Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s FUSE@PSO Series Melds Music of Aaron Copland and Bon Iver on January 27

Special Guest Beauty Slap will perform several all-new arrangements of their music with the symphony

FUSE@PSO, the genre-bending early evening concert series presented by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, returns Wednesday, January 27 to Heinz Hall with “Copland + Bon Iver with Special Guest Beauty Slap.”

Series Creative Director Steve Hackman and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will present a mash-up of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring with the music of the Grammy Award-winning American folk group, Bon Iver. Together the two form a beautiful, contemplative and simply gorgeous evening of music, featuring three guest vocalists and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

This concert also boasts a special guest — local Pittsburgh band Beauty Slap, whose special brand of brassy electronic dance music has put them on a meteoric rise. They will perform special arrangements of several of their songs with the Pittsburgh Symphony before finishing out the concert on their own.

At each FUSE concert, Hackman and the Pittsburgh Symphony perform a genre-bending piece that synthesizes a classical composer’s work with a modern artist’s. The 2015-2016 season of FUSE@PSO concerts concludes with “Stravinsky’s Firebird: Remix|Response” on Wednesday, March 9, 2016.

“With FUSE@PSO, I am endeavoring to create a musical forum that doesn’t exist elsewhere but that should exist elsewhere,” says Hackman. “So that when audiences hear the music, they think ‘YES! I am so glad someone is doing this!’”

Along with a fresh take on the concert hall experience, FUSE@PSO provides attendees with a vibrant social atmosphere before the concert with pre-concert beats from DJ Pete Butta, happy hour priced drinks, light snacks for purchase and socializing with musicians and fellow music-lovers. The Copland + Bon Iver performance also features a coloring activity created by cartoonist Joe Wos, a “make your own beer coozy” activity with Society for Contemporary Craft, beer samples from Hop Farm Brewing Company and more!

FUSE@PSO: Copland + Bon Iver with Special Guest Beauty Slap begins at 5 p.m. with a happy hour; the concert begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Tickets are on sale now online at pittsburghsymphony.org/fuse, via phone at 412-392-4900 or in person at the Heinz Hall Box Office. Tickets are general admission and there is no intermission. Drinks are allowed in the concert hall at this performance.

A $150 FUSE+ package includes tickets to the January and March FUSE@PSO concerts plus tickets to two specific BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts, which include unique post-concert receptions featuring food, a cash bar and Fuse Creative Director Steve Hackman. More information on this package can be found at pittsburghsymphony.org/fuse+.

The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank NEXT Pittsburgh for its 2015-2016 media sponsorship of FUSE@PSO.

About the Artists

Steve Hackman_webConductor, composer, arranger, producer and songwriter STEVE HACKMAN is increasingly in demand as one the most compelling artists contributing to a new landscape in classical music. Fluent in both classical and popular repertoire, he crafts virtuosic, cross-genre works and performances that intrigue the established audience and engage an excited new one.

Active across the country as a guest conductor of major symphony orchestras, Hackman presents programs he architects which synthesize orchestral and pop masterworks. His Brahms V. Radiohead interweaves the Brahms’ 1st Symphony with Radiohead’s seminal album OK Computer. He has presented it with the Indianapolis Symphony, Florida Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony and Colorado Music Festival orchestra.  His Beethoven V. Coldplay is a re-imagined Eroica symphony, transforming it into an oratorio using the themes of Coldplay.

In 2015, Hackman continues his role of music director of the Mash-Up series at the Colorado Music Festival. The summer season will include the world premiere of his newest creation Bartok V. Björk, a piece which fuses the former’s Concerto for Orchestra with the latter’s first three albums. Also being presented is a re-worked version of Hackman’s first ever large-scale mash-up Copland V. Bon Iver. Last season’s highlights included the premiere of his Beethoven V. Coldplay and collaborations with My Brightest Diamond, Aoife O’Donovan, Olga Bell (of Dirty Projectors) and San Fermin.

From 2009-2013, Hackman served as co-creative director of the Happy Hour at the Symphony Series with the Indianapolis Symphony, where, along with co-artistic directors Time For Three (TF3), he pioneered a new type of concert experience by producing, arranging/composing and conducting compelling presentations that blended classical with pop. He returns as guest conductor regularly, most recently in spring 2015 premiering a program commissioned by the ISO and Time for Three which combined symphonic movements of Mozart, Beethoven and Dvořák with five contemporary pop songs.

Hackman is the creative director of :STEREO HIDEOUT:, a music brand that represents the removal of barriers between classical and popular music and the skillful blending of the two. In 2014, he released the debut :STEREO HIDEOUT: album “The Radio Nouveau,” along with several music videos. The album was mixed in London by Gareth Jones (Grizzly Bear, Depeche Mode) and mastered in Brooklyn by Joe Lambert (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors). The follow-up album “Down with the Classics” is due in late 2015.

