Jacob Joyce & Erin Lynn – Disrupt

Pittsburgh Symphony Associate Conductor Jacob Joyce joins Jim Cunningham and Erin Lynn, Director of Audience Experience, to speak about the Disrupt concert “Ludwig Grooves” with Manfred Honeck conducting Beethoven’s Seventh and the John Adams “Short Ride in a Fast Machine.” The Transformation Fizz cocktail and mocktail can be taken in to the concert hall. Arrive early for fun with the photo booths and optional wigs, art from the Carnegie Museum, Attack Theater Dancers and Jacob Joyce revealing special features of the music. Will Maestro Honeck wear sneakers?  A relaxed vibe with music making at the highest level.

PSO Live Backstage Interviews

WQED-FM’s Jim Cunningham interviews Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music Director Manfred Honeck, guest soloist Helene Grimaud and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Melia Tourangeau during intermission of our live broadcast on Friday September 29th, 2023.

Helene Grimaud

WQED-FM’s Jim Cunningham had a chance to interview Helene Grimaud at Heinz Hall before she plays the Schumann Piano Concerto this weekend with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  She talks about the concerto, her love of playing in Pittsburgh and if she celebrates Halloween.

Manfred Honeck

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra opens its 2023-2024 Mellon Grand Classics Season this weekend with music by Gabriela Ortiz and Sergei Rachmaninoff, with Helene Grimaud playing the Schumann Piano Concerto.  Music Director Manfred Honeck stopped by the QED Morning Show to talk with Jim Cunningham about the concert, the Gala with Renee Fleming and much more.

John Moore and Neal Berntsen

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians John Moore and Neal Berntsen discussed with Jim Cunningham live on air during WQED-FM’s fall funder about the Musicians of Steel 5k Run and Walk on September 30th at 10am in Millvale. 100% of the race entry fees go towards the PSO Musicians Care Fund that is a non-profit that support local community and school programs that have lost funding. They also talk about the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s newest CD featuring Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony. Visit https://www.musiciansofsteel5k.com to learn more.

Renee Fleming and Manfred Honeck

Superstar soprano Renee Fleming sat down with Music Director Manfred Honeck in the Fifth Floor dressing room to talk about their Pittsburgh Symphony “Now is the  Time” Gala concert at Heinz hall September 23, 2023 recalling Renee’s first years in Indiana, PA and Ridgeway. Manfred Honeck answers the question – is Renee Fleming a diva?  Renee discusses her Kennedy Center honor at the end of the year with Dionne Warwick, Queen Latifah, Billy Crystal and Barry Gibb. Jim Cunningham asks about her series of Imax ‘Cities that Sing’ live to theaters concerts with Paris and Venice. Renee Fleming mentions her work with Andre Previn in “Streetcar Named Desire” and his last music, “Penelope.” They run down the concert program with 4 Black Dances by  Carlos Simon, John Kandar’s “Letter From Sullivan Ballou,” La Boheme by Leoncavallo, “Till There Was You” from the Music Man, and Andrew Lippa’s “The Diva.”

Moon Doh – Summer Shorts

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Moon Doh stopped by the QED Morning Show with Jim Cunningham to talk about the “Summer Shorts” series of concerts the orchestra is doing this summer.

Manfred Honeck – 3/13/2023

The Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony runs down the concerts of March 7 with Lang Lang playing the Saint-Saens 2nd Concerto and March 10th and 12th with Franz Schmidt’s Fourth Symphony for the first time at Heinz Hall, along with Emanuel Ax playing Chopin’s Second Concerto . The weekend of March 17, 18 and 19, Manfred Honeck conducts his personal version of the Mozart Requiem which will be recorded for the Reference label with narrator F. Murray Abraham and soloists with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.

Emanuel Ax

Emanuel Ax plays the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Chopin with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Friday March 10 and Saturday March 12 at 2:30 at Heinz Hall. Jim Cunningham joined Mr. Ax to talk about Chopin, the love of his life George Sand, Ax’s long association with the composer including the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, recording the concerto twice with Eugene Ormandy and Sir Charles Mackerras plus doing crosswords, a new cd on the way from Yo Yo Ma and much more in this interview recorded after rehearsal at Heinz Hall.

Dima Slobodeniouk

Conductor Dima Slobodeniouk, born in Moscow and  a long time resident of Finland where he conducted and recorded with the Lahti Symphony makes his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony this weekend. In this conversation with Jim Cunningham he speaks about the war in Ukraine and adding music by Valentin Silvestrov, the Prayer for Ukraine, played on the anniversary of entering year two of the conflict.

Paul Lewis

Pianist Paul Lewis joins Sir Mark Elder and the Pittsburgh Symphony to make his Heinz Hall debut with Mozart’s 12th Concerto in A January 20 and 22, 2023. He describes the delights of the Mozart with Jim Cunningham in his second floor dressing room following the Thursday rehearsal. Paul became a Commander of the British Empire in 2016. He has no opinion at all about Prince Harry’s criticism of the Royal Family. Paul greatly admires his teacher Alfred Brendel, talks about his years in Liverpool, his latest recordings of Brahms and Schubert for Harmonia Mundi, first impressions of Pittsburgh and where contemporary music turns up in his repertoire which has won the highest praise for Brahms, Beethoven, Liszt, Haydn and Schubert.