The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra offers the perfect close to the Summer with the Symphony season with Classical Mixer: “1812 Overture” & More! on Saturday, July 23 at Heinz Hall.
Festivities start at 6 p.m. with live chamber music, a trivia contest (for chances to win exciting prizes throughout the evening) and drink specials followed by an hour-long concert highlighting favorites from the 2016-2017 BNY Mellon Grand Classics season — including Beethoven, Brahms, Bernstein and Composer of the Year Sir James MacMillan. This family friendly concert will include “behind the scenes” stories from the musicians told from the stage, among other surprises. The concert concludes with Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” a favorite classical work for the summer! As the sun goes down, enjoy post-concert fun and jazz in the Heinz Hall Garden.
The evening begins with a happy hour at 6 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are general admission and are $30. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/summer.
About the Artists
Music director of Tulsa’s Signature Symphony at TCC and assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, ANDRÉS FRANCO has established himself as a conductor to watch. Currently in his fifth season as principal conductor of the multimedia project Caminos del Inka and his third season as artistic director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Festival, “Concerts in the Garden,” he received a rave review for his recent subscription debut with that orchestra from Scott Cantrell in the Dallas Morning News: “Mr. Franco got a degree of finesse and expressive sophistication I’d never heard from the orchestra.”
A frequent guest conductor in the U.S., Europe and South America, Franco has appeared with the Elgin, El Paso, Eugene, Lake Forest, Mississippi, Springfield and Stockton symphony orchestras, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León/Spain and the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, as well as with the National Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic, Medellin Philharmonic and EAFIT Symphony Orchestra in Colombia. Festival appearances include the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Wintergreen Music Festival in Virginia. Franco formerly served as music director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City (2004-2010), associate and resident conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony (2009-2014), and Leonard Slatkin’s assistant conductor during the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (2013).
A native of Colombia, Franco is dedicated to preserving and performing the music of the Americas. As principal conductor of Caminos del Inka, he has led many performances of Latin American music by composers of our time, such as Jimmy López, Diego Luzuriaga and the popular Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla.
Born into a musical family, Franco began piano studies with his father, Jorge Franco. An accomplished pianist, he studied with Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jose Feghali and attended piano workshops with Rudolph Buchbinder in Switzerland and Lev Naumov in France. He studied conducting with Marin Alsop, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Helmut Rilling, Gerard Schwarz and Leonard Slatkin. Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as Master of Music degrees in piano performance and conducting from Texas Christian University. Franco is married to Victoria Luperi, principal clarinetist in the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
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, popular touring artists, comedians, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit heinzhall.org.
Editors please note:
Saturday, July 23 at 7:30 p.m. (Pre-concert activities begin at 6 p.m.)
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CLASSICAL MIXER: “1812 OVERTURE” & MORE
ANDRÉS FRANCO, conductor