2018 Two‐Time GRAMMY‐Winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Announces Summer with the Symphony Series

For Immediate Release
March 26, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA— The two‐time 2018 Grammy Award‐winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO)  announces their Summer with the Symphony series, which returns for its fourth season on May 31.  Offering a diverse  selection of concerts  ‐  from blockbuster  films, classical, pop, jazz, rock, Broadway and more  ‐  the PSO has crafted a  summer season that will appeal to a cross‐genre group of music and entertainment lovers, once again solidifying the  world‐wide praised institution's importance both nationally, and in the Pittsburgh community.

“An American Salute” Wilkinsburg Community Engagement Concert

Thursday, May 31 at 7:00 PM
Wilkinsburg High School Auditorium, Wilkinsburg

An evening of patriotic music for friends and families with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Wilkinsburg at the  amazing auditorium in historic Wilkinsburg High School. The concert will feature Wilkinsburg students, Mayor Marita  Garrett as narrator, vocalist Katy Williams, and a PSO soloist. Musical selections will feature Jennifer Higdon’s stirring  Amazing Grace for sting orchestra, Johann Strauss’ Voices of Spring Waltz, and a medley of Gershwin songs. A junior  ROTC guard will present the colors for a military salute in honor of Memorial Day and the orchestra will perform the  Armed  Forces  Salute,  God  Bless  America,  and  Stars  and  Stripes  Forever.  Tickets  are  $10  for  adults  and  $5  for students. All proceeds from this concert benefit the music education programs in the Wilkinsburg School District.  

The PSO would like to recognize and thank the Dollar Bank Foundation for its generous support of this  Community Engagement Concert. Pittsburgh Symphony Learning & Community Engagement programs are also  generously supported by Lincoln Learning Solutions and the Allegheny Regional Asset District. 

Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival

Monday, June 3
Point State Park  

The Pittsburgh Symphony returns for another free concert at the 58th Annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts  Festival at Point State Park in downtown, Pittsburgh. Admission is free. No reservations are required.  The PSO would like to recognize and thank Dollar Bank for their support of the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts  Festival. 

“PSO@City of Asylum” 

Thursday, June 7 at 8:00 PM
Alphabet City, North Side 

This new series will close its 2017‐18 collaboration with a special program entitled “From Persia to Pittsburgh”  featuring the music and stories of composer Reza Vali.  PSO cellist Mikhail Istomin, with Rodrigo Ojeda on piano,  will perform 8 Persian Folk Songs by Vali. The program will celebrate the inspirations and culture of Iran.  The  session will be facilitated by Andrés Franco, Associate Conductor of the PSO, and will highlight the BNY Mellon  Grand  Classics  concert  on  June  8  and  10,  2018,  which  will  feature  the  world  premiere  of  Reza  Vali’s  piece  Isfahan.    Poets  and  writers  curated  by  City  of  Asylum  will  read  throughout  the  program.  This  series  has  encompassed five sessions that have been a true community collaboration and a creative intersection of music,  art, literature, and spoken word.

Beethoven Concerto Cycle No. 4

Friday & Sunday, June 8 & 10
Heinz Hall (BNY Mellon Grand Classics) 

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Igor Levit, piano (Debut)

Mozart: Symphony No. 33
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4
Vali: Isfahan (Calligraphy No. 16) World Premiere and Commission in honor of Manfred Honeck 10th Anniversary)
Liszt: Les Préludes    
Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg ‐ Prelude to Act 1

The  true  hallmark  of  a  virtuoso  ensemble  is  the  ability  to  conjure  the  power  and  majesty  of  some  of  the  romantic era's most powerful statements, while at  the same  time  revealing  the elegance, wit, and subtlety of  Beethoven and Mozart.  Mozart's delightful Symphony No. 33 opens the program.  The season‐long Beethoven  Piano  Concerto  cycle  continues  with  Igor  Levit's  highly  anticipated  Pittsburgh  debut  in  Beethoven's  Piano  Concerto  No.  4.  The  final  commission  in  honor  of  Manfred  Honeck's  10th Anniversary  season, Isfahan,  by  Pittsburgh  composer,  Reza  Vali,  receives  its  world  premiere  while  two  bold  romantic  showpieces  close  the  program. 

Yo‐Yo Ma

Saturday, June 9
Heinz Hall 

Manfred Honeck, conductor 
Yo‐Yo Ma, cello

World‐renowned  cellist  and  twenty‐time  GRAMMY  Award‐winner Yo‐Yo  Ma  returns  to  Heinz  Hall  to join  Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Dvorak's Cello Concerto for an exciting one‐night‐ only concert.  

