Music Director Manfred Honeck Returns to Conduct BNY Grand Classics Featuring the Rite of Spring

Pianist Horacio Gutiérrez is soloist

Thursday, April 29 at 1:30 p.m., Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 at 8 p.m.

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s (PSO) Music Director Manfred Honeck returns to Pittsburgh to conduct the famous Stravinsky work, The Rite of Spring and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 featuring Horacio Gutiérrez.

The program also contains the final appearance this season of Composer of the Year Richard Danielpour’s work. Rocking the Cradle was commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The piece is the composer’s response to the Iraq war, however can equally be enjoyed as an abstract work.

Having previously won a Grammy Award for his recording of Serge Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the PSO under the direction of former Music Director Lorin Maazel, Horacio Gutiérrez returns to Pittsburgh to perform the same piece under current Music Director Manfred Honeck.

Closing the concert is Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. As part of the Inspired by Nature theme, The Rite of Spring is a ballet score that depicts a sacrificial pagan ritual used to hasten the onset of spring. While at one time considered controversial for its angular, innovative, and driving rhythms, the work has become one of the most popular examples of modern classical music.

The PSO would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for their 2009-2010 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Bobby Rahal Automotive Group is the Official Automotive Group of the PSO.

Tickets ($12.50 – $79) to this event can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or by visiting the PSO online at www.pittsburghsymphony.org.

MANFRED HONECK was born in Austria and studied music at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra as well as in his capacity as conductor of Vienna’s Jeunesse Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. Honeck commenced his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. From 1991 to 1996, Manfred Honeck was engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. From 1996 to 1999, he served as one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig, and the Oslo Philharmonic appointed him Principal Guest Conductor in 1998. From 2000 to December 2006, he was Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. At the beginning of 2007/2008, Honeck assumed his post as the Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart. In December 2006, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague appointed him Principal Guest Conductor, beginning in 2008-2009. His tenure as the Music Director of the PSO begins in September.

Considered one of the great pianists of our time, Horacio GutiÉrrez is consistently praised by critics and audiences alike for the poetic insight and technical mastery he brings to a diverse repertoire. Since his professional debut in 1970 with Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mr. Gutiérrez has appeared regularly with the world’s greatest orchestras and on its major recital series.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been a vital part of the City of Pittsburgh’s heritage for more than 100 years. With its noble history of the finest conductors and musicians and its strong commitment to artistic quality and excellence, audiences around the world have claimed the PSO as their orchestra of choice. In September 2008, the PSO welcomed its ninth Music Director Manfred Honeck. Beginning in the early 1900s with frequent performances in Canada, the PSO confirmed its ranking as a world-class orchestra, earning critical acclaim for each tour abroad. Its 34 international tours include 18 European tours, eight trips to the Far East and two to South America. In January 2004, the PSO became the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II, as part of the Pontiff’s Silver Jubilee celebration.

Editors Please Note:

Thursday, April 29 at 1:30 p.m.
Friday, April 30 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 1 at 8 p.m

Heinz Hall
BNY Mellon Grand Classics

PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
MANFRED HONECK, conductor
HORACIO GUTIÉRREZ, piano

DANIELPOUR Rocking the Cradle
RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2
STRAVINSKY The Rite of Spring

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Apr 10