The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Manfred Honeck are celebrating legendary pianist Rudolf Buchbinder’s birthday at the BNY Mellon Grand Classics: Buchbinder Birthday Concert on April 28 at Heinz Hall, as part of the two-week Spring Viennese Festival.
One of the world’s foremost pianists, Buchbinder celebrates his 70th year by performing not one, but three concerti — Haydn’s Concerto in D major, a melodic masterpiece; Mozart’s serene Piano Concerto No. 20 K. 466, a favorite of the composer; and Beethoven’s last piano concerto, the “Emperor,” a grandiose “symphonic concerto.”
A pre-concert talk, open to all ticketholders, with Assistant Conductor Andrés Franco will occur on stage one hour before each concert. On Friday, the Center for Young Musicians will perform one hour before concert start time, and, on Sunday, a group of strings students will perform in the Grand Lobby of Heinz Hall. Both pre-concert presentations are free and open to ticketholders.
Program notes for the weekend are available online at pittsburghsymphony.org/Buchbinder and on the PSO mobile app the day of the concert.
The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 28, 2017. Tickets, ranging in price from $20 to $94, are available through the Heinz Hall Box Office by phone at 412-392-4900 or online at pittsburghsymphony.org/Buchbinder.
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-FM 89.7 is the official voice of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
About the Artists
Renowned 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 Recordings, most recently Strauss’ Elektra and Der Rosenkavalier suites, 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.
One of today’s legendary performers, RUDOLF BUCHBINDER has appeared in concert all over the world with renowned orchestras and conductors for more than 50 years. Around his 70th birthday in the 2016-2017 concert season, this versatile artist is celebrated in such prestigious venues as the Carnegie Hall in New York, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Musikverein in Vienna and the Berlin Philharmonie. Other highlights of this anniversary season are tours with the Vienna Philharmonic under the batons of Zubin Mehta and Franz Welser-Möst, as well as concerts with the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Berliner Philharmoniker led by Christian Thielemann. At the invitation of Mariss Jansons, Buchbinder is artist in residence with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. He has an especially close relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which named him an honorary member in 2016.
Buchbinder’s repertoire ranges from Bach to contemporary music. He has documented this broad artistic range with more than 100 recordings, many of which have won awards. His readings of the works of Ludwig van Beethoven, in particular, have set new standards. With his cyclic performances of the 32 Beethoven sonatas, he has contributed significantly to the development of the performance history of these works.
To date, he has performed this cycle more than 50 times in places including Berlin, Buenos Aires, Dresden, Milan, Beijing, St. Petersburg, Zurich and four times each in Vienna, and Munich. In 2014, he became the first pianist to perform all Beethoven