Peter Oundjian and Alina Ibragimova

Conductor Peter Oundjian and violinist Alina Ibragimova provide the roadmap for the Prokofiev First Violin Concerto which they perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony January 13th and 15th. Peter chooses a few high points in his 14 years as Music Director of the Toronto Symphony and fills Jim Cunningham in on his family ties to Eric Idle of Monty Python. He also shares his love of Ralph Vaughan Williams and the Thomas Tallis Fantasy having recorded the composer in Toronto. Alina remembers being in Pittsburgh on March 11, 2020 just hours from her debut when the music world went on hiatus. Both are glad to have survived the pandemic and feel optimistic about the future of classical music.

Daniel Meyer

Daniel Meyer conducts 8 Pittsburgh Symphony Holiday Pops concerts through Sunday the 18th of December with the Mendelssohn Choir, Santa and Blaine Alden Krauss who stars in Hamilton on Broadway plus dancers from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater who perform highlights from the Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky. Maestro Meyer has the rundown of the event for Jim Cunningham and what he is up to with the Erie Philharmonic and the Westmoreland Symphony.

Martin Helmchen

Berlin born pianist Martin Helmchen makes his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck playing the Schumann Concerto December 2 at Heinz Hall. He talks with Jim Cunningham in the upstairs dressing room about his earlier work with Manfred Honeck, the Schumann Concerto which he recorded a number of years ago and how his interpretation has changed, Robert Schumann the romantic figure in music, Germany and the US in the World Cup, and the progress in unification of the East and West in Germany.

Nikki Porter

Nikki Porter, Head of Staff and Minister of Music at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, leads the Unity Choir in “Lift Every Voice and Sing” – Saturday October 22 at Heinz Hall with the Pittsburgh Symphony. She tells her story to Jim Cunningham and suggests the spirit will move you downtown on Saturday evening.   Kellen Gray conducts the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for the fourth Lift Every Voice concert!  After more than two years, back together in Heinz Hall to experience music’s power to bring us forward. Kendra Ross and Garfield Lemonius host this one-night-only celebration of dynamic contemporary artists, including the world premiere of As I Please, a multimedia work by composer Kathryn Bostic, filmmaker Njaimeh Njie, and writer Jessica Lanay, commissioned by the PSO.

Josh Jones, alumnus of the Paul J. Ross Fellowship program, makes his PSO solo debut performing Vivaldi’s Concerto for Piccolo on marimba, Jasiri X makes his solo debut performing the Academy and Grammy Award-winning “Glory” from the movie Selma, Jessie Montgomery’s Strum for String Orchestra musically animates the mural “Playing the Cosmic Strings” by local artists Mikael Owunna and Marques Redd.

Honoring Mark Huggins – PSO Live – 9/23/22

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Melia Tourangeau recognizes and honors Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Associate Concertmaster Mark Huggins, who is retiring from the orchestra at the end of September. From the PSO Opening Night concert on Friday September 23, 2022.

Joshua Bell

Violinist Joshua Bell tells Jim Cunningham the Tchaikovsky Concerto never gets old having recorded it as a teenager with several re- recordings since and a previous performance with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Manfred Honeck. He estimates 1000 times he’s played the Tchaikovsky and he always hears something new. Joshua thinks the classical music scene is in good shape and will never decline in spite of the pandemic and concern about audiences returning. He’s just back from a tour with the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields to Brazil and other stops in South America plus visits to Italian concert halls where the vibrancy of classical music was strong. Pittsburgh and his thirty years of music making here is always a highlight he suggests in the dressing room conversation after rehearsal on Friday afternoon before the Saturday gala.

Emanuel Ax

Emanuel Ax sat down with Jim Cunningham on Saturday afternoon after the live broadcast of opening night Friday June 17 to talk about Mozart’s 20th concerto, Chopin for an encore, his long association with the Pittsburgh Symphony, friendship with Andre Previn, the war in Ukraine and it’s effect on Lviv where Emanuel Ax was born, his recent Beethoven Trios cd Beethoven for Three with Yo Yo Ma and Leonidas Kavakos, and the answer to the question are there too many good musicians today– recorded upstairs at Heinz Hall in the rehearsal room on the fourth floor with help from Adam Kilburn engineer and videographer.

Andre Previn

Former Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director Andre Previn premieres his Concerto for Trumpet, Horn, and Tuba, commissioned by the PSO. He talks about the composition, his impressions of the orchestra, and memories of composers he’s worked with in Hollywood (he recalls playing ping pong with Schoenberg) and on the PBS Previn and the Pittsburgh series.