Recording features soloists Christina Landshamer, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Werner Güra and Shenyang, and the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh

Release celebrates Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's 125th Anniversary 

Available worldwide on February 12, 2021

For Immediate Release
January 13, 2021

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PITTSBURGH, PA—On their latest release with Reference Recordings, Music Director Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra present a thrilling performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, replete with the energy and virtuosity for which they are known worldwide and that exemplifies the work. Release of this recording on February 12, 2021, is part of the Orchestra’s 125th anniversary celebration which will include a special digital concert on February 27, the 125th anniversary date of the orchestra’s first concert.

“Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is a monumental work about the revered human values of freedom, joy and brotherhood, and I believe that Beethoven’s extraordinary musical expression of belief in humanity is something that seems needed right now,” said Manfred Honeck, Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “I am so proud to bring to life this iconic piece with my beloved Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians and to share it in this special 125th anniversary season. It is a clear statement of what we can do together.”

“This work cannot be done without outstanding voices, so we are delighted to have fantastic partners on this endeavor—our superb Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, and the exceptional Christina Landshamer, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Werner Güra, and Shenyang, whose agile voices radiate empathy and hope,” said Honeck.

In his meticulous music notes which accompany the recording, Manfred Honeck details his unique interpretation which draws inspiration from the historical context and musical structure of Beethoven Symphony No. 9. Throughout, Honeck approaches the towering work like a great journey and opportunity for discovery, seeking to bring out and vividly reveal the emotional content and meaning behind the notes.

This album was recorded in beautiful and historic Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in superb audiophile sound, and is the eleventh in the highly acclaimed Pittsburgh Live! series of multi-channel hybrid SACD released on the FRESH! imprint from Reference Recordings. This series has received GRAMMY® nominations in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Its recordings of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5/Barber Adagio for Strings won the 2018 GRAMMY® Award for Best Orchestral Performance and for 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 130 GRAMMY® nominations and awards. For over 40 years, Soundmirror has recorded for every major classical record label, including Reference Recordings.

“This recording of Beethoven’s Ninth is perfect for marking our 125th anniversary as we not only celebrate our past, but look forward, with great hope and joy, to the future,” said Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

On February 27, 2021, the 125th anniversary to the day of the very first concert of the Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony will present a digital 125th Anniversary Celebration, with a variety of solo and chamber music performances by the Pittsburgh Symphony musicians, highlights of its 125-year history, and more. This fundraising event supports the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Learning and Community Engagement programs that impact more than 80,000 people every year. More information on our 125th Anniversary Celebration.

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra recordings are made possible by generous grants from BNY Mellon, Hansen Foundation, and Cheryl and Jim Redmond. This recording is also in memory of Dr. John H. Feist and Madeline P. Feist.

Recording Details

Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Manfred Honeck, Music Director

Christina Landshamer, soprano
Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano
Werner Güra, tenor
Shenyang, bass-baritone
Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh

Total Timing: 62:48
FR-741SACD – Hybrid SACD Contains 5.0 and Stereo SACD and CD stereo with HDCD (downloads are Stereo-only)
Label: Reference Recordings

Performances for this recording were presented as part of the 2018-2019 season, with title sponsorship by BNY Mellon, recorded live at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on
June 6-9, 2019.

Digital Downloads and SACDs will be available to the public through all major online music retailers, online and streaming services on the February 12 release date; pre-orders can be placed now. Members of the media may obtain a physical or digital review copy of the recording by contacting Janice Mancuso, Media Relations at Reference Recordings, at or at 1-800-336-8866.‚Äč

This recording was engineered by the GRAMMY® award-winning recording engineer Mark Donahue and produced by the GRAMMY® award-winning recording producer Dirk Sobotka. “Based on our long experience of recording the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Heinz Hall, we chose five omnidirectional DPA 4006 microphones as our main microphone array. Supplementing those with ‘spot mics’ to clarify the detail of the orchestration, we worked towards realizing the above goals. Extensive listening sessions with Maestro Honeck and orchestra musicians were crucial in refining the final balance. This recording was made and post-produced in DSD256 on a Pyramix workstation to give you, the listener, the highest sound quality possible,” according to Soundmirror in the liner booklet.

About the Artists

About Manfred Honeck →
About Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra →
About Christina Landshamer →
About Jennifer Johnson Cano →
About Werner Güra →
About Shenyang →
About Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh →

Media Contacts
Julie Goetz | Director of Communications | 412.392.4866 or 412.905.9058 (mobile)