Emanuel Ax Plays Beethoven's "Emperor"

Friday‐Sunday June 15, 16, 17
Heinz Hall (BNY Mellon Grand Classics) 

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
Paul Appleby, tenor
Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh: Matthew Mehaffey, director
Pittsburgh Youth Chorus: Shawn Funk, artistic director

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, "Emperor”
Berlioz: Te Deum

The Pittsburgh Symphony closes its Mellon Grand Classics season with two monumental masterpieces.  Pittsburgh favorite Emanuel “Manny” Ax returns with Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. For the season  finale,  the  Pittsburgh  Symphony  joins  forces  with  the  Mendelssohn  Choir  of  Pittsburgh,  tenor  Paul Appleby, the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus and the grandeur of the organ for Berlioz’s Te Deum, a sensory  extravaganza  from  the  opening  massive  chords  to  the  bombastic  finale.  Never  before  performed  in  Pittsburgh, Te Deum is not to be missed! 

The PSO would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2017‐2018 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand  Classics. The performances on June 8 & 10 are supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for  the Arts.  

Ben Folds

Wednesday, June 20
Heinz Hall 

Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation.  His most recent album is  a blend of pop songs and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical  and classical crossover charts.  For over a decade he’s performed with some of the world’s greatest symphony  orchestras, and was recently named as the first ever Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the  Kennedy Center.  Folds continues to perform with symphonies and also recently returned to cross country solo  touring reminiscent of his earliest years, delivering a high energy rock performance using the intimacy of just a  piano. 

Broadway Divas 

Friday‐Sunday, June 22, 23, 24
Heinz Hall (PNC Pops) 

Jack Everly, conductor
Christina Bianco, vocalist
Kristen Plumley, vocalist
Christina DeCicco, vocalist
N’Kenge, vocalist

The PSO joins esteemed vocalists for three evenings of memorable hits from musical theatre greats including  Wicked, Cabaret, Porgy and Bess and more.

The PSO would like to recognize and thank PNC for its 2017‐2018 title sponsorship of PNC Pops. 

“An Americana Concert”

Friday, June 29 at 7 PM 
Solider & Sailors Memorial Hall, Oakland 

Join  the  Pittsburgh  Symphony  Orchestra  for  a  concert  of  sing‐alongs,  marches,  and  tributes  to  our  military  personnel  including  “Stars  and  Stripes  Forever,”  the  “Armed  Forces  Salute,”  and  George  M.  Cohan’s  “Over  There.”  Pittsburgh  Symphony  Orchestra  trombonist  James  Nova  will  perform  George  Bassman’s  “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” and PSO violinist Kelsey Blumenthal will perform the third movement of the Bruch Violin  Concerto  No.  1.  Aaron  Copland’s  Fanfare  for  the  Common  Man  will  open  the  concert  under  the  baton  of  Francesco Lecce‐Chong in the beautiful Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Oakland. This concert is  offered free of charge. 

This concert is part of the PSO’s In Honor of Service Program. The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize  and thank Allegheny Technologies Incorporated (ATI) and The Fine Foundation for their generous support of this  program. 

South Park 

Saturday, June 30 
South Parks 

Hartwood Acres 

Sunday, July 1 at 8:15 PM 
Hartwood Acres 

This annual concert is part of the Allegheny County Summer Concert Series and is brought to the community, in  part,  through  the  generosity  of  the  Pennsylvania  Department  of  Community  &  Economic  Development,  the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Allegheny Regional Asset District. Admission is free. No reservation is  required.

Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert 

Thursday & Friday, July 12 & 13 at 7:00 PM
Heinz Hall 

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents the Star Wars: A New Hope In Concert featuring screenings of the complete film with Oscar®‐winning composer John Williams’ musical score performed live to the film. Since the  release of  the  first Star Wars movie nearly 40 years ago,  the Star Wars saga has had a seismic impact on both  cinema  and  culture,  inspiring  audiences  around  the  world  with  its  mythic  storytelling,  captivating  characters, groundbreaking special effects and iconic musical scores composed by Williams.  Fans will be able to experience  the scope and grandeur of this beloved film in a live symphonic concert experience!

An Evening of Brahms

Wednesday, July 18 at 7 PM
Heinz Hall 

Francesco Lecce‐Chong, conductor

Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 5 in g minor    
Brahms: Concerto in A minor for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Op. 102 “Double”‐ Movement 1
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68  

*Get to know your PSO with two great concerts and family friendly pricing! All tickets $20 and children under  18 are half price. 

PSO/MCG Jazz Concert

Friday, July 20 at 7:30 PM
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, North Side 

The  Pittsburgh  Symphony  Orchestra  comes  to  MCG  Jazz  to  celebrate  the  music  of  renowned  Brazilian  icon,  Antonio  Carlos  Jobim.   Members  of  the  Pittsburgh  Symphony  Orchestra  string  and  woodwind  sections  will  perform  a  celebration  concert  of  Antonio  Carlos  Jobim,  along  with  guest  soloists  vocalist Maucha  Adnet  and  percussionist  Duduka  da  Fonseca.  Additional  special  guests  include  pianist  Tamir Hendelman, guitarist Marty Ashby, and the PSO’s own Jeffrey Grubbs on bass. Tickets for this event are available through the MCG Jazz Box  Office.  

