Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Welcomes Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo to Heinz Hall

Benatar and GiraldoRock ’n roll legends Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo join the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on stage for a night of symphonic rock at Heinz Hall on June 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Benatar and Giraldo have thrilled audiences for over three decades with rock hits like “We Belong,” “Love Is a Battlefield” and “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” The powerful dynamic between the vocalist and guitarist shines through their various accolades. Benatar won four consecutive Grammy awards in the 1980s and continues to be a top female rock vocalist. Giraldo wrote and arranged more than 100 songs for Benatar, along with hits for many other artists. Benatar and Giraldo were the first female and first guitarist to appear on MTV with their video for “You Better Run,” from the Grammy-winning album “Crimes of Passion.” Approaching 38 years together, the partners still tour every summer. This performance, conducted by Arnie Roth, marks the premiere of Benatar and Giraldo’s symphonic rock concert.

Tickets for Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra range in price from $39 to $450 and can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or by visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/benatar.

About the Artists

PAT BENATAR always has been a rule-breaker and a trail-blazer, she remains a bold and distinctive artist both on stage and on record, and now, after more than three decades in rock ’n roll, she’s a bona fide living legend. A four-time Grammy winner, Benatar is a classically trained mezzo-soprano. During the 1980s, Benatar, together with her husband and collaborator, Neil Giraldo, had two RIAA-certified Multi-Platinum albums, five RIAA-certified Platinum albums, three RIAA-certified Gold albums and 19 Top 40 singles, including the Top 10 hits, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Love Is a Battlefield,” “We Belong” and “Invincible.” During the early days of MTV, Pat and Neil were two of the most heavily played artists on the popular music channel. The duo’s hits continue to be as unforgettable now as they were at the dawn of MTV, when they first emerged, fearless, fighting, and forging a path for other female rock stars around the world. Benatar is acknowledged as the leading female rock vocalist of the ’80s – a feat marked by her unprecedented winning of four consecutive Grammy Awards between 1980 and 1983, as well as three American Music Awards – but Benatar and Giraldo remain a rock ’n roll powerhouse today, selling out concerts and still wowing audiences after over three decades in music together. Theirs is a chemistry that will, undoubtedly, be thrilling music-lovers forever.

NEIL “SPYDER” JAMES GIRALDO has been a professional musician, producer, arranger and songwriter for over four decades, changing the face of the pop charts throughout the 1980s with his collaborator, muse and wife, Pat Benatar. More than just an explosive steel bending guitar player, Giraldo’s innovative vision helped him create the signature Benatar sound, from its inception. His impressive back catalog includes more than 100 songs written, produced, arranged and recorded for Benatar, as well as many hits he helped create for John Waite, Rick Springfield (Grammy-winning classic “Jessie’s Girl” and Top 10 hit “I’ve Done Everything For You” included), Kenny Loggins (Top 20 hit “Don’t Fight It” – also Grammy-nominated), Steve Forbert, The Del Lords, Beth Hart and countless others. In spring 1979, producer and writer Mike Chapman introduced Giraldo to Benatar and the duo was able to match the same fire power and inspire each other. Shortly afterwards, the world was introduced to Giraldo and Benatar’s enduring partnership and rock ’n roll love affair via her platinum 1979 debut album, In The Heat of the Night, which included the classic “Heartbreaker,” as well as the Giraldo-penned hit, “We Live For Love.” Giraldo and Benatar took over radios, TVs, jukeboxes, turntables and car stereos around the world, throughout the 1980s and beyond, exciting fans and selling millions of copies of their 12 original albums, as well as two live records and an anthology. Today, Giraldo’s career is as dynamic as ever, as he is in the process of completing two books – one an auto-biographical novel, one a coffee table book — as well performing in a new band project with Scott Kempner from the Del Lords/Dictators. He is also further expanding his Bel Chiasso entertainment company, which develops a variety of television and film projects. In addition, he has also opened up his large vault of unreleased, unfinished songs and will be completing and releasing various new tracks with Benatar, as well as with other artists, in the coming months. Whether, it’s in support of the vocal, or a guitar solo, or jumping from piano to guitar and back again, Giraldo’s gift is knowing how to always up the power in a song, increase the excitement and keep himself and Benatar as creative as they’ve ever been.

