Tree of Life Synagogue Victims to be Honored by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Special Concert

For Immediate Release
November 12, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA—The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) will host a special “Music for the Spirit” concert to honor the Tree of Life Synagogue victims on Tuesday, November 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts. Titled “A Concert for Peace & Unity,” this evening of remembrance and reverence aims to provide an opportunity for the Pittsburgh community to find comfort, strength and solace through music, hope and unity. Taking place one month after the tragedy, the concert is free to the public,* and all are invited to attend.

Renowned Israeli-American violinist Itzhak Perlman will join Music Director Manfred Honeck, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, and all artists have graciously agreed to donate their services for this performance. Volunteers will be on-hand at Heinz Hall to collect contributions for the Jewish Federation’s “Our Victims of Terror” fund and contributions for the six injured Pittsburgh Police officers through the “Injured Officers Fund.” 

“We are still shocked and heartbroken by the senseless and violent act that occurred at Tree of Life Synagogue, in our own backyard. We extend our deepest condolences to all those impacted by this tragedy,” said PSO President and CEO Melia Tourangeau. “We invite the community to join us as we work to honor the victims, bridge differences and celebrate the human experience during this difficult time.”
“It's an honor and a privilege for me to participate in this concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony honoring the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue massacre. I hope this event will help us continue to heal and come together,” said Itzhak Perlman.

"As advocates of peace, tolerance and understanding through the universal power of music, our entire Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra family extends its deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones on account of this horrific tragedy,” added Manfred Honeck. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with our community as we resolve to go forward doing what we know best, performing music with the hope that we can bring people together as we collectively grieve and heal."

This concert is presented as part of the PSO’s “Music for the Spirit” program. For nearly 15 years, the PSO has presented performances with spiritual roots to celebrate Pittsburgh faith communities and the universal message of music.

Tickets are available by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or pittsburghsymphony.org/production/61580//music-for-the-spirit-a-concert-for-peace-unity

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*There is a limit of four seats per party.

*  *  *

Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, ITZHAK PERLMAN enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to his irrepressible joy for making music.

Having performed with every major orchestra and at venerable concert halls around the globe, Perlman was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor, in November 2015 by President Obama for his meritorious contributions to cultural endeavors of the United States and for being a powerful advocate for people of disabilities. In June 2016, he received the 2016 Genesis Prize in recognition for his exceptional contributions as a musician, teacher, advocate for individuals with special needs and dedication to Jewish values. In 2003, he was granted a Kennedy Center Honor by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in celebration of his distinguished achievements and contributions to the cultural and educational life of the United States. President Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Arts in 2000 and President Reagan honored him with a Medal of Liberty in 1986.

Perlman has performed multiple times at the White House, most recently in 2012 at the invitation of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama, for Israeli President and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Shimon Peres; and at a State Dinner in 2007, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush, for Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. In 2009, he was honored to take part in the Inauguration of President Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams alongside cellist Yo-Yo Ma, clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Gabriela Montero, for an audience of nearly 40 million television viewers in the United States and millions more throughout the world.

Born in Israel in 1945, Itzhak Perlman completed his initial training at the Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. He came to New York at age 13 and was soon propelled to national recognition with an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1958. Following his studies at the Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay, he won the prestigious Leventritt Competition in 1964, which led to a burgeoning worldwide career. Since then, he has established himself as a cultural icon and household name in classical music. Perlman recently commemorated the 60th anniversary of his U.S. debut and appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show with a return to the Ed Sullivan Theater on November 2, 2018 in a special guest appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

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 return 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, 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.

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.


 

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