PSO‘S ‘TRIBUTE‘ CONCERT CELEBRATES INFLUENCE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE, MUSIC

Jan. 20 concert to be held at August Wilson Center for the first time; features August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, PSO Associate Concertmaster Mark Huggins

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s (PSO) 6th annual “Tribute” concert, celebrating African American culture and its influence, will be held for the first time at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

The PSO’s Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh will lead the PSO in the concert that begins at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 20, at the August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Ave., downtown. Tickets, priced at $16 & $31, can be purchased by calling 412.392.4900, or at www.pittsburghsymphony.org.

The concert features the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, as well as PSO Associate Concertmaster Mark Huggins as soloist.

This special collaboration between the PSO and the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble celebrates African American culture and showcases a fusion of musical styles that reflect the diversity of music.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. before the concert and, again, following the concert, a group of Pittsburgh jazz musicians will turn the August Wilson Center Lobby into a jazz club. Their performance, “Live at the Hurricane,” is presented by the Hill House Association.

The PSO is proud to once again present the 2012 “Tribute” Concert in association with the August Wilson Center for African American Culture and the Hill House Association. The concert celebrates African American culture and influence in the form of a symphony orchestra performance designed for the community. The program’s intent is to create an orchestral concert which reflects the music of the African American community and celebrates the cultural contributions of that community. The concert endeavors to engage a diverse array of concertgoers regardless of the extent or type of their musical experiences.

The August Wilson Center for African American Culture established the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble (AWCDE) from a desire to better engage regional and national audiences in the celebration and shaping of African American culture. In the spring of 2009, Greer Reed, Artistic Director of the AWCDE, was awarded the coveted title of Fellow at the August Wilson Center to create the AWCDE. Reed’s vision for the AWCDE was to provide a bridge in the regional dance community, reaching across ethnic and socio-economic lines to bring dancers of different backgrounds and styles together to celebrate African-American culture and the diversity of dance. It has done just that. With choreography and technique to be envied, AWCDE’s lineup of talented young dancers has made an impression on the “Steel City” and beyond by celebrating African American inspired and choreographed pieces by Antonio Brown, Crystal Frazier, Terence Greene, Christopher Huggins and Pearlann Porter. Named as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2012, the AWCDE proves to be an up-and-coming force.

Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, Lawrence Loh is one of the most exciting young talents on the classical music scene today. He was brought to national attention in February 2004, when he substituted last-minute for an ailing Charles Dutoit with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Conducting Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Loh received enthusiastic acclaim from orchestra players, audience members and critics, alike. Since his appointment as Music Director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic in 2005, the orchestra has flourished artistically, defining its reputation as one of the finest regional orchestras in the country. Loh’s guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Seoul Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony and San Angelo Symphony.

Mark Huggins is Associate Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra having been named to that position in the l987-88 season. He is a frequent soloist in the PSO’s classical, pops and education concerts. In the fall of 1997, he performed Piazzola’s Buenos Aires in “That Latin Rhythm” pops concerts. In addition, he is actively involved in the Orchestra’s Community Outreach program, performing chamber music concerts in outlying communities. Before coming to Pittsburgh in 1987, he was a member of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1981 to 1987 and was active as a soloist and in chamber music throughout Europe and in Japan.

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Jan 13