Acclaimed pianist Gabriela Montero is guest soloist, König replaces Frühbeck
PITTSBURGH – Conductor Christoph König will make his Heinz Hall debut this month when he leads the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) in a series of BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts showcasing the best of the Romantic era.
The concerts will begin at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 18, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 19, and at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 20. Tickets, ranging from $25 to $93, can be purchased by calling 412.392.4900, or by visiting the PSO online at www.pittsburghsymphony.org. The program will include works by Prokofiev and Brahms. Please note the early start time for the Friday, Nov. 18, concert.
König replaces Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, who was originally slated to conduct the concerts, but had to undergo minor surgery. He is expected to fully recover and be back on the podium in a few weeks.
Gabriela Montero, who last performed at Heinz Hall in January 2009, will be the guest soloist. Her visionary interpretations and unique improvisational gifts have won her a devoted following worldwide. “Because improvisation is such a huge part of who I am, it is the most natural and spontaneous way I can express myself,” she said. Today, in both recital and after performing a concerto, Montero often invites her audience to participate in asking for a melody for improvisations.
A native of Dresden, Germany, König is principal conductor of the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música (2009-2014), and principal conductor and music director of the Solistes Européens, Luxembourg. In Porto, he is conducting a Mahler cycle, which included a performance of Symphony No. 1 at the Vienna Konzerthaus last season, followed by tours in Brazil (July 2011) and northern Europe (October 2011). He was principal conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra from 2003 until 2006, and principal guest conductor of the Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria. With both orchestras he conducted a wide range of repertoire from Haydn and Mozart to Ligeti, Henze and Turnage. He conducted opera in concert with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, including Madama Butterfly and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
The PSO would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for their 2011-2012 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the PSO. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of the PSO. Bobby Rahal Automotive Group is the official automotive group of the PSO.
Last season, Christoph König’s U.S. debut with the New Jersey Symphony resulted in an immediate re-engagement. This season, he will appear with the symphonies of Colorado, Houston, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Toronto and Vancouver. Worldwide, he has appeared with the Barcelona Symphony, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Mozarteum Orchestra/Salzburg, Netherlands Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony, Norwegian Radio Orchestra/Oslo, Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid, Real Filharmónia de Galicia, RTVE/Madrid and Tonkünstler Orchestra/Vienna, as well as Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. His reputation as an opera conductor rose swiftly after stepping in at short notice to successfully direct the Zürich Opera’s 2003 production of Jonathan Miller’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
Born in Caracas Venezuela, Gabriela Montero’s engagements have included acclaimed performances with the New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Rotterdam Philharmonic, WDR Sinfonieorchestre Koln. In recital she has appeared in Berlin, Frankfurt, Dresden, Hamburg, Klavier Festival Ruhr, Salzburg Festival, Koln Philharmonie, Tonhalle Dusseldorf, Istanbul International Festival, Kennedy Center, and Library of Congress in Washington D.C., Ravinia Festival, National Arts Centre Ottawa, Orchard Hall Tokyo and at the ‘Progetto Martha Argerich’ Festival in Lugano. She gave her first public performance at 5. At 8, she made her concerto debut with the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra conducted by Jose Antonio Abreu and was granted a scholarship from the Venezuelan government to study in the United States.