On the occasion of his final visit as PSO Composer of the Year, Richard Danielpour talks about "Rocking the Cradle," his orchestral response to the sacrifice of war. He talks about his inspiration, the individual movements, his use of Tibetan bowls in the percussion, and his amazement at Manfred Honeck's intuitive understanding of this work.
Dr. Connie Ruzich from Robert Morris University summarizes the remarks of Greg Mortenson, author of "Three Cups of Tea," who talked about his campaign of building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan and his role as an advisor to governments in dealing with this troubled part of the world.
Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea and founder of the Central Asia Institute and Pennies for Peace, answers questions submitted from the audience at the Pittsburgh Speakers Series on April 28, 2010. Mortenson has forged relationships with the tribal leaders in Afghaistan and Pakistan to establish girls' schools and foster literacy. He has also advised the US government in how to work with the people of this region at the grass-roots level.
The Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsa made her PSO debut on short notice in Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #2. Jim Cunningham asks her about the composer's second, third and "fifth" concertos, secrets for playing Rachmaninoff well, "pop" versions of his themes, her home in North Carolina and her (jokingly) claimed identity as a "redneck" pianist.
Pianist Yefim Bronfman talks about his hometown of Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Beethoven's Piano Concerto #3, the composer as futurist, how he might have played his concertos, Mozart's influence on Beethoven, Bronfman's appearance on "Iron Chef," his teachers, favorite recent movies, stage fright, and more.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theater Principal Dancer Alexandra Kochis makes her role debut this month as Odette/Odile in "Swan Lake." She talks about how she prepares this famous dual role, other favorite roles, and about life on and offstage with her husband, PBT Principal Christopher Budzynski.