PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TO MAKE 25TH EUROPEAN TOUR

Eleven concerts in five countries across Europe
First ever appearances together for the Orchestra and Music Director Manfred Honeck at The Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg) and Philharmonie de Paris (Paris)
International star soloists will tour with the Orchestra

May 28, 2019

PITTSBURGH, PA—Lauded as the Pittsburgh region’s international cultural ambassador, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Manfred Honeck, will make its 25th European tour this fall. Spanning nearly three weeks, the extensive tour will see the GRAMMY Award-winning orchestra and conductor travel across five countries where they will present 11 concerts in 10 cities. During the tour, the orchestra will be joined by several of the world’s most prestigious artists: pianists Lang Lang and Igor Levit, and baritone Matthias Goerne.

“It is a joy to make music with our beloved Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and to offer our sound on some of the best stages in Europe, including halls that are new to us,” said Manfred Honeck, Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “The quality of the music we present is fantastic and we bring out the best in each other. I’m so excited to go back to Europe with these passionate musicians and stellar programs.”

“To see the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in concert is to have an exceptional music experience, so we’re deeply proud to be invited to share once again with European audiences the exhilarating partnership of Music Director Manfred Honeck and the orchestra,” said Melia Tourangeau, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “This silver anniversary tour speaks not only to the sustained interest but also to the deep admiration of our recordings and concerts by international audiences. We know these will be must-see concerts.”

The tour will begin on October 25 in Frankfurt, Germany and conclude on November 8 in Düsseldorf, Germany. In between, the orchestra will visit four additional cities in Germany, and one city each in Austria, Belgium, France and The Netherlands.

The tour will include several “firsts” for the artists and the programs:

  • The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Lang Lang will each make their debut at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany; Manfred Honeck and the orchestra will make their first appearance together at this hall.
  • The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will make its debut at the Philharmonie de Paris; Manfred Honeck and the orchestra will make their first appearance together at this hall.
  • Also, for the first time, Manfred Honeck and the orchestra will perform together in Amsterdam, at The Royal Concertgebouw.
  • For the first time, European audiences will hear live performances and European premieres of two Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s commissions:
      • Larghetto for Orchestra by James MacMillan, a commission by the orchestra in honor of the tenth anniversary of Manfred Honeck as Music Director, had its world premiere at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh in October 2017.
      • Resurrexit by Mason Bates was commissioned by the orchestra in celebration of Manfred Honeck’s 60th birthday and had its world premiere at Heinz Hall in September 2018. According to Bates, Honeck challenged him to write a “spiritual opener,” and so he “dreamed up a piece that animates the classic Resurrection narrative with propulsion and drama, rising from a biblical darkness into an exhilarating finale.”

A special pair of concerts will take place in Vienna, home to Manfred Honeck for his childhood and early career with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have built a close relationship with the Musikverein in Vienna, having performed there together in nine celebrated performances.

  • On October 31, Manfred Honeck and the orchestra will be joined by Igor Levit on a program that will feature the Bates Resurrexit, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, a recording of which received two GRAMMYs in 2018 (Best Orchestral Performance and Best Engineered Classical Album).
  • In an evening dedicated to the brilliance of Bruckner, on November 1 Honeck and the orchestra will perform Bruckner’s haunting Symphony No. 9,  followed by his major sacred work, Te Deum, with Julia Kleiter, soprano, Wiebke Lehmkuhl, alto, Werner Güra, tenor, Florian Bösch, baritone and the Wiener Singverein choir.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra first travelled out of the country in 1947 with concerts in Mexico, under the baton of Fritz Reiner. It has since toured internationally in every decade except the 1950s, presenting concerts in major music halls in Africa (Canary Islands), Asia, Australia, Europe, Puerto Rico and South America. The list of reknowned conductors who have toured with the orchestra are (in order, historically): Fritz Reiner, William Steinberg, André Previn, Eduardo Mata, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Herbert Blomstedt, Lorin Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Mariss Jansons, Gilbert Levine, Leonard Slatkin, Hans Graf and Manfred Honeck. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra most recently toured Europe in 2017. This is Honeck’s 11th international tour with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; his first was a tour of Asia in 2009.

