Music Director Manfred Honeck to Lead Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 14-Concert, 4-Nation European Tour

Orchestra will be joined by soloists Daniil Trifonov, Martin Grubinger, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Leonidas Kavakos

Manfred Honeck (credit Jim Judkis)_webPITTSBURGH – Music Director Manfred Honeck will lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on a 14-concert European Tour from May 17 to June 5, 2016. The tour will take the orchestra to Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium.

The tour opens at Kuppelsaal in Hannover, Germany, where the orchestra performs with percussionist Martin Grubinger, who appeared with the orchestra during its 2013 European Festivals Tour and makes his Heinz Hall debut on May 13-15, 2016 shortly before the European Tour begins. The orchestra will perform in four other German cities — Bremen (May 21), Berlin (May 22), Dresden (May 23) and Frankfurt (May 25) — before heading to Vienna, Austria, for three days at the famed Musikverein (May 26-28). The symphony will then perform in Bregenz, Austria (May 29), Basel, Switzerland (May 31) and Brussels, Belgium (June 1) before returning to Germany to conclude the tour in Stuttgart (June 2) and Munich (June 3 and 4).

Russian piano phenom Daniil Trifonov joins the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for 10 concerts on May 21-23, May 25, May 27 and May 29-June 3. German percussionist Martin Grubinger performs on May 20 and May 26. Violinists Leonidas Kavakos and Anne-Sophie Mutter appear in Vienna on May 28 and Munich on June 4 respectively.

The tour program features Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (with Daniil Trifonov), Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Daniil Trifonov), Berg’s Violin Concerto (with Leonidas Kavakos), Dvorak’s Carnival Overture and Violin Concerto (with Anne Sophie-Mutter), Hartl’s Percussion Concerto (with Martin Grubinger), Haydn’s Symphony No. 93, Strauss’s Elektra Symphonic Rhapsody — arranged by Manfred Honeck and Tomás Ille — and Tchaikovsky’s Symphonies No. 4, 5 and 6.

International touring is made possible, in part, by the Hillman Endowment for International Performances.


Friday, May 20

at Kuppelsaal, Hannover, Germany with Martin Grubinger, percussion

Saturday, May 21

at Die Glocke, Bremen, Germany, with Daniil Trifonov, piano

Sunday, May 22

at Philharmonie, Berlin, Germany, with Daniil Trifonov, piano

Monday, May 23

at Albertinum, Dresden, Germany, with Daniil Trifonov, piano

Wednesday, May 25

at Alte Oper, Frankfurt, Germany, with Daniil Trifonov, piano

Thursday, May 26

at Musikverein, Vienna Austria, with Martin Grubinger, percussion

Friday, May 27

at Musikverein, Vienna, Austria, with Daniil Trifonov, piano

Saturday, May 28

at Musikverein, Vienna, Austria, matinee with Leonidas Kavakos, violin

Sunday, May 29

at Festival House, Bregenz, Austria, with Daniil Trifonov, piano

Tuesday, May 31

at Musiksaal Stadtcasino, Basel, Switzerland, with Daniil Trifonov, piano

Wednesday, June 1

at Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium, with Daniil Trifonov, piano

Thursday, June 2

at Liederhalle, Stuttgart, Germany, with Daniil Trifonov, piano

Friday, June 3

at Gasteig, Munich, Germany, with Daniil Trifonov, piano

Saturday, June 4

at Gasteig, Munich, Germany, with Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin

Manfred Honeck 2 (credit Felix Broede)Manfred Honeck has served as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008-2009 season. After two extensions, his contract now runs until the end of the 2019-2020 season. To great acclaim, Honeck and his orchestra perform regularly for European audiences. Since 2010, annual tour performances have led them to numerous European music capitals and major music festivals, including Rheingau Musik Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Musikfest Berlin, Grafenegg Festival, Lucerne Festival and the BBC Proms. Several recordings, amongst them Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, which won a 2012 International Classical Music Award, are available on Japanese label Exton. 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. The second recording, of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 and the Symphonic Suite from Janaček’s opera Jenüfa, conceptualized by Honeck himself, followed in summer 2014 and received a Grammy Award nomination. Several additional recordings are completed, and Bruckner No. 4 was released in February 2015 to high critical praise. Born in Austria, Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and at the helm of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. He began his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado in Vienna. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. Other early stations of his career include Leipzig, where he was one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra and Oslo, where he assumed the post of music director at the Norwegian National Opera on short notice for a year and was engaged as principal guest conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for several years. From 2000 to 2006, he was music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm and, from 2008 to 2011, principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, 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 leading international orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome and the Vienna Philharmonic. Orchestras he conducted in the United States include New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. He also is a regular guest at the Verbier Festival. In February 2013, he had his successful debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the direct result of which was a CD recording together with Anne-Sophie Mutter (works of Dvorak). The current season sees returns to Bamberg, Stuttgart, Rome and New York as well as to the Vienna Symphony (a CD of works by the Strauss family was released in summer 2013) and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He also will conduct Tonhalleorchester Zürich and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, amongst others. Honeck has received honorary doctorates from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., and, most recently, from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He has been artistic director of the “International Concerts Wolfegg” in Germany for more than 15 years.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, known for its artistic excellence for more than 119 years, 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. Past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004).  This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1944 and John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast on the airwaves coast-to-coast and in the late 1970s it made the ground breaking PBS series Previn and the Pittsburgh. The orchestra has received increased national attention since 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900—including 37 international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America—the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras.


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