VIOLINIST ZNAIDER MAKES CONDUCTING DEBUT WITH PSO

World-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax joins as soloist performing Mozart’s Concerto No. 22 

PITTSBURGH – Two weeks after performing as guest soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO), Nikolaj Znaider returns to Heinz Hall, this time to conduct the orchestra in two BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts.

Joining Znaider and the PSO on stage will be internationally acclaimed pianist Emanuel Ax, performing Mozart’s Concerto No. 22. Ax last played at Heinz Hall in June last year.

The concerts will begin at 8 p.m., Friday, March 2, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. Tickets, ranging from $20 to $93, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or by visiting the PSO online at www.pittsburghsymphony.org.

Music from Wagner’s exquisite love story of Tristan und Isolde starts off the program, which also includes Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Each movement of this celebrated orchestral work portrays a personal friend of Elgar’s.

The PSO, Znaider and Ax will also perform this at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 3, at  Lyell B Clay Concert Theater at West Virginia University.

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.

Emanuel Ax studied at The Juilliard School and Columbia University, capturing public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975 he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, followed four years later by the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. Highlights of his current season include return visits to the orchestras of  Cleveland, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Atlanta and Toronto as well as a number of recitals culminating in a series of three at Lincoln Center focused on the music of Schubert. Ax has won Grammy Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn’s piano sonatas and has also made a series of Grammy-winning recordings with Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano.

Nikolaj Znaider is not only celebrated as one of the foremost violinists of today, but is fast becoming one of the most versatile artists of his generation uniting his talents as soloist, conductor and chamber musician. Znaider is passionate about the education of musical talent and was for ten years Founder and Artistic Director of the Nordic Music Academy, an annual summer school whose vision it was to create conscious and focused musical development based on quality and commitment.

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Feb 21