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Stone in Concert 

Thursday &Friday July 26 & 27 at 7 PM
Heinz Hall  

For the first time in Pittsburgh, audiences will experience the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performing John  Williams’  music  to  the  entire  film  live  from  one  of  the  most  beloved  film  series  in  history.  The  concert  will feature (TBD) conducting the PSO in performing live, to picture, every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s  Stone.  Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the entire film in high‐definition on a 40‐foot screen while  hearing John Williams’ unforgettable score live.

Hill House Concert

Tuesday July 31 at 7:00 PM
Kaufmann Auditorium in the Hill House

Join  the  Pittsburgh  Symphony  Orchestra  for  a  summer  concert  in the  Elsie  H.  Hillman  auditorium  in  the  Hill House Kaufmann Center for a wonderful evening of music and community.  The PSO returns to the Hill House  after performing last in 2015 for the successful Neighborhood Week series. Music and artists will be announced  soon.  Tickets for this event will be available through the Kaufmann Center box office and all proceeds benefit  the Hill House Association.

Hill House Concert

Tuesday July 31 at 7:00 PM 
Kaufmann Auditorium in the Hill House

Join  the  Pittsburgh  Symphony  Orchestra  for  a  summer  concert  in the  Elsie  H.  Hillman  auditorium  in  the  Hill House Kaufmann Center for a wonderful evening of music and community.  The PSO returns to the Hill House  after performing last in 2015 for the successful Neighborhood Week series. Music and artists will be announced  soon.  Tickets for this event will be available through the Kaufmann Center box office and all proceeds benefit  the Hill House Association.  

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Wednesday, August 1 at 7 PM
Heinz Hall

Andres Franco, conductor

Rossini: Overture to L'Italiana in Algeri   
VivaldiThe Four Seasons for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 8, Nos. 1‐4   
Stravinsky: Suite from Pulcinella  20:00 

*Get to know your PSO with two great concerts and family friendly pricing! All tickets $20 and children under  18 are half price.   

HANSON String Theory. Live With the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Thursday, August 2 at 7:30 PM
Heinz Hall 

After a sold out world tour celebrating 25 years together, HANSON marks their 26th birthday with a musical  experience unlike any other, HANSON String Theory.  A musical manifesto with new and career spanning works  from HANSON, arranged by David Campbell, performed with the world's leading symphonies.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

About the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The 2018 GRAMMY Award-winning PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 years, is credited with a rich history of the world's finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah" in 1944 and John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. Its "Pittsburgh Live!" series with Reference Recordings has resulted in back-to-back Grammy Nominations in 2015 and 2016. As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast on the airwaves coast-to-coast and in the late 1970s it made the ground breaking PBS series "Previn and the Pittsburgh." The orchestra has received increased national attention since 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900 — including international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America—the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world's greatest orchestras.

Renowned for his distinctive interpretations, Manfred Honeck has served as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008/09 season. The 2017/18 season marked 10 years of this acclaimed partnership, highlighted by special commissions to commemorate this decade of successful music-making. Consistently recognized for their performances, he and the orchestra are celebrated both in Pittsburgh and abroad, and regularly perform in major music capitals and festivals.

Manfred Honeck's successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is extensively documented on recordings by the Reference Recordings label. All albums released by Reference Recordings — amongst them Strauss tone poems and suites, Bruckner's Symphony No. 4, Beethoven Symphonies No. 5 and 7, and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 — have received numerous rave reviews and honors. Honeck and the orchestra received two Grammy nominations for Dvořák's Symphony No. 8 and the Symphonic Suite from Janáček's opera Jenůfa, conceptualized by the artist himself, as well as for Bruckner's Symphony No. 4. In January 2018, they were honored with the Grammy Award for "Best Orchestral Performance" for their recording of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 and Barber's Adagio for Strings.

As a guest conductor, Honeck has worked with the world's leading orchestras including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome, and the Vienna Philharmonic. In the United States, he has conducted the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony. He is also a regular guest at the Verbier Festival. His operatic guest appearances include Semperoper Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Opera of Copenhagen, the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg and the Salzburg Festival. He also has served as Artistic Director of the International Concerts Wolfegg in Germany for more than twenty years.

Born in Austria, Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a member of the viola section in the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. He began his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado, and as artistic leader of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra. He received the prestigious European Conductor's Award in 1993 at the Zurich Opera House, and has served as Music Director of the Norwegian National Opera, Principal Guest Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart, and most recently as Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

Manfred Honeck has received honorary doctorates from several North American universities. Most recently, he was awarded the honorary title of Professor by the Austrian Federal President. The expert jury of the International Classical Music Awards selected him as "Artist of the Year" 2018.

About the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts

HEINZ HALL FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS is owned and operated by Pittsburgh Symphony, Inc., a non-profit organization, and is the year-round home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, Heinz Hall hosts many events that do not feature its world-renowned Orchestra including Broadway shows, popular touring artists, comedians, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit 

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