Oct 22 2019

Off to Frankfurt

Published by at 4:52 pm under PSO 2019 European Tour


The bougainvillea waited till the very last few weeks of the season to sprout   glorious red blooms on the front porch. They like it hot and dry I am bringing them  inside once again to see if the plant will last the winter as the Pittsburgh Symphony takes off for Frankfurt Germany and the first concert of their 10 city tour with Manfred Honeck on Friday October 25. Frankfurt’s modern buildings include the skyscraper for Deutsche Bank which has been involved in some scandal this past year. Das Alte Oper where the Pittsburgh Symphony will play is not far away. It was a regular stop for former Music Director William Steinberg but was completely destroyed during WWII along with much of the city. You can hear interviews with Manfred Honeck, Igor Levit, Mathias Goerne and PSO President and CEO  Melia Tourangeau on the @the Symphony webpage from wqedfm.org. Anna Singer will be filling in mornings at 89.3 where we will begin having updates at 8:30 on Thursday the 24th with evening reports at 6pm and weekends at noon Saturday and Sunday. Don’t miss the photo gallery on the blog page. It is one of the most complete ways to stay up to date. The others being Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

WQED driveway

Looking out the window at 4802 Fifth Avenue I see the sun on the rooftop of Central Catholic High School where the football team is getting ready for the game. My alma mater’s  Thiel College Tomcats will play Carnegie Mellon University hoping for their first win of the season Saturday the 26th at CMU.  Thiel College is my sponsor for the tour coverage along with Botkin Family Wealth Management in providing the reports.  The tour will as always be a whirlwind with stops in five countries, 11 concerts in ten cities including stops at two new concert halls. the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg  not far from the Beatles Platz where the Beatles played more concerts than anywhere else in their careers up until 1962. The concert hall took more than a decade to build with astronomical cost overruns caused by noise problems from nearby ships and prevention of water from seeping into the basement among many complications reaching all the way to the German Parliament. The concert hall cost some elected officials their reputations if not their jobs. The result is spectacular and the sound is supposed to be great according to Manfred Honeck who has already conducted there.

The new Paris hall was also controversial. Parisians questioned whether the cost was necessary.  There will be new pieces on the tour from Mason Bates, his Resurrexit which had its world premiere a year ago at Heinz Hall. Mason recently posted on Facebook that he is excited that the Pittsburgh Symphony will be taking his music to Europe. It’s great that the Pittsburgh Symphony will be back in Amsterdam t the Concertgebouw where Mariss Jansons last presented the orchestra more than a decade ago. The soloists are amazing with Lang Lang and Igor Levit playing the Mozart and Rachmaninoff, Bruckner 9 with the Te Deum in Vienna the composer’s former home and Mathias Goerne who wowed Heinz Hall with the Schubert and Strauss he sang to be repeated at the Philharmonie de Paris.

19-20_wqed interviews_goerne and cunningham_19oct10 (edited-pixlr)

19-20_wqed interviews_goerne and cunningham_19oct10 (edited-pixlr)