Hackman’s work as a composer and arranger has met with considerable success. The string trio Time for Three and choral ensemble Chanticleer present his works as their showpieces; TF3’s “Chaconne in Winter” highlights their recent release on Universal Records, and Chanticleer’s “Wait Fantasy” can be heard on their recent album “Someone New.” He enjoys a continuing relationship as an arranger for Time for Three, and most recently contributed five new mash-ups to their solo repertoire, two pieces to their holiday EP “Yuletime” (Universal) and arranged the music for their appearance on ABC’s hit show “Dancing with the Stars.” Hackman’s orchestrations for artists like Time for Three, The Five Browns, Michael Cavanaugh, My Brightest Diamond, Arlo Guthrie, Aoife O’Donovan and Joshua Radin have been performed by nearly all the major orchestras in America. This season marked his first collaboration with the world-renowned Tallis Scholars.

Hackman was a four-year member, producer and musical director of the a capella group The Other Guys at the University of Illinois, a group that under his direction placed runner-up in the International Competition of Collegiate Acapella at Avery Fisher Hall. He is a prolific songwriter, having written hundreds of songs and releasing several albums of original music. His song “The Pendulum Song” was chosen among tens of thousands as a finalist in the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Competition, and he has also received honorable mention in the Billboard songwriting competition. He has entertained as a dueling piano player at Howl at the Moon piano bar in Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville. In season 7 of American Idol, Hackman was one of 164 contestants chosen from more than 150,000 to attend Hollywood Week. He finished in the top 64.

Hackman studied conducting under Otto-Werner Mueller and counterpoint/composition under Dr. Ford Lallerstedt at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He subsequently studied conducting with David Zinman at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and received further instruction in orchestration from the prolific Broadway orchestrator and composer William Brohn (“Miss Saigon,” “Wicked,” “Ragtime” and countless others). He served as the assistant conductor of the Reading Symphony for two seasons, where he led subscription, family, education, and New Year’s Eve programs.

Draut, Avery Leigh_webAVERY LEIGH DRAUT is a classically trained singer, song-writer and actress based in Athens, Georgia.  She holds a degree in vocal performance from the University of Georgia, and has toured the United States and Europe in both classical and pop capacities.  During her undergraduate studies, Draut performed numerous roles including: Helene in La belle Helene with the Franco American Vocal Academy in France, Papagena in The Magic Flute and Cinderella in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She was the recipient of several vocal performance and opera scholarships and awards from the University.

Post, Will_webWILL POST is a singer, composer, pianist and creative entrepreneur from Chicago, Illinois. Post started playing piano and writing songs when he was four years old, and through the years has honed his taste and talents in nearly every way possible, from orchestras to a cappella groups, Carnegie Hall to Warped Tour, and everywhere in between. In early 2014, Post released his solo record, Panthenon, an otherworldly concept album four years in the making.

Tayar, Keren_webKÉREN TAYÁR’S diverse musical career began in the theater at age seven — “a little girl with a big voice” — dazzling audiences on many of New York City’s major stages. At 13, Tayár discovered a passion for the guitar and her self-taught skill-set quickly became her primary means for accompaniment and songwriting. Tayár’s two worlds collided during her studies at Berklee College of Music. Her show-stopping performances garnered high praise in musical theatre, and her love for folk, pop, rock and jazz opened avenues in the worlds of songwriting and composition. After partnering with a renowned team in Los Angeles, Tayár’s band Jungle Fires recorded their debut EP, Bliss Point, and several songs are pending placements in major television network shows and films. Tayár actively creates material for many types of musical projects and collaborates with musicians and producers of every kind. She lends her talents as a vocalist and instrumentalist on tours, in studio sessions, in writing projects and in production work. Tayár is in the process of recording her solo album and anticipates its release this summer.

Beauty Slap_webBEAUTY SLAP is an electro-brass-funk machine hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The thunderously funky screams of a brass quartet (two trumpets, two trombones) are twisted and tweaked by Ableton wizard Jakeisrain into sweltering and beat-driving dance music, the likes of which you have never heard before. Since forming barely a year ago, Beauty Slap has enjoyed national attention surrounding their debut EP and northeastern tours. Armed with a powerfully groovy live show and a litany of releases in the near future, the group is poised for complete world domination.

The PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, celebrating its 120th anniversary year in 2016, 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 36 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.

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:

Wednesday, January 27, 6:30 p.m. (Happy hour starts at 5 p.m.)

Heinz Hall
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
FUSE@PSO: COPLAND + BON IVER WITH SPECIAL GUEST BEAUTY SLAP
STEVE HACKMAN, conductor
AVERY LEIGH DRAUT, vocalist
WILL POST, vocalist
KÉREN TAYÁR, vocalist
BEAUTY SLAP, band

Aaron Copland/Justin Vernon (arranged by Steve Hackman):

Copland V. Bon Iver: A mash-up of Aaron Copland’s Suite from Appalachian Spring & the Music of Bon Iver
Ms. Draut
Mr. Post
Ms. Tayár

Jake Berntsen (arranged by Jake Berntsen/Steve Hackman):

Tasty
Beauty Slap

Jake Berntsen (arranged by Jake Berntsen/Steve Hackman):

Exactly
Beauty Slap

Jake Berntsen (arranged by Jake Berntsen/Steve Hackman):

Lucidity
Beauty Slap

Jake Berntsen (arranged by Jake Berntsen/Steve Hackman):

Get Down Stunna
Beauty Slap
Ms. Draut
Mr. Post
Ms. Tayár

 

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Jan 13