgher who was chorus master and music adminstrator for the Pittsburgh Opera. Jim asked about former PSO music director Mariss Jansons, now Chief Conductor of the Concertgebouw.
Jim Cunningham talks with pianist and Grafenegg Festival director Rudolf Buchbinder, who praises the Pittsburgh Symphony's Grafenegg debut, and looks forward to playing Rhapsody in Blue with the PSO and Honeck at Heinz Hall in three weeks. Jim also interviews a Bavarian Radio producer who found the PSO's Mahler "incredible." You'll hear clips of Beethoven 4 with Helene Grimaud, and the opening of the Mahler 5.
Jim Cunningham phones in from Grinzing, on the outskirts of Vienna, site of Schubert's birthplace and Mahler's grave. Jim summarizes some reviews of the PSO's tour concerts. PSO Assistant Conductor Thomas Hong takes the phone to talk about staff conductors' duties on tour, and describes the outdoor venue for the orchestra's second concert at the Grafenegg Festival.
Light rain forced the PSO indoors for its second concert at the Grafenegg Festival. Jim reports on the concert and on just-announced PSO plans for a 9/11 commemoration in Berlin. Jim also visits Mahler's grave with trombonist James Nova, who decided on a career in music upon hearing Mahler's Fifth Symphony in his native Hartford, CT. And as the PSO heads for the BBC Proms, Jim brings news of a pro-Palestinian protest that forced an early end to today's Israel Philharmonic Proms broadcast.
Grafenegg came out in modern and traditional Austrian finery for the Pittsburgh Symphony's debut at the Grafenegg Festival. Jim reports on the concert with Anne-Sophie Mutter and is joined by Principal English Horn Harold Smoliar, who welcomes a new family member with the PSO on this tour.
Jim Cunningham arrives in Grafenegg with the PSO, and puts Ulrike Niehoff, the Grafenegg Festival's Director of Artistic Administration, on the phone with QED's Anna Singer to talkabout the festival's history and roster of artists.
Jim Cunningham meets the PSO's new Principal Timpanist, Edward Stephan, a Pittsburgh-area native who is living his dream by perfoming with the orchestra he's admired since childhood. Traveling with a folding bicycle, Ed talks about his past involvement in competitive cycling.