The tour announcement comes on the heels of the return of Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall on May 19, where they played to a sold-out house and rave reviews.

International touring is made possible, in part, by The Henry L. Hillman Endowment for International Performances.


PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA:
25th ANNIVERSARY EUROPEAN TOUR ITINERARY

25th Anniversary European Tour: Concert 1
Friday, October 25 at 8:00 p.m.
ALTE OPER; FRANKFURT, GERMANY

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Igor Levit, piano

Program
MacMillan, Larghetto for Orchestra
Rachmaninoff, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5


25th Anniversary European Tour: Concert 2
Saturday, October 26 at 8:00 p.m.
ELBPHILHARMONIE; HAMBURG, GERMANY

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Lang Lang, piano

Program
Bates, Resurrexit
Mozart, Concerto No. 24 in C minor for Piano and Orch, K. 491
Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5


25th Anniversary European Tour: Concert 3
Monday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m.
KUPPELSAAL; HANNOVER, GERMANY

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Igor Levit, piano

Program
Mozart, Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major for Piano and Orch, K. 482
Bruckner, Symphony No. 9


25th Anniversary European Tour: Concert 4
Tuesday, October 29 at 8:00 p.m.
PHILHARMONIE; BERLIN, GERMANY

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Igor Levit, piano

Program
Mozart, Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major for Piano and Orch, K. 482
Bruckner, Symphony No. 9


25th Anniversary European Tour: Concert 5
Thursday, October 31 at 7:30 p.m.
MUSIKVEREIN; VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Igor Levit, piano

Program
Bates, Resurrexit
Mozart, Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major for Piano and Orch., K. 482
Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5


25th Anniversary European Tour: Concert 6
Friday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m.
MUSIKVEREIN; VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Julia Kleiter, soprano
Wiebke Lehmkuhl, alto
Werner Güra, tenor
Florian Bösch, baritone
Wiener Singverein, choir

Program
Bruckner, Symphony No. 9
Bruckner, Te Deum


25th Anniversary European Tour: Concert 7
Sunday, November 3 at 7:00 p.m.
GASTEIG, MUNICH, GERMANY

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Lang Lang, piano

Program
Mozart, Concerto No. 24 in C minor for Piano and Orch, K. 491
Bruckner, Symphony No. 9


25th Anniversary European Tour: Concert 8
Monday, November 4 at 8:15 p.m.
THE ROYAL CONCERTGEBOUW; AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Igor Levit, piano

Program
MacMillan, Larghetto for Orchestra
Rachmaninoff, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5


25th Anniversary European Tour: Concert 9
Tuesday, November 5 at 8:30 p.m.
PHILHARMONIE DE PARIS; PARIS, FRANCE
Manfred Honeck, conductor
Matthias Goerne, baritone

Program
Bates, Resurrexit
Strauss/Schubert, Selected Lieder
Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5


25th Anniversary European Tour: Concert 10
Thursday, November 7 at 8:00 p.m.
BOZAR CENTRE FOR FINE ARTS; BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Igor Levit, piano

Program
MacMillan, Larghetto for Orchestra
Rachmaninoff, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5


25th Anniversary European Tour: Concert 11
Friday, November 8 at 8:00 p.m.
TONHALLE; DUSSELDORF, GERMANY

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Igor Levit, piano

Program
Bates, Resurrexit
Mozart, Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major for Piano and Orch, K. 482
Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5


 

About the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

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 PSO and Honeck returned to Lincoln Center in May 2019 and their next European tour takes place in fall 2019. Under Honeck's leadership of the Pittsburgh Symphony, he instituted a new initiative to preserve the orchestra's celebrated sound, resulting in more than a dozen recordings on the Reference 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.

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, Manfred Honeck 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.


Media Contacts
Julie Goetz | Director of Communications
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