Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Music Director Manfred Honeck welcomes pianist Daniil Trifonov back to the Heinz Hall stage for an encore performance in the BNY Mellon Grand Classics program “Tchaikovsky!,” featuring works by Haydn, Liszt and, of course, Tchaikovsky.
The Friday and Sunday concerts will feature Trifonov performing Liszt’s Concerto No.1, an unconventional showpiece that displays Trifonov’s accomplished skill and dexterity in a one-movement presentation. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, known for its opening fanfare, melancholy oboe solo and magnificent finale, will be included in every concert of the weekend. On Saturday, the orchestra alters the program to pair Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 with his Symphony No. 5, a work that, like the fourth symphony, uses a theme to express the composer’s outlook on life, which had grown with newfound understanding of destiny and divine guidance.
Trifonov will be joining the Pittsburgh Symphony for its European Tour in May, performing at 10 concerts during the tour. The Liszt Concerto is one of the pieces he will perform with the orchestra in Europe.
A pre-concert talk, open to all ticket holders and led by Assistant Conductor Andrés Franco, will occur on stage one hour before each concert. Program notes for the weekend are available online at pittsburghsymphony.org/tchaikovsky and on the PSO mobile app the day of the concert.
During the weekend, beginning one hour before concert time, student musicians will perform in the Grand Lobby of Heinz Hall. This weekend, Young Steinway Artists will perform before each concert. These performances are free to ticketholders.
The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $20 to $94, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/tchaikovsky.
The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2015-2016 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. Radio station WQED-FM 89.3 and WQEJ-FM89.7 is the official voice of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
About the Artists
MANFRED HONECK has served as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008-2009 season. Together with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Honeck’s widely celebrated performances and distinctive interpretations continue to receive international recognition. To great acclaim, Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra regularly perform in major music capitals and festivals, among them the BBC Proms, Musikfest Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Grafenegg Festival, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have also built a close relationship with the Musikverein in Vienna. Following a week-long residency in 2012, they will return once again for three performances in the course of an extensive tour of Europe in spring 2016.
Honeck’s successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been extensively documented on recordings with the Reference and Exton labels. The first SACD released by Reference Records of Strauss tone poems, drew rave reviews. The second recording, of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 and the Symphonic Suite from Janáček’s opera Jenůfa, conceptualized by Honeck himself, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 was released in February 2015 to critical acclaim, including a second Grammy nomination, and Beethoven 5 & 7 was released in November 2015. The next recording, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 and a suite of Dvořák’s Rusalka, will be released on May 13. Several recordings, among them Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, which won a 2012 International Classical Music Award, are also available on the Japanese label Exton.
As a guest conductor, Honeck has worked with the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome. In the United States, Honeck has conducted the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. He is also a regular guest at the Verbier Festival. In 2013, Honeck gave his successful debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, resulting in a CD recording of Dvořák together with Anne-Sophie Mutter for Deutsche Grammophon, which received an Echo Klassik award in 2014. The 2015-2016 season sees him return to Bamberg, Stuttgart, Rome, Stockholm and New York, as well as the Munich Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, among others.
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. Honeck 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. Honeck was one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig and in Oslo, he assumed the post of music director at the Norwegian National Opera and was engaged as principal guest conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. 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 resumed for another three years at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season.
From 2007 to 2011, Honeck was music director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart where he conducted premieres including Berlioz’s Les Troyens, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Verdi’s Aida, Richard Strauss’s Rosenkavalier, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and Wagner’s Lohengrin and Parsifal, as well as numerous symphonic concerts. His operatic guest appearances include Semperoper Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Opera of Copenhagen, the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg and the Salzburg Festival.
Honeck has received honorary doctorates from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and, most recently, from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Moreover, he has been artistic director of the “International Concerts Wolfegg” in Germany for more than 20 years.
Russian pianist DANIIL TRIFONOV has made a spectacular ascent to classical music stardom since winning First Prize at both the Tchaikovsky and Rubinstein competitions in 2011 at the age of 20. Combining consummate technique with rare sensitivity and depth, his performances are a perpetual source of awe. “He has everything and more … tenderness and also the demonic element. I never heard anything like that,” stated pianist Martha Argerich, while the Financial Times observes, “What makes him such a phenomenon is the ecstatic quality he brings to his performances. … Small wonder every western capital is in thrall to him.”
Following the August release of Rachmaninoff Variations — his second title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, recorded with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin — Trifonov remains focused on his compatriot’s music in the 2015-2016 season. He plays complete concerto cycles at the New York Philharmonic’s Rachmaninoff Festival and with London’s Philharmonia Orchestra; Rachmaninoff’s Third for debuts with the Berlin Staatskapelle and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, where he headlines the prestigious Nobel Prize Concert, and with both the Orchestre National de Lyon and the Munich Philharmonic under Valery Gergiev; Rachmaninoff’s Fourth for his subscription debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Rachmaninoff’s Second on an Asian tour with the Czech Philharmonic. Prokofiev’s Third is the vehicle for his debut with the Montreal Symphony, on an extensive North American tour, and Prokofiev’s Second for dates with the Orchestre National de France and the London Symphony Orchestra under Alan Gilbert. He also performs Chopin’s Second with the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, Tchaikovsky’s First with the La Scala Orchestra, and Liszt’s First with the Pittsburgh Symphony, at home and on a 10-stop North European tour. An accomplished composer, it is also with the Pittsburgh Symphony that he reprises his own acclaimed concerto. Besides making his recital debut in Los Angeles, Trifonov undertakes an extensive European recital tour that includes stops in the principal venues of Vienna, Berlin, Geneva, Paris, Rome, Lisbon, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. He looks forward to residencies in Lugano, Switzerland, and at London’s Wigmore Hall, where he collaborates on piano duos with his former teacher, pianist Sergei Babayan, and on violin and piano duos with Gidon Kremer, whom he rejoins for concertos at the Cologne Philharmonic.
Last season, Trifonov made debuts with the Atlanta, Dallas, Seattle and Toronto Symphonies and returned to orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Washington’s National Symphony and London’s Philharmonia. For his second appearance at the BBC Proms with the London Symphony and on a Japanese tour with the Mariinsky Orchestra, his conductor was Valery Gergiev, with whom he reunited to open the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. The pianist toured a solo recital program to such key venues as London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris, Tokyo’s Opera City, Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica, and New York’s Carnegie Hall, to which he returned as the final stop on a U.S. duo recital tour with violinist Gidon Kremer.
In 2012-2013, Trifonov made debuts with all the “Big Five” orchestras: the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and Philadelphia Orchestra; with European ensembles including Rome’s Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and London’s Royal Philharmonic; and at London’s BBC Proms. The following season, he collaborated with 19 of the world’s foremost orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Washington, San Francisco and London.
Since making solo recital debuts at Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Japan’s Suntory Hall and the Salle Pleyel in Paris in the 2012-2013 season, Trifonov has given solo recitals at venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Boston’s Celebrity Series, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw (Master Piano Series), Berlin’s Philharmonie (the Kammermusiksaal), Munich’s Herkulessaal, Bavaria’s Schloss Elmau, Zurich’s Tonhalle, the Lucerne Piano Festival, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris and the Seoul Arts Center.
Last season saw the release of Trifonov: The Carnegie Recital, the pianist’s first recording as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist; captured live at his sold-out 2013 Carnegie Hall recital debut, the album scored both an ECHO Klassik Award and a Grammy nomination. His discography also features a Chopin album for Decca and a recording of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra on the ensemble’s own label.
It was during the 2010-2011 season that Trifonov won medals at three of the music world’s most prestigious competitions, taking Third Prize in Warsaw’s Chopin Competition, First Prize in Tel Aviv’s Rubinstein Competition, and both First Prize and Grand Prix — an additional honor bestowed on the best overall competitor in any category — in Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Competition. In 2013 he was also awarded the prestigious Franco Abbiati Prize for Best Instrumental Soloist by Italy’s foremost music critics.
Born in Nizhny Novgorod in 1991, Trifonov began his musical training at the age of five, and went on to attend Moscow’s Gnessin School of Music as a student of Tatiana Zelikman, before pursuing his piano studies with Sergei Babayan at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has also studied composition, and continues to write for piano, chamber ensemble and orchestra. When he premiered his own piano concerto in 2013, the Cleveland Plain Dealer marveled: “Even having seen it, one cannot quite believe it. Such is the artistry of pianist-composer Daniil Trifonov.”
The PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, celebrating 120 years of music in the 2015-2016 season, 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 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:
Friday, May 6 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 7 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 8 at 2:30 p.m.
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
BNY MELLON GRAND CLASSICS: Tchaikovsky!
MANFRED HONECK, conductor
DANIIL TRIFONOV, piano
Symphony No. 93 in D major (Friday and Sunday only)
Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major for Piano and Orchestra (Friday and Sunday only)
Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Opus 36 (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
I. Andante sostenuto
II. Andantino in modo di canzona
III. Scherzo: Pizzicato ostinato
IV. Finale: Allegro con fuoco
Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Opus 64 (Saturday night only)
I. Andante – Allegro con anima
II. Andante cantabile con alcuna licenza
III. Valse: Allegro moderato
IV. Finale: Andante maestoso – Allegro vivace