PSO NAMES NEW CONDUCTORS FOR 2012-2013 PNC POPS CONCERTS

PSO goes ahead with new season as envisioned by the late Marvin Hamlisch; acclaimed conductors include Lucas Richman, Daniel Meyer, Michael Krajewski, Lawrence Loh

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) today announced the conductors who will lead the orchestra in 2012-2013 PNC Pops and Highmark Holiday Pops concerts that were originally scheduled to be conducted by Marvin Hamlisch.

Hamlisch, the PSO’s principal Pops conductor for 17 seasons, died Aug. 6 in Los Angeles after a brief illness. He was 68.

The PSO will go ahead with the 2012-2013 Pops season as originally planned and envisioned by Hamlisch. He was scheduled to conduct concerts Sept. 29 & 30, Dec. 20-23, Feb. 7-10, and June 13-16. All guest artists, including Glee star Matthew Morrison and trumpeter Chris Botti, will appear as scheduled.

The 2012-2013 season’s first PNC Pops concerts will be Sept. 29 & 30, when Morrison, star of the hit TV show, Glee, joins the PSO to perform favorite hits from his forthcoming album of Broadway standards. The PSO will be led by Grammy Award-winner Lucas Richman, music director of the Knoxville and Bangor Symphony orchestras.

A former Assistant and Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Richman received a 2011 Grammy in the category of Best Classical Crossover Album for having conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Christopher Tin’s classical/world fusion album, Calling All Dawns. He has appeared as guest conductor with numerous orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, SWR Radio Orchestra of Kaiserslautern in Germany, and Zagreb Philharmonic in Croatia.

Daniel Meyer, music director of the Asheville Symphony and Erie Philharmonic and former PSO resident conductor, will lead the hugely-popular Highmark Holiday Pops concerts, Dec. 20-23. Allegheny County’s “Singing Sheriff,” Ricky Manning, returns to Heinz Hall to perform at these concerts, which also feature the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and other guest artists.

Winning acclaim for his dynamic programs, engaging presence and keen musical intellect, Meyer is at the forefront of American conductors today. He has reinvigorated both the Asheville Symphony and Erie Philharmonic with innovative programs and a dedication to create and sustain enthusiastic audiences for classical music. His guest conducting engagements have included the Grand Teton Music Festival, and the Rochester Philharmonic, Knoxville, and Hilton Head Symphony orchestras. In 2010-2011, he made a critically acclaimed European debut with the Staatstheater Stuttgart Orchestra, with violinist Thomas Zehetmair.

Michael Krajewski, one of the most sought after conductors of symphonic pops, and principal pops conductor of the Houston Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, will lead the PSO in a celebration of love songs in a series of concerts titled, “My Funny Valentine,” Feb. 7-10. The concerts will feature guest vocalists Doug LaBrecque and Rebecca Luker, and the All-Star College Chorus, directed by Robert Page.

Known for his entertaining spontaneity and clever humor, Krajewski’s collaborative programs have included such artists as flutist James Galway, mezzo Marilyn Horne, pianist Alicia de Larrocha, guitarist Angel Romero, and pop artists Roberta Flack, Judy Collins, Art Garfunkel, Kenny Loggins, Ben Folds, Doc Severinsen, Patti Austin, Sandi Patty, Ann Hampton Callaway, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Chieftains, Pink Martini, Rockapella, Cirque de la Symphonie, Classical Mystery Tour, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

Hamlisch also was scheduled to conduct the final PNC Pops concerts of the 2012-2013 season, featuring famed trumpeter Chris Botti, June 13-16. The PSO’s Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh will now take the podium for these concerts. Botti, the best-selling jazz instrumental artist in the United States today, has worked with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, Andrea Bocelli and Joni Mitchell.

Music director of both the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, 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. His leadership has attracted such artists as André Watts, Anne Akiko Meyers, Jon Nakamatsu, Zuill Bailey and Sharon Isbin.

Subscription packages for the seven-concert season, ranging from $117.25 to $652.75, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or visiting www.pittsburghsymphony.org.

The PSO would like to recognize and thank PNC for its 2012-2013 title sponsorship of the PNC Pops. The PSO would also like to recognize and thank Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield for its title sponsorship of the 2012 Highmark Holiday Pops. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the PSO.

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Aug 15