Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Presents Split Program for BNY Mellon Grand Classics on June 6-8

PITTSBURGH—The 2013-2014 BNY Mellon Grand Classics series penultimate weekend on June 6-8 brings Music Director Manfred Honeck back to Heinz Hall to conduct a split weekend of programming featuring Mahler’s monumental Ninth Symphony, solos by Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley and the Pittsburgh premiere of contemporary composer James MacMillan’s “Woman of the Apocalypse,” and much more!

Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, his last completed symphony, is interpreted by many to be the composer’s farewell statement. He finished the composition while ill health and personal tragedy swirled around him. Please note that Mahler’s Ninth Symphony will be performed only on Friday and Sunday. It will also be performed without intermission.

Due to a change in the orchestra’s recording schedule, Saturday, June 7, will feature a different program. Mahler’s Ninth Symphony will not be performed; instead Honeck will lead the Pittsburgh Symphony in the Heinz Hall premiere of “Woman of the Apocalypse,” which the orchestra played at Carnegie Hall during the Spring for Music Festival in May. Bendix-Balgley will be featured in Beethoven’s romances for violin and the program closes with Brahms’ Symphony No. 4.

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, Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh will lead a pre-concert talk from the stage one hour prior to the concert start time.

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.

Manfred Honeck (photo by Felix Broede)

Manfred Honeck (photo by Felix Broede)

Manfred 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. 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. He began his career as conductor of Vienna’s Jeunesse Orchestra, which he co-founded, and as assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. In 2010, Honeck was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. Apart from his numerous tasks as conductor, he has been artistic director of the “International Concerts Wolfegg” in Germany for more than 15 years. Honeck served as principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra from 2008 to 2011, a position he has resumed for another three years at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season. As a guest conductor, Honeck has worked with major orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic and in the United States with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Manfred Honeck’s successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is now captured by Reference Recordings. The first SACD — of Strauss tone poems — was released in fall 2013 and received rave reviews. Several additional recordings are completed and it is expected that two releases will be issued per year.

Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley (Photo by Rob Davidson)

Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley (Photo by Rob Davidson)

Noah Bendix-Balgley is a laureate of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and also won third prize and a special prize for creativity at the 2008 Long-Thibaud International Competition in Paris. Bendix-Balgley won the first prize at the 2011 Vibrarte International Music Competition in Paris and was awarded first Prize and a special prize for best Bach interpretation at the 14th International Violin Competition “Andrea Postacchini” in Fermo, Italy. As a soloist, he has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de Belgique, I Pomeriggi Musicale of Milan, Orchestre Royal Chambre de Wallonie (Belgium), the Binghamton Philharmonic and the Asheville Symphony (USA). In 2011, Bendix-Balgley was appointed concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. His Pittsburgh debut recital in January 2012 was named the “Best Classical Concert of 2012” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bendix-Balgley has also performed his own version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” for solo violin in front of 39,000 fans at the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day at PNC Park. He is a passionate and experienced chamber musician and has performed on North American tour with the Miro String Quartet. From 2008 to 2011, he was the 1st violinist of the Munich-based Athlos String Quartet, which won a special prize at the 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Competition in Berlin, and performed throughout Europe. Bendix-Balgley has appeared at numerous festivals in Europe and North America, including the Verbier Festival, Sarasota Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, Brevard Music Center, and Chamber Music Connects the World in Kronberg, Germany. Bendix-Balgley graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Munich Hochschule. He is a part of the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music as an artist lecturer and coaches several student string quartets.

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, June 6 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 8 at 2:30 p.m.

Heinz Hall
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
BNY MELLON GRAND CLASSICS
MANFRED HONECK, conductor

Gustav Mahler:

Symphony No. 9 in D major

I. Andante comodo
II. Im Tempo eines gemächlichen Ländlers
III. Rondo – Burleske
IV. Adagio

Saturday, June 7 at 8 p.m.

Heinz Hall
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
BNY MELLON GRAND CLASSICS
MANFRED HONECK, conductor
NOAH BENDIX-BALGLEY, violin

James MacMillan:

Woman of the Apocalypse

A woman clothed by the sun – The great battle – She is given the wings of a great eagle – She is taken up – Coronation

Ludwig Van Beethoven:

Romance No. 1 in G major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 40

Romance No. 2 in F major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 50

Johannes Brahms:

Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Opus 98

I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andante moderato
III. Allegro giocoso
IV. Allegro energico e passionato 

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