Voice of the Arts
Mrs. Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, reflects on the 50th Anniversary of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood as produced at WQED and her 50 year marriage to Mr. Rogers. She talks about the new documentary "Won’t You Be My Neighbor," the puppets in the Neighborhood and who they represent, early WQED history from 1954, the plans and script for a forthcoming film with Tom Hanks, many of the musical people in the program including Van Cliburn, the Metroplitan Opera’s John Reardon and Officer Clemmons, Francoise Clemmons as well as her love of playing the piano and learning how to play with Hungarian virtuoso Ernst von Dohnanyi. Exactly how she met Fred at Rollins College in Florida, whether the Neighborhood was derived from the Ten Commandments, when the sweater got into the program and where they are today. She also remembers Fred’s work on the first broadcast on NBC of "Amahl and the Night Visitors," working on the Kate Smith Hour, and with Gabby Hayes who gave the advice of “thinking of one little buckaroo out there.”
Cellist Amit Peled discusses his new album "To Brahms With Love" and the influence that cellist Pablo Casals had on his inspiration to play the instrument.
WQED Producer Rick Sebak discovers treasures at the Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer in Lawrenceville, his latest Nebby program, airing Thursday at 8pm on WQED-13. Tom Roberts provides the music to accompany a nice man who sells Hawaiian things, two people who buy a phone in the shape of a concert grand piano, a gigantic animatronic bunny, a Radio Shack robot, Gumby makes a brief cameo appearance, a toy Shop named Do Not Destroy, Badamo’s Pizza is made, 100% Polyester Universe turns up. You’ll see silverware from Allegheny Ludlum, Kaufmann’s and Horne’s nostalgia regulars, hipsters, vinyl fanatics –all in a fast paces half hour and interview.
Soprano Katy Williams is a Marge in the musical Bridges of Madison County with Director Connor Bahr who joined Katy Williams to visit the WQED-FM studio to preview the production of Carnivale Theatrics at the New Hazlett Theater opening on June 29 running through July 7. Connor plays the violin -- his instrument is in the show with musical direction from Bob Neubauer. It’s a Pittsburgh premiere based on the best-selling novel, and developed by the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning creative team of Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman, Katy Williams runs through her work with the Pittsburgh Symphony, singing with the Opera and her church job and much more. Connor explains the mission of the company to perform at the highest level and remain affordable. He also reveals what it’s like to be the son of Steelers Royalty the kicker, Matt Bahr. Love is what it’s all about in the play and the interview.
Dr. R. Tad Greig will conduct the North Pittsburgh Symphonic Band this weekend (7/1) at the Bach, Beethoven, and Brunch concert. The concert is at 10:30am on the lawn in Mellon Park. Dr. Greig talks about conducting for an outdoor event, the North Pittsburgh Symphonic Band and its members, and being a professor of music at Westminster College.
The Three Rivers Young People’s orchestra is in Budapest Hungary where they will wrap up their first tour of Europe with a final concert on June 23. Executive Director Lindsey Wood Nova spoke live from Budapest just after the rehearsal at the Pesti Vigado where Bela Bartok gave his first concert and Franz Liszt, Johann Strauss, and Ernst von Dohnanyi played. Conductor John Wilcox remembers his 12 years of work with the musicians and his earlier experiences on the road including a dramatic night at the Acropolis in Athens with Antal Dorati conducting. Clarinet Jamar Lee and violinist Tommy Bauer add their thoughts on the experience of touring Europe.
Pianist Norman Krieger has two recent cds out on the Decca labels with Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto and the Third Concerto with Joann Faletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic plus Brahms Second Concerto with the London Symphony conducted by Philip Ryan Mann. Norman remembers his Pittsburgh debut at Point State Park with a passing tugboat adding to the sonic palette and talks about his work in Buffalo.
Joshua Bell has recently recorded the Max Bruch Scottish fantasy and the g minor Violin Concerto with the Academy of St martin in the Fields. He talks about Bruch and his unhappy business sense and the delights of these two favorites. Joshua remembers his early visits to Pittsburgh and long association with the Pittsburgh Symphony in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.
Monday June 25, 2018, Chamber Music Pittsburgh presents "Hebrew Melodies" - a Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival concert. It takes place at Rodef Shalom at 7:30pm and features members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as guest musicians. Cellist Aron Zelkowicz, director of the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival, stopped by to talk about the concert with Jim Cunningham.
The Three Rivers Yong People’s Orchestra is on tour in Europe—their first European Tour in the orchestra’s 44 year history. It will be the last concerts with their Music Director of the past 12 years, John Wilcox, a former member of the National Symphony in Washington DC. The Orchestra is taking Dvorak’s Eighth Symphony to Prague at the Rudolfinum, the home of the Vienna Choir Boys in Vienna, and winding up June 21 in Budapest. Executive Director Lindsey Wood Nova phoned in from the moving bus leaving the Czech Republic for Vienna with cellist Emma Chothani, percussionist Colby Hill, and tubist Bruce Deal.