David Sogg – Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra The Inextinguishable

Acting Principal Bassonist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, David Sogg, spoke live with Jim Cunningham on the Morning Show about his role in Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4, The Inextinguishable, being performed this Friday, April 5th and Sunday, April 7th. Sogg talks about his first introduction to Nielsen’s work with his Wind Quintet, and his personal connections to Denmark. This concert also includes Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, and Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 5, performed by Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Visit https://www.pittsburghsymphony.org/ to learn more and find tickets.

Juanjo Mena

WQED-FM’s Jim Cunningham sat down with conductor Juano Mena, who will conduct the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra this weekend in Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula by James Lee III. Plus, he’ll conduct violin works by Ginastera and Sarasate with Hilary Hahn.

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PSO Live Broadcast Intermission Interviews – 3/15/24

During WQED-FM’s live broadcast of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Friday March 15, 2024, Jim Cunningham spoke with conductor Jacob Joyce, guest violinist James Ehnes, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Vice-President of Artistic Planning Mary Persin and WQED President and CEO Jason Jedlinski during intermission.

Mason Bates

Mason Bates joins Jim Cunningham to talk about his Pittsburgh premiere of Philharmonia Fantastique, commissioned in part by Pittsburgh. With animation and live action film this score has won a Grammy in its Chicago Symphony recording while becoming Mason’s most performed piece. It mixes animation with ties to the Pixar studio and Lucasfilm, live action on screen while the orchestra plays. Mason also fills us in on his next opera based on Michael Chabon’s “The Fabulous Adventures of Kavalier Klay.” Mason Bates recalls how much he enjoyed his Pittsburgh visits, commissions and year as Composer in Residence and his winning of the Heinz Award, plus meeting Theresa Heinz. At the end of the conversation, he reveals where he takes out of town guests when they visit San Francisco while he teaches at the Conservatory.

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PSO Double Bass Section

John Moore, Micah Howard and Nicholas Myers, members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Double Bass section, stopped by the QED Morning Show with Jim Cunningham to talk about the Pittsburgh Double Bass Symposium taking place at CMU on Sunday March 10th, as well as the Sound Fusion concert taking place at Heinz Hall on March 5th.

Cellist Pablo Ferrandez

Pablo Ferrandez returns to Heinz Hall having had a sensational debut in a 2023 December concert with Anne Sophie Mutter and John Williams playing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Anne Sophie Mutter. He describes the challenge of playing the Shostakovich Cello Concerto No 1., the composer’s fear of being taken away in the night were he to run counter to what Stalin thought he should be writing, the importance of the timpanist in the First Concerto, his family of musicians naming him after Pablo Casals, growing up in sunny Spain, his recordings for Sony including the Brahms Double Concerto with Anne Sophie Mutter, the Czech Philharmonic and Manfred Honeck, and what he knows about Pittsburgh and the orchestra in this conversation with Jim Cunningham.

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Composer Katherine Balch

Katherine Balch talks about her new music commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony and several other American Orchestras with the world premiere on February 16, 2023— Musica Pyralis to be conducted by Manfred Honeck. She is inspired by the events around her including fireflies in the music for Pittsburgh. Katherine tells Jim Cunningham her story: born in San Diego, now teaching at Yale, her thoughts about connecting with audiences. her family and whether she is a California girl.

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Alexandre Kantorow

Pianist Alexandre Kantorow makes his Heinz Hall debut February 9th through 11th at Heinz Hall with Manfred Honeck. In this conversation with Jim Cunningham recorded in the Dorothy Porter Simmons Rooms at Heinz Hall, he talks about the Liszt Second Concerto; his recent win of the Gilmore Prize and the win at the Tchaikovsky Competition; his early career; growing up in the musical family with his Dad, a conductor and his Mom a violinist; being French; wearing a beret; enjoying fresh baguettes; and his upcoming tour with Jaap van Zweden and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.


Anthony Parnther

Anthony Parnther makes his Pittsburgh Symphony debut with “Lift Every Voice” on Saturday February 3rd, 7pm at Heinz Hall where he’ll conduct the Florence Price Third Symphony and the Lars Erik Larsson Trombone Concertino with Cooper Cromwell Whitney solo. The wide ranging program celebrates tradition in African American musical culture with Grammy wining soloist Oleta Adams and the Unity Choir conducted by Nikki Porter. Anthony has conducted and played bassoon on over 1000 Hollywood film scores including his work as conductor for the Oscar nominated score for Oppenheimer. He is Music Director of the San Bernardino Symphony. Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “he is the quintessential LA musician.” Anthony Parnther tells his story and speaks of his love of Gospel music while growing up, plus he remembers his Pittsburgh debut conducting music by Matthew Rosenblum in the Microtonal Music Festival in this conversation at Heinz Hall in the conductor’s dressing room with Jim Cunningham.

Cooper Cromwell-Whitley

Trombonist and Paul J. Ross Fellow with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Cooper Cromwell-Whitley, discusses with Jim Cunningham his childhood love for the trombone, and Lars-Erick Larsson’s Concertino for Trombone that he will play this Saturday, February 3rd at 7 pm in the “Lift Every Voice” concert with Oleta Adams, Nikki Porter and the Lift Every Voice Unity Choir, Anthony Parnther, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Visit https://pittsburghsymphony.org to learn more.

Nikki Porter

Minister of Music at Eastminster Presbyterian Church and choir director, Nikki Porter, discussed with Jim Cunningham live on the QED Morning Show her upcoming concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Oleta Adams, conductor Anthony Parnther, pianist Alton Merrell, and trombonist Cooper-Cromwell Whitley in “Lift Every Voice” next Saturday, February 3rd at 7 pm. Nikki talks about the program featuring Florence Price and some of Oleta Adam’s most famous works. Nikki also highlights here work as a local choir director in the Pittsburgh area. Tickets start at $25. Visit https://pittsburghsymphony.org/ to learn more.

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