Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Opens BNY Mellon Grand Classics Season with Pinchas Zukerman

Composer of the Year Sir James MacMillan joins symphony
for opening weekend

Music Director Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra open the 2016-2017 BNY Mellon Grand Classics season with legendary violinist Pinchas Zukerman and Composer of the Year James MacMillan on October 7 and 9 at Heinz Hall.

Zukerman, who recently performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony during its residency at the Aspen Music Festival and School, will dazzle in Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, famously described by the violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim as the “richest and most seductive” of all the violin concertos.

MacMillan’s bustling, patriotic orchestral fantasy Britannia kicks off the Scottish composer’s tenure as Composer of the Year with the Pittsburgh Symphony during the 2016-2017 season. This piece is a kaleidoscopic collection of march tunes, Irish reels, jigs and even a Cockney drinking song.

The concert concludes with the colorful “Enigma Variations,” in honor of the night nearly 100 years ago to the day when composer Edward Elgar himself led the Pittsburgh Symphony in this very work. Composed of 14 variations on an original theme, Elgar dedicated this work to “my friends pictured within,” as each variation was a musical sketch of one of his close acquaintances, including his wife, his publisher and even himself.

A pre-concert talk, open to all ticketholders and led by Assistant Conductor Andrés Franco, will occur on stage one hour before each concert. MacMillan will join Franco to discuss his work with a particular focus on Britannia. Program notes for the weekend are available online at pittsburghsymphony.org/Zukerman and on the PSO mobile app the day of the concert.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday 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/Zukerman

The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2016-2017 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 --« Felix Broede_webRenowned for his distinctive interpretations, MANFRED HONECK has served as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008-2009 season. He and the orchestra are consistently recognized for their performances and are celebrated both in Pittsburgh and abroad. To great acclaim, they 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 the Musikverein in Vienna. This successful collaboration has also been extensively documented on recordings. The SACDs released by Reference Records, most recently Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, have received numerous rave reviews, as well as two Grammy Award nominations.

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 have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. He began his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado and was subsequently engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where earned the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. Other early posts include Leipzig, where he was one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra, and Oslo, where he was appointed principal guest conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. He went on to become music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm and principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2007 to 2011, Honeck was music director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart, where he conducted premieres of operas by Berlioz, Mozart, Verdi, Strauss, Poulenc and Wagner. Other operatic guest appearances include Semperoper Dresden, Royal Opera of Copenhagen and the Salzburg Festival.

As a guest conductor Honeck has worked with the world’s leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, 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 has been artistic director of the International Concerts Wolfegg in Germany for more than 20 years.

Honeck has received honorary doctorates from St. Vincent College, Carnegie Mellon University and the Catholic University of America. Most recently, he was awarded the title of honorary professor by the Austrian federal president.

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PINCHAS ZUKERMAN has remained a phenomenon in the world of music for over four decades. His musical genius, prodigious technique and unwavering artistic standards are a marvel to audiences and critics. Devoted to the next generation of musicians, he has inspired younger artists with his magnetism and passion. His enthusiasm for teaching has resulted in innovative programs in London, New York, China, Israel and Ottawa. The name Pinchas Zukerman is equally respected as violinist, violist, conductor, pedagogue and chamber musician.

Zukerman’s 2016-2017 season, his eighth as principal guest conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and his second as artist-in-association with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, includes more than 100 concerts worldwide. In January 2017, he serves as artistic director of the Winter Festival for three weeks of concerts and educational residency activities with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Guest conducting and soloist engagements include the Cleveland Orchestra and Boston, Pittsburgh and Montreal Symphonies, plus overseas appearances with the Berlin and Israel Philharmonics, Camerata Salzburg, Sydney Symphony, Korean Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and Miyazaki Festival Orchestra. European recitals with pianist Yefim Bronfman and chamber concerts with the Zukerman Trio round out the season.

Over the last decade, Zukerman has become as equally regarded a conductor as he is an instrumentalist, leading many of the world’s top ensembles in a wide variety of the orchestral repertoire’s most demanding works. A devoted and innovative pedagogue, Zukerman chairs the Pinchas Zukerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music, where he has pioneered the use of distance-learning technology in the arts. In Canada, where he served as music director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra from 1999 to 2015, he established the NAC Institute for Orchestra Studies and the Summer Music Institute encompassing the Young Artists, Conductors and Composers programs. He currently serves as conductor emeritus of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, as well as artistic director of its Young Artist Program.

Born in Tel Aviv in 1948, Zukerman came to America in 1962 where he studied at The Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian. He has been awarded the Medal of Arts, the Isaac Stern Award for Artistic Excellence and was appointed as the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative’s first instrumentalist mentor in the music discipline.  Zukerman’s extensive discography contains more than 100 titles, and has earned him two Grammy Awards and 21 nominations. His complete recordings for Deutsche Grammophon and Philips were released in July 2016, in a 22-disc set spanning baroque, classical and romantic concertos and chamber music. Fall 2016 sees the Analekta release of Baroque Treasury with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, cellist Amanda Forsyth and oboist Charles Hamann in works by Handel, Bach, Vivaldi Telemann and Tartini. Other recent releases include Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 and Double Concerto with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Forsyth, recorded in live performances at Ottawa’s Southam Hall, and an album of works by Elgar and Vaughan Williams with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 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), André 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. Its “Pittsburgh Live!” series with Reference Recordings has resulted in back-to-back Grammy Award nominations in 2015 and 2016. 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 hosts many 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:

Friday, October 7, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, October 9, at 2:30 p.m.

Heinz Hall
BNY MELLON GRAND CLASSICS: OPENING WEEKEND: PINCHAS ZUKERMAN!
MANFRED HONECK, conductor
PINCHAS ZUKERMAN, violin

James MacMillan:

Britannia

Max Bruch:

Concerto No. 1 in G minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 26

I. Prelude: Allegro moderato
II. Adagio
III. Finale: Allegro energico

Mr. Zukerman

Intermission

Edward Elgar:

Variations on an Original Theme, Opus 36 “Enigma Variations”

Enigma: Andante
Variations:
I. “C.A.E.” L’istesso tempo
II. “H.D.S.- P.” Allegro
III. “R.B.T.” Allegretto
IV. “W.M.B.” Allegro di molto
V. “R.P.A.” Moderato
VI. “Ysobel” Andantino
VII. “Troyte” Presto
VIII. “W.N.” Allegretto
IX. “Nimrod” Moderato
X. “Dorabella – Intermezzo” Allegretto
XI. “G.R.S.” Allegro di molto
XII. “B.G.N.” Andante
XIII. “*** – Romanza” Moderato
XIV. “E.D.U.” – Finale



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