Music Director Manfred Honeck leads PSO in New Castle concert featuring famed Russian pianist Matsuev

PITTSBURGH – Music Director Manfred Honeck will lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) this week in a concert at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle, showcasing Russian powerhouse pianist Denis Matsuev performing Rachmaninoff’s masterpiece, Piano Concerto No. 2.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

Tickets, ranging from $16 to $59, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office toll-free at 1.800.743.8560, or by visiting the PSO online at www.pittsburghsymphony.org. Group tickets also are available. As part of an education program developed for the community, a special package for families with children up to high-school age is available. Children may get free tickets if accompanied by a parent. Both the free ticket and a discounted ticket for the parents are available by calling  412.392.4819. Also, pre-concert dinners at the Scottish Rite Cathedral begin at 6 p.m. before each concert. Call 724.654.6683 for reservations.

There will be shuttle service in New Castle for the concert. The shuttle costs $1 for a round trip, and begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Downtown Parking Garage, before stopping at the Washington Center parking lot and Clen Moore Church.

The evening’s program features Mussorgsky’s A Night on Bald Mountain, a well-known tone poem that tells the story of a witches’ Sabbath near Kiev; the theme made more famous by being featured in Disney’s 1940 classic film, Fantasia. In addition to Matsuev playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, the concert also includes Tchaikovsky’s exciting Symphony No. 5.

Proms CroppedManfred Honeck was appointed the ninth Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in January 2007, and began his tenure at the start of the 2008-2009 season. After a first extension in 2009, his contract was extended for the second time in February 2012, now through the 2019-2020 season. Following their successful European Tour in 2010 and the European Festival Tour 2011 with appearances at the major music festivals, such as BBC Proms, Lucerne, Grafenegg, Rheingau, Schleswig-Holstein or Musikfest Berlin, Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra returned to Europe in October-November 2012. The tour took them to Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Luxembourg, and Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart in Germany. During a week-long residency at the Musikverein in Vienna, the orchestra performed four concerts. Honeck’s successful work in Pittsburgh is captured on CD by the Japanese label Exton. So far, Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben have been released to critical acclaim. Their recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 won a 2012 International Classical Music Award (ICMA).  Honeck was born in Austria and studied music at the Academy of Music in Vienna. An accomplished violinist and violist, he spent more than 10 years as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra.

Since his triumphant victory at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1998, Denis Matsuev has quickly become one of the most sought-after pianists of his generation. Laureate of prestigious Shostakovich Prize in Music and State Prize of Russian Federation in Literature and Arts, he has appeared in hundreds of recitals at the most prestigious and legendary concert halls worldwide. He collaborates with the world’s best known orchestras, and is continually re-engaged with the legendary Russian orchestras such as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra and Russian National Orchestra. He appears regularly with prominent conductors, including Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Mariss Jansons, Yuri Temirkanov, Kurt Masur, Paavo Jarvi, Leonard Slatkin, Myung-Whun Chung, Antonio Pappano, Semyon Bychkov, Ivan Fischer and Adam Fisher, Gianandrea Noseda, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, James Conlon, Vladimir Spivakov, Mikhail Pletnev, and Vladimir Fedoseyev.

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