PITTSBURGH – Broadway stars Rebecca Luker and Doug LaBrecque join the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and the All-Star College Chorus to celebrate great romantic music from the stage and screen in a weekend of PNC Pops concerts titled, “My Funny Valentine.”
The Valentine’s Day-themed concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9, and 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 10, at Heinz Hall. Tickets, ranging from $20-$75, are available by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or visiting www.pittsburghsymphony.org.
The PSO will be led by Michael Krajewski, one of the most sought after conductors of symphonic pops. He is the principal pops conductor of the Houston Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the first to hold such a title in Atlanta.
The program includes “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady, “Cheek to Cheek” from Top Hat, “Anything You Can Do” from Annie Get Your Gun, as well as John Williams’ love theme from Superman, a Jerome Kern medley from Showboat, works by Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, and the Beatles, and songs from A Chorus Line, Ice Castles and The Way We Were, all composed by the late Marvin Hamlisch.
The PSO would like to recognize and thank PNC for its 2012-2013 title sponsorship of the PNC Pops. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the PSO.
Known for his entertaining programs and clever humor, Michael Krajewski has performed with the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras; the Boston and Cincinnati Pops; the San Francisco, Baltimore, Detroit, Indianapolis, Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis and National Symphonies, and numerous other orchestras across the United States. In Canada he has led Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, and the Edmonton, Winnipeg and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies. Other international appearances include performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra in concerts in Belfast and Dublin. He is the conductor of the video, Silver Screen Serenade, with violinist Jenny Oaks Baker that aired worldwide on BYU Broadcasting. He has led the Houston Symphony on two holiday albums: Glad Tidings and Christmas Festival. Krajewski’s other 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, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, The Chieftains, Pink Martini, Rockapella, Cirque de la Symphonie, Classical Mystery Tour, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
Rebecca Luker’s Broadway roles include Winifred in the original Broadway production of Mary Poppins (for which she received a Tony Award nomination), Claudia Nardi in Nine, opposite Antonio Banderas, Marian Paroo in The Music Man (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination & Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), Maria in The Sound Of Music (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination); Magnolia in Showboat (Tony Award nomination), Lily in The Secret Garden (Drama Desk Nomination); and Christine in The Phantom Of The Opera. With the New York City Opera, Luker was featured in X (The Life and Times of Malcolm X) and was Fiona in Brigadoon. She performed to sold out audiences at her critically acclaimed American Song Book Series solo concerts at the new Jazz at Lincoln Center. She has appeared with the Alabama, American, Baltimore, Birmingham, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Nashville, New Jersey, St. Louis, Chicago, Royal Stockholm, and London Symphonies (to name a few!) as well as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
Doug LaBrecque thrilled theatre audiences as The Phantom and Raoul in the Harold Prince production of The Phantom of the Opera. In addition, he has starred on Broadway as Ravenal in the Hal Prince revival of Showboat, a role he also performed in Canada and Chicago. He was featured in Oscar Hammerstein’s 100th Birthday Celebration on Broadway at The Gershwin Theatre, and toured nationally with LesMisérables. Regionally, LaBrecque has performed leading roles in Candide, AChorus Line, and Man of La Mancha, among many others. LaBrecque has been a soloist with some of the world’s finest symphony orchestras, including the National Symphony, Israel Philharmonic (Tel Aviv), Chicago Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony.