PITTSBURGH—Guest conductor Juraj Valčuha returns to BNY Mellon Grand Classics to lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and violinist Stefan Jackiw in a program of romantic-era favorites — as well as a premiere of a new work — on April 4 and 6 at Heinz Hall.
This performance begins with the world premiere of a Pittsburgh Symphony co-commission, “Supplica” by Christopher Rouse. A companion piece to his Fourth Symphony, the meaning behind this intimate and impassioned piece is purposely left up to the listener to define. Mendelssohn’s popular and innovative Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64, follows and features Jackiw. The concert finishes with “La mer” by Claude Debussy and “La valse” by Maurice Ravel, colorful and lush impressionistic works.
Each BNY Mellon Grand Classics concert is part of the Explore & Engage program, which includes pre-concert talks, exhibits, display boards and interactive activities that illuminate the music, composers and the time in which they created. This weekend, Assistant Conductor Fawzi Haimor will conduct a pre-concert talk with composer Christopher Rouse one hour before each performance. Also, on Sunday, April 6, the PSO Book Club with WQED-FM’s Jim Cunningham will meet at 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Tier Lounge to discuss “What Makes It Great” by conductor and composer Rob Kapilow. The book club session is free to all ticket holders to the Sunday afternoon performance, but availability is limited; advance registration is required. To register, call 412-392-4876 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $25.75 to $105.75, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or by visiting pittsburghsymphony.org.
The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2013-2014 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Juraj Valčuha has been chief conductor of the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Torino since 2009. He studied composition and conducting in Bratislava, St. Petersburg (with Ilya Musin) and Paris. In 2005, he made his debut with Orchestre National de France. In the following seasons, he led the Philharmonia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Swedish Radio, Oslo Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden and Munich Philharmonic. He made his U.S. début with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, D.C. Highlights of the 2013-2014 season are touring to the Enescu Festival in Bucharest with OSN Rai, to the Bratislava Festival with the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia Rome, debut with the NHK Tokyo on a Japan tour, and conducting returns to the Philharmonia, Pittsburgh Symphony, WDR Cologne, NDR Hamburg, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and Munich Philharmonic, as well as to opera productions (Puccini’s Butterfly and Prokofiev’s The Love for three Oranges) at the Maggio Musicale in Florence.
Violinist Stefan Jackiw captivates audiences with playing that combines poetry and purity with an impeccable technique. Jackiw has appeared as soloist with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco symphony orchestras, among others. He made his European debut in London in 2002 at age 14 to great critical acclaim, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Benjamin Zander. Jackiw is also an active recitalist and chamber musician. He has performed in numerous important festivals and concert series. At the opening night of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York, Jackiw was the only young artist invited to perform, playing alongside such artists as Emanuel Ax, Renée Fleming, Evgeny Kissin, and James Levine. Born in 1985 to physicist parents of Korean and German descent, Stefan Jackiw began playing the violin at the age of four. His teachers have included Zinaida Gilels, Michèle Auclair, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University, as well as an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory. In 2002, the young artist was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. He makes his home in New York City.
Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts is owned and operated by Pittsburgh Symphony, Inc., a non-profit organization, and is the year-round home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, Heinz Hall also hosts many other events that do not feature its world-renowned orchestra, including Broadway shows, comedians, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit heinzhall.org.
Editors Please Note:
Friday, April 4 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 6 at 2:30 p.m.
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
BNY MELLON GRAND CLASSICS
JURAJ VALČUHA, conductor
STEFAN JACKIW, violin
Supplica (PSO Co-Commission and World Premiere)
Concerto in E minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 64
I. Allegro molto appassionato
III. Allegretto non troppo – Allegro molto vivace
La mer: Three Symphonic Sketches
I. De l’aube à midi sur la mer [From Dawn to Noon on the Sea]
II. Jeux des vagues [Play of the Waves]
III. Dialogue du vent et de la mer [Dialogue of Wind and Sea]