Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Opens 2014-2015 PNC Pops Season with ‘Heroes and Villains’

Guest Conductor Lucas Richman leads an epic battle between good and evil

PITTSBURGH – Guest conductor Lucas Richman leads the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Student Chorale in a concert that soars with good and evil during the opening weekend of the 2014-2015 PNC Pops season on October 17-19 at Heinz Hall.

In this thrilling program, the Pittsburgh Symphony brings to life your favorite characters from popular movies. You’ll hear the bright side, and the dark side, of movie scores and soundtracks from the James Bond series, “The Godfather,” “Gladiator,” “The Omen” and many more! Sheena Easton will join the Pittsburgh Symphony as guest soloist for the performance, performing her James Bond single, “For Your Eyes Only,” along with other songs.

“Heroes and Villains” also features the first performance of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Student Chorale, a student chorus composed of young singers from local colleges and high schools. Led by Christine Hestwood, the chorus includes students from Blackhawk High School, Chatham University, Grove City College, Mt. Lebanon High School, Penn State Greater Allegheny, Point Park University, Shaler Area High School and the University of Pittsburgh.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $24.75 to $99.75, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org. Subscriptions to the 2014-2015 PNC Pops series are still available.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra would like to recognize and thank PNC for its 2014-2015 title sponsorship of PNC Pops. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Lucas Richman Lucas Richman has served as music director for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra since 2003 and as music director and conductor for the Bangor Symphony Orchestra since 2010. Richman received a Grammy Award (2011) in the category of Best Classical Crossover Album for having conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Christopher Tin’s classical/world fusion album, “Calling All Dawns.” He has appeared as guest conductor with numerous orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Russian National Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, the SWR Radio Orchestra of Kaiserslautern (Germany) and the Zagreb Philharmonic (Croatia). Richman served as assistant and resident conductor for Mariss Jansons and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra between 1998 and 2004 and, from 1988 to 1991, he was the assistant conductor for the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. In recent years, he has collaborated with notable soloists such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Garrick Ohlsson, Lang Lang, Midori, Gil Shaham, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Frank Peter Zimmerman, Mark O’Connor, Andre Watts and Radu Lupu. Richman has collaborated with numerous film composers as their conductor, recording scores for such films as the Academy Award-nominated “The Village,” “As Good As It Gets,” “Face/Off,” “Se7en,” “Breakdown,” “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl.” In 2010, John Williams selected Richman to lead the three-month national summer tour of “Star Wars” in Concert. Richman co-founded the BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated) Conducting for the Film Composer Workshop, which he has led annually since 1997, teaching conducting to more than 125 of the leading film and television composers of this generation. Equally comfortable in the world of Pops, Richman has conducted for panoply of commercial artists that includes James Taylor, Michael Jackson, Pat Boone, Michael Feinstein, Gloria Estefan, Megan Hilty, Matthew Morrison, George Benson, Anne Murray, the Smothers Brothers, Martin Short and Victor Borge. Richman earned a Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Southern California, where he was a student of Daniel Lewis. Also an accomplished composer, Richman has had his music performed by more than 200 orchestras across the United States including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops and the symphonies of Detroit, Atlanta, New Jersey and Houston. In November 2009, as the result of an NEA commission, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra premiered his “Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant,” a setting of poetry by Children’s Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky. Commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony, his Concerto for Oboe: The Clearing was premiered in February 2006 (Cynthia DeAlmeida, oboe; Sir Andrew Davis, conductor), while the Knoxville Symphony presented his Concerto for Percussion: The Healer in March 2006 (Timothy Adams, percussion). Richman’s choral work, Arise Triumphant, O Blessed Muse!, premiered in January 2005, with Frederica von Stade as soloist. May 2013 brought the world premiere of his Three Pieces for Cello and Orchestra (Inbal Segev, soloist) and October 2013 yielded the world premiere of his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: In Truth for Jeffrey Biegel and the Knoxville Symphony.

