PITTSBURGH— Omer Meir Wellber, music director of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, will make his U.S. conducting debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall in downtown Pittsburgh on Oct. 10-12, 2014.
The program for this BNY Mellon Grand Classics weekend includes Debussy’s Petit Suite, which was inspired by the poetry of Paul Verlaine; Tchaikovsky’s virtuosic Manfred Symphony, Opus 58, based on the tortured wanderings of Lord Byron’s character Manfred; and Rodrigo’s beloved Concierto de Aranjuez for Guitar and Orchestra, featuring the Pittsburgh debut of classical guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas. Wellber will replace Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos who died in June.
Born in Be’er Sheva (Beersheba) in 1981, Wellber is considered one of the most talented young conductors in the world. In addition to being the regular guest conductor at the Israeli Opera, he has been the musical director of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra since 2009. He has been the musical director of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia since 2011. He has appeared as a guest conductor at the Semperoper Dresden, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and in a series of symphonic concerts with the Valencia Opera orchestra. In May, he made his debut at the Glyndebourne Festival. Along with his Pittsburgh Symphony appearance, he also will debut at the Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra next season.
Wellber’s musical training began at age five on accordion and piano and he began learning composition at age nine. He graduated from Be’er Sheva conservatory and continued his studies under Eugene Zirlin at the Jerusalem Music Academy and in the Mendi Rodan Programme.
In 2013, he was appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the nongovernmental organization Save a Child’s Heart, which provides cardiac surgery and treatment for children from developing countries and a training program for doctors and nurses from those countries.
More information about the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Omer Meir Wellber and this concert can be found at pittsburghsymphony.org. Season tickets to BNY Mellon Grand Classics are on sale now and can be purchased online or through the box office at 412-392-4900. Single tickets go on sale Tuesday, September 2.
“It’s fascinating to observe what Omer Meir Wellber interprets and takes from the score and subsequently transforms into sound. The musicians follow him, they accept this young maestro and together they have drawn fantastic results from this difficult oeuvre. Omer Meir Wellber led the musicians carefully through all obstacles in the score and created a sound so colorful and nuanced that one sometimes forgets to breathe due to the excitement […].” —Andreas H. Hölscher, Opernetz
“The young Israeli conductor fulfilled the highest expectations. It is a rare treat to hear and watch a conductor who, at only 29 years, shows the maturity and security Mr. Wellber shows. His direction was a model of power, authority, and Verdian feeling.”— José Mª Irurzun, Seen and Heard