Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ Headlines BNY Mellon Grand Classics Concert with Violinist Ye-Eun Choi

PITTSBURGH—Take a grand musical journey through the seasons of the year with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Korean violin prodigy Ye-Eun Choi during the BNY Mellon Grand Classics performances of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” on May 30-June 1 at Heinz Hall.

Guest conductor Nicholas McGegan, whose expertise is baroque music, leads Vivaldi’s 18th-century masterpiece, and arguably his most famous work, “The Four Seasons.” McGegan also will play the harpsichord for the piece. “The Four Seasons” features violin concertos focusing on spring, summer, autumn and winter, which will be performed by Choi, a young rising star violinist whose talent has been recognized and championed by violin superstar Anne-Sophie Mutter. In the second half of the program, McGegan presents musical gems from the classical period by Mozart and Haydn.

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 one hour before each performance. James Rodgers, principal contrabassoon, and his students will perform in the Grand Lobby prior to the Friday and Sunday concerts. Also on Sunday, the PSO Book Club with WQED-FM’s Jim Cunningham will meet at 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Tier Lounge to discuss “Marrying Mozart” by Stephanie Cowell with Lorna McGhee, principal flute. 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 explore@pittsburghsymphony.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.

Nicholas McGegan_Credit Randy-BeachNicholas McGegan is “one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation” (Independent) and “an expert in 18th century style” (New Yorker). In his capacity as music director of San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque he has established the group as the leading period band in America. He is also the principal guest conductor of the Pasadena Symphony. Active in opera as well as the concert hall, he has been principal guest conductor of Scottish Opera and principal conductor of Sweden’s 18th Century theatre in Drottingholm, running the annual festival there. He has been a pioneer in the process of exporting historically informed performance practice beyond the world of period instruments to wider conventional symphonic forces, guest-conducting with orchestras such as the Chicago, St Louis, Toronto, Montreal and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, the New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Houston and Concertgebouw Orchestras as well as the Royal Scottish National, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber, Royal Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Hallé. Opera companies he works with include Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Washington. He has broken new ground in experimental dance-collaborations with Mark Morris, notably at festivals such as Edinburgh International and Ravinia. His discography of more than 100 releases includes the world premiere recording of Handel’s “Susanna,” which attracted both a Gramophone Award and Grammy nomination. Born in England, he was educated at Cambridge and Oxford universities. His awards include an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Göttingen, the Halle Handel Prize, an order of merit of the state of Lower Saxony, a medal of Honour of the City of Goettingen and an official Nicholas McGegan Day, declared by the mayor of San Francisco for two decades of distinguished work with the Philharmonia Baroque. He was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2010.

choi3Ye-Eun Choi is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the most promising violin talents to emerge from Europe, Asia and United States in recent years. Since making her concert debut at the age of 10 with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, she has performed internationally with orchestras like the Montreal Symphony, Munich Rundfunk Orchestra, National Orchestra of Belgium, Indianapolis Symphony and Indiana Chamber orchestras, Montreal I Musici Chamber Orchestra, Finland Kuhmo Chamber Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the leading Korean orchestras and chamber ensembles. She is regularly invited to perform with Munich Symphony Orchestra, Neues Kammerorchester Potsdam, Hofer Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symhony Orchestra, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra and the New Japan Philharmonic. In 2009, she made her debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Alan Gilbert and has since played with the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach, State Symphony Orchestra of New Russia under Yuri Bashmet and given a very successful tour with the Anne-Sophie Mutter Virtuosi. Devoted to chamber music, Choi performs at festivals around the world including Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Asiago (Italy), Gdansk (Poland) and Rheingau. Choi was born in 1988, Seoul, South Korea and studied as a junior student at the Korean University of Arts with Nam Yun Kim. In 2004, she moved to Germany to study with Ana Chumachenco at the Musikhochschule in Munich and a year later was brought to the attention of Anne-Sophie Mutter, soon becoming a recipient of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation scholarship and continuing to benefit from professional and personal support from Mutter. Since her meeting with Maestro Christoph Eschenbach in 2007 she has benefitted from studying regularly with him on a personal basis. In the same year she was selected as one of “the Emerging Artists of the Year” by the American Symphony Orchestra League. Choi plays a violin by Pietro Giacomo Rogeri (1710), generously lent to her by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation.

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, May 30 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 31 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 1 at 2:30 p.m.

Heinz Hall
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
BNY MELLON GRAND CLASSICS
NICHOLAS McGEGAN, conductor
YE-EUN CHOI, violin

Antonio Vivaldi:

The Four Seasons for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 8, Nos. 1-4
I. Concerto in E major (“La primavera”)
II. Concerto in G minor (“L’estate”)
III. Concerto in F major (“L’autunno”)
IV. Concerto in F minor (“L’inverno”)

Wolfgang Amadé Mozart:

Chaconne from Idomeneo, Rè di Creta, K. 367

Franz Joseph Haydn:

Symphony No. 103 in E-flat major, “Drumroll”
I. Adagio – Allegro con spirito
II. Andante più tosto allegretto
III. Menuet
IV. Allegro con spirito

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May 15