Sheena EastonSheena Easton, whose career has spanned the last 30 years, was born in Bellshill, Scotland, the youngest of six children. Her early musical influences were Motown, Barbra Streisand, rock and 70s soul. Her recording career has included gold and platinum albums in the United States, Europe and Asia. She has received two Grammys, and was the first artist to have top five records on five Billboard’s charts. In addition to her recording success, Easton is a top concert attraction around the world, having performed in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore and Taipei. Her last album in Japan, “My Cherie,” was a number one hit. Easton’s acting credits include a five-episode appearance on “Miami Vice,” a co-starring role opposite Stacy Keach in a John Carpenter-directed trilogy for Showtime titled “Body Bags,” and as a guest star in the cult syndicated series “The Highlander,” as well as a starring role in UPN’s “Ghost Stories.” Other guest roles have included “The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.” and “TekWar,” as well as a starring role in Showtime’s “Outer Limits.” Easton appeared as a regular on the PAX TV show “Young Blades” which premiered in 2005. During 2004, Easton and Brian McKnight hosted a talk show originating in Las Vegas. On Broadway, Easton starred as Aldonza/Dulcinea in “Man of La Mancha” opposite the late Raul Julia’s Don Quixote. Throughout its year-long run, the play remained one of the top five grossing hits at the box office. She also starred on Broadway in the hit musical “Grease” as Rizzo. Animation has been a very enjoyable part of Easton’s career — she has appeared in the Warner Bros feature “All Dogs Go to Heaven” as the voice of Sasha, the Irish setter. Easton’s leading man – make that dog – was Charlie Sheen. She then reprised her role in the series of “All Dogs Go to Heaven,” as well as lending her voice to the “Road Rovers” series for Warner Bros. In addition, she can be heard in several recurring roles in the Disney hit series “Gargoyles.” Easton has been busy with frequent appearances in Las Vegas where she has been a major attraction for the last decade, and was recently inducted into the Las Vegas Hall Of Fame.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Student Chorale, formerly the All Star College Chorus, is composed of high school and collegiate singers from the greater Pittsburgh Area. The Student Chorale was created by the late Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch and Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh Music Director Emeritus Robert Page.

Christine Hestwood is a vocal music teacher in the Upper St. Clair School District. She is the director of music at Westminster Presbyterian Church, where she conducts their 70-voice Chancel Choir. This fall, she will conduct Verdi’s Requiem with the Westminster Chancel Choir, the Upper St. Clair High School Pantheon Choir and the Academy Chamber Orchestra. Hestwood has enjoyed her long collaboration with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Past projects include work in audience engagement and music education advocacy. Her favorite projects were serving as the co-director of the Night of 2,000 Stars, a 1996 project that featured 2,000 high school singers and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She served as co-director of the April 2013 Music for the Spirit concert, where more than 1,500 singers from high schools, colleges and community choirs joined voices to sing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She has served as assistant conductor of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and music director of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. Hestwood earned degrees from Duquesne University (B.S. in voice and music education) and Carnegie Mellon University (M.M. in conducting), where she studied with Robert Page.

For more than 117 years, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been an essential part of Pittsburgh’s cultural landscape. The Pittsburgh Symphony, known for its artistic excellence, is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. This tradition was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras. The Pittsburgh Symphony has made 40 international tours, including 20 European tours, eight trips to the Far East, and two to South America. Under the baton of Gilbert Levine, the PSO was the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican in January 2004 for the late Pope John Paul II, as part of the Pontiff’s Silver Jubilee celebration. The PSO has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. As early as 1936, the PSO broadcast coast-to-coast, receiving increased national attention in 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International (PRI). The PRI series is produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3 in Pittsburgh and is made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

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, October 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 19 at 2:30 p.m.

Heinz Hall
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
PNC POPS
LUCAS RICHMAN, conductor
SHEENA EASTON, vocalist
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA STUDENT CHORALE (Christine Hestwood, director)

Gioachino Rossini:

Finale from Overture to William Tell

Antonio Salieri (edited by Lucas Richman):

Overture to Tarare

Miklos Rozsa:

“Parade of the Charioteers” from Ben-Hur

Hans Zimmer (arranged by John Wasson):

Music from Gladiator

John Williams:

“Battle of the Heroes” from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Student Chorale

John Williams:

“Dry Your Tears, Afrika” from Amistad
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Student Chorale

Nino Rota:

Love Theme from The Godfather

Marvin Hamlisch:

“Nobody Does It Better” from The Spy Who Loved Me

Various:

The Haiti Project: Symphony of Hope
Prologue: Wongolo
Finale & Hope
Ms. Easton
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Student Chorale

Erich Korngold (edited by John Mauceri) :

“Robin Hood and His Merry Men” from The Adventures of Robin Hood

Burt Bacharach:

“South American Getaway” from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Student Chorale

Bill Conti (Arranged by Robert W. Lowden):

Theme from Rocky

Bill Conti:

“For Your Eyes Only” from For Your Eyes Only
Ms. Easton

John Williams:

“Hymn to the Fallen” from Saving Private Ryan
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Student Chorale

Howard Shore:

Suite from Seven
The Apartment
Arresting John Doe

Bernard Herrmann:

Narrative for String Orchestra from Psycho
Prelude
The Murder
Finale

Jerry Goldsmith:

Suite from The Omen

John Williams:

“The Imperial March” from Star Wars

One Response to “Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Opens 2014-2015 PNC Pops Season with ‘Heroes and Villains’”

  1. Aleksandar says:

    I wish you a great opening. Thank you for choosing music of Miklós Rózsa! Kudos go to Marco for sharing this information.

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