PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and Music Director Manfred Honeck today announced the creation of the Victor de Sabata Guest Conductor Chair for conductor Gianandrea Noseda. Noseda’s appointment to this title is for four years, beginning with the 2010-11 season.
The Italian conductor Victor de Sabata was extremely important to the artistic excellence of the Pittsburgh Symphony during a period when it had no Music Director (1948 – 1952). During these seasons, de Sabata conducted the PSO four to six weeks annually. His appearances were the high point of each year, breaking box office records and inspiring the orchestra to electrifying performances. Sadly, a heart attack forced him to stop conducting in 1952, but he had bridged the gap between Music Directors Fritz Reiner and William Steinberg.
Noseda’s tenure as the Victor de Sabata Guest Conductor begins this month. He is scheduled to conduct two subscription concert weeks annually, as well as special projects, festival programs and other events. In 2010-2011, he will be conducting the first week of the Tchaikovsky Festival, which he is sharing with Honeck.
Noseda first conducted the PSO in November 2005 and has since conducted in the 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons.
“It is wonderful news that Gianandrea Noseda will be part of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,” PSO President and CEO Lawrence Tamburri said. “His appearances with the PSO have been tremendously popular, winning him accolades from our audiences, critics and the orchestra.”
Honeck said, “It is with great joy that I welcome Gianandrea Noseda to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. His previous visits have made him a Heinz Hall favorite and we are fortunate to have someone with his dedication and passion.”
“I am honored and thrilled to be associated with such a great musician as Victor de Sabata, who I have always considered as one of the milestones of the art of conducting,” Noseda said. “And to make music with the artists of the Pittsburgh Symphony has been a joy since the very first moment, so I am very much looking forward to begin this new challenging experience.”
Born in Milan, Noseda appears all over the world with orchestras such as the PSO, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan and the Israel Philharmonic. Since 2002, Noseda has developed a strong relationship with the Metropolitan Opera.
He was named Principal Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic in 2002, and Chief Conductor in 2006. His collaboration with the BBC Philharmonic includes studio recordings, subscription concerts at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, the annual appearance at the Proms in London and extensive touring activity in Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Austria, Germany and Japan. In 2005 his live performances of Beethoven’s complete symphonies with the BBC Philharmonic attracted over 1.4 million downloads in a BBC trial offered as part of Radio 3’s “The Beethoven Experience.”
In Italy, he is Music Director of the Teatro Regio Torino, and also regularly conducts the Filarmonica della Scala and Santa Cecilia Orchestras. Since 2000 he has been Artistic Director of the Stresa Festival, one of the oldest music festivals in Italy.
In 1997, Valery Gergiev appointed Noseda as the first foreign Principal Guest Conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, where he and Gergiev co-founded the ‘Mariinsky Young Philharmonic Orchestra’; Noseda served as its Principal Conductor. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic (1999-2003) and of the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI (2003-2006).
This Victor de Sabata Chair will replace the Otto Klemperer Guest Conductor Chair, which was created for Marek Janowski. Janowski served as the Otto Klemperer Guest Conductor Chair since 2008-09. The appointment was a continuation of Janowski’s endowed guest conductor chair, which he had held since 2005. Increased European commitments by Janowski made future visits to the PSO impossible to schedule for the next several years.
The Otto Klemperer Chair was named specifically for Janowski in recognition of the many years of artistic excellence Janowski brought to the PSO. He also recorded five CDs during his tenure, including the internationally celebrated Brahms symphonies and, most recently, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique. Janowski also led the orchestra on memorable performances, leading the PSO on the 2008 Pittsburgh 250 Ambassador Tour, which included performances at Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw.
“Marek Janowski is a conductor who makes every orchestra he conducts play to the highest standard of excellence. He has left his mark on the PSO,” Honeck said.