A classically trained violinist, conductor, composer, producer and Grammy award-winning artist, ARNIE ROTH performs across a wide array of musical genres. Roth has performed with a host of artists, including Il Divo, Diana Ross, Jewel, The Three Tenors, The Irish Tenors, Charlotte Church, Josh Groban, Patrick Stewart, Branford Marsalis, Peter Cetera and Andrea Bocelli. He is also a long-time member of the Grammy award-winning group Mannheim Steamroller. Orchestras that Roth has conducted include the London Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Nashville Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, BBC Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Joffrey Ballet, Ravinia Festival, Tokyo Philharmonic, the Colorado Symphony, the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln and the Sydney Symphony. Roth brought critical acclaim to the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra as music director and principal conductor showcasing artists including Michael Feinstein, Linda Eder, Art Garfunkel, Linda Ronstadt, Wynonna Judd, Judy Collins, the Beach Boys and Johnny Mathis. Under his direction, the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra appeared in a nationally broadcast PBS Special featuring The Irish Tenors.

Roth was the music director and conductor of the national concert tour “Dear Friends: music from FINAL FANTASY.” In 2006, Roth conducted the new “VOICES: music from FINAL FANTASY” concert in Tokyo with the Tokyo Philharmonic. He then became the principal conductor and music director of PLAY! A Video Game Symphony featuring music from blockbuster video games such as FINAL FANTASY®, World of Warcraft®, Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind™, Halo and Battlefield 1942™. As both producer and music director, Roth premiered “Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY” in December 2007 with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic in Sweden. The release of “Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY” recorded by Roth and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic coincided with the start of the “Distant Worlds” 2008 world-tour. Distant Worlds continues to thrill audiences around the world with upcoming performances in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, and has had additional successful releases with “Distant Worlds II: more music from FINAL FANTASY” CD and the live performance DVD “Distant Worlds; music from FINAL FANTASY – Returning Home” and “Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY – The Celebration.” “Distant Worlds; music from FINAL FANTASY” is now in its seventh year touring the world, and continues to set box office records around the world. The 2014 performance at Royal Albert Hall (London) sold out in just two hours. Roth and AWR Music Productions continue their highly successful relationship with SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD.

As music director, conductor and arranger, Roth was involved in a number of PBS specials including Charlotte Church: Enchantment – From Cardiff, Wales for Sony; The Irish Tenors: Heritage; the WTTW Soundstage shows featuring Jewel, Peter Cetera and Symphony, An Evening with Dennis DeYoung, Lyle Lovett, Randy Newman, Michael McDonald and the Doobie Brothers; and WTTW’s Four Seasons in Chicago. In 2006, he was the music director and conductor for a 10- part television series for RTE featuring the Irish Tenors. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show many times, conducting Il Divo, and appeared on the Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Oprah and many more international television and radio broadcasts.

Roth’s talents extend into the area of film production and composition as well. He was commissioned by Gerald Arpino, founder and a choreographer of the Joffrey Ballet, to write an original composition for a new Arpino ballet premiered in Chicago that he conducted. He produced and conducted music for the Robert Altman film “The Company,” and was the producer, composer, conductor and arranger for the CGI animated films from Mattel Entertainment: “Barbie™ in The Nutcracker,” “Barbie™ as Rapunzel,” “Barbie™ of Swan Lake,” “Barbie™ in The Princess and the Pauper Movie,” “Barbie™ in The Magic of Pegasus,” “Barbie™ Sings! Princess Movie Collection CD,” “Barbie™ in the Twelve Dancing Princesses,” “Island Princess Barbie,” “Barbie™ and the Diamond Castle” and “Barbie™ in A Christmas Carol.” Roth won the Best Score Award at the 2003 DVD Premier Awards for his score for the film “Barbie™ as Rapunzel,” and was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 for his original song “Shine” from the movie “Barbie™ in The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” 2007 also marked the premiere of Roth’s first live concert creation with Mattel. “Barbie™ at the Symphony” is a special film with orchestra presentation of the best-selling Barbie™ Princess movies. This was followed by a second live concert production under license with Mattel, “Barbie™ in the Nutcracker.”

He has produced and conducted music for many films, and has produced dozens of best-selling CDs, released on American Gramaphone, JVC, Mattel, Warner Bros., Sony, Koch and Razor & Tie.

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:

Thursday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Heinz Hall
NEIL GIRALDO, guitar and piano
ARNIE ROTH, conductor

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