PITTSBURGH – Music Director Manfred Honeck returns to Heinz Hall to lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) in a hugely popular Thanksgiving weekend tradition: music by the Johann Strauss Family.
The BNY Mellon Grand Classic concerts will begin at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 26 and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 28. Tickets, ranging from $20 to $88, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or by visiting the PSO online at www.pittsburghsymphony.org. You can buy a main floor seat to one of these concerts and a VIP pass to the Vatican Splendors limited engagement exhibit at the Senator John Heinz History Center for $50.
The concerts also will feature soloists, Rebecca Nelsen, soprano, and German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser, making his PSO debut with one of the most famous cello concerti ever composed – Antonin Dvořák’s Concerto in B minor for Cello and Orchestra.
The concerts also showcase waltzes and polkas by Johann Strauss Jr. and Josef Strauss, as well as works by Franz Lehar.
Master dancers from the Arthur Murray dance studio in downtown Pittsburgh will demonstrate Viennese waltzes and polkas in the Grand Lobby of Heinz Hall an hour prior to each concert performance. They also will teach the basic steps of the dances with participants from the audience.
The PSO would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for their 2010-2011 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Bobby Rahal Automotive Group is the Official Automotive Group of the PSO. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the Official Hotel of the PSO.
Gramaphone Magazine hailed Johannes Moser as “one of the finest among the astonishing gallery of young virtuoso cellists.” He has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony, Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Tokyo Symphony, Israel Philharmonic and Toronto Symphony.
He works regularly with conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Vladimir Jurowski, Franz Welser-Möst, Christian Thielemann, Pierre Boulez, Neeme Jarvi and Paavo Jarvi. His passion for and interpretation of new music has brought him much attention, not least from Boulez, with whom he gave his U.S. debut, playing the Rands Concerto with the Chicago Symphony.
Soprano Rebecca Nelsen, a native of Texas, has celebrated important debuts this past year at the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden as Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), Blonde (Entfühung aus dem Serail), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Violetta (La Traviata – new production with Fabio Luisi) and Adele (Die Fledermaus). Another notable debut was at Teatro La Fenice in Venice as Violetta in the Robert Carsen production of Verdi’s La Traviata last September.
She has sung the soprano solos in Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Johannes Passion, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Schubert’s Mass in E-flat Major, Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis and Brahms’s Deutsches Requiem.