Available in Pittsburgh through the PSO during pre-release starting July 23.
Street date: August 23, 2019.

July 23, 2019

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PITTSBURGH, PA—Music Director Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, with Reference Recordings, present their latest recording, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9, an iconic work in a new and definitive interpretation in superb audiophile sound. This hybrid SACD release was recorded in beautiful Heinz Hall, the acoustically excellent home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

In this revelatory recording of Bruckner’s monumental work, Maestro Honeck invites us to explore the presence of the divine, and to experience the beauty of this world, while also facing the darker and more violent abysses. In his deeply personal and scholarly music notes that accompany the recording, Honeck gives us great insight into the history and the musical structure of Bruckner’s final composition, and describes how he conducts and interprets this work. With lyrical and majestic moments, this recording of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 is a masterful journey.

This release is the ninth in the highly acclaimed Pittsburgh Live! Series of multi-channel hybrid SACD releases on the FRESH! imprint from Reference Recordings. This series has received GRAMMY® nominations in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019. Its recording of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 /Barber Adagio for Strings won the 2018 GRAMMY Awards for Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered Classical Album. This release and the entire Pittsburgh Live! Series are recorded and mastered by the team at Soundmirror, whose outstanding orchestral, solo, opera and chamber recordings have received more than 100 GRAMMY nominations and awards.

During the pre-release period, this recording is available in Pittsburgh through the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Digital Downloads and SACDs will be available to the public through all major online music retailers, online and streaming services on the August 23rd release date. Follow the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s social media channels and website for updates on availability.

Members of the media may obtain a physical or digital review copy of the release by contacting Janice Mancuso, Media Relations at Reference Recordings, ReferenceRecordings@gmail.com or 1-800-336-8866.

Recording Details

This recording was engineered by the GRAMMY award-winning recording engineer Mark Donahue and produced by the GRAMMY award-winning recording producer Dirk Sobotka. The recording was made and produced in DSD236 on a Pyramix workstation. Extensive listening sessions with the Soundmirror team, Maestro Honeck and orchestra musicians were crucial in refining the final balance, according to Soundmirror.

Performances for this recording were presented as part of the 2017-2018 season, with title sponsorship by BNY Mellon and recorded live at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts in Pittsburgh, PA, February 23-25, 2018.

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recordings are made possible by generous grants from BNY Mellon and the Hansen Foundation. The symphony is grateful to the Carnegie Museum of Art for making available its historic Hall for Architecture for photography for the CD cover, and to Larrimor’s, Pittsburgh, for providing wardrobe for Maestro Honeck.

Cover photography for this CD was created by Martha Rial, an internationally-acclaimed independent photographer in Pittsburgh. She received the Pulitzer Prize for work documenting the lives of Burundian and Rwandan survivors of the 1994 genocide.

Over the last quarter century, MANFRED HONECK has firmly established himself as one of the world’s leading conductors, renowned for his distinctive interpretations and arrangements of a wide-range of repertoire. For more than a decade, Honeck has served as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, continuing a great legacy of music-making that is celebrated at home, abroad and on recordings, including the 2018 GRAMMY Award for Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Barber’s Adagio for Strings.

Since 2008, Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have served as cultural ambassadors for the city as one of the most frequently toured American orchestras. In addition to performing at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, the orchestra regularly performs in major European music capitals and at leading festivals such as the Beethovenfest Bonn, BBC Proms, Musikfest Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Grafenegg Festival and the Salzburg Festival, and continues a close relationship with the Musikverein in Vienna. The orchestra and Honeck returned to Lincoln Center in May 2019 and their next European tour takes place in fall 2019.

At the Pittsburgh Symphony, Manfred Honeck has instituted a new initiative to preserve the orchestra’s celebrated sound, resulting in more than a dozen recordings on the Reference Recordings and Exton labels. Together, Honeck and the PSO have recorded symphonies by Beethoven, Bruckner, Dvořák, Mahler, and Tchaikovsky, as well as Strauss tone poems. They have received critical acclaim and honors from around the world, including the “Best Orchestral Performance” GRAMMY Award in 2018, along with two other GRAMMY nominations.

Honeck has conceived of and conducted several large-scale or operatic works as semi-staged productions for the concert hall, including Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, and later this season in Pittsburgh he will lead performances of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust. Beyond the podium, he has conceptualized and arranged a number of staged works into symphonic “Fantasies” or “Suites,” among them Janáček’s Jenůfa (GRAMMY nominated), Strauss’s Elektra, Dvořák’s Rusalka, and Tchaikovsky’s ballet Sleeping Beauty, which he frequently programs on concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, at home and on tour, as well as with orchestras throughout the United States and abroad. Upcoming engagements include the Salzburg Festival (August 20, 2019), concerts in Seoul (September 5 and 6) and Kopenhagen (September 28).

As a guest conductor, Honeck is a regular guest with all of the major American orchestras, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. He continues to appear in the world’s leading concert halls and festivals, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome, Vienna Philharmonic, and the Verbier Festival. He served as Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart from 2007 to 2011, and has led operatic performances at Komische Oper Berlin, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Opera of Copenhagen, Salzburg Festival, Semperoper Dresden and the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Born in Austria, Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. He was a member of the viola section of the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera Orchestra for eight years. Transitioning to conducting, he began his career as an 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, and most recently as Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Honeck also has served as Artistic Director of the International Concerts Wolfegg in Germany for more than twenty years.

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. An international jury of critics selected him as the International Classical Music Awards “Artist of the Year” 2018.

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.

REFERENCE RECORDINGS, founded in 1976, is based in San Francisco, with multiple GRAMMY awards and a catalog that includes numerous American and international orchestras, ensembles and choruses. FRESH! is part of Reference Recordings’ mission to encourage unique and fine artists, and to give them a strong platform for promotion and sales national and internationally. Reference Recordings are distributed in North America by Naxos USA, and internationally through a network of independent distributions listed at referencerecordings.com.

For over 40 years, SOUNDMIRROR has recorded for every major classical record label, including Reference Recordings. This release and the entire Pittsburgh Live! Series are recorded and mastered by the team at Soundmirror, whose outstanding orchestral, solo, opera and chamber recordings have received more than 100 GRAMMY nominations and awards.

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 heinzhall.org.

Media Contacts
Julie Goetz | Director of Communications
jgoetz@pittsburghsymphony.org | 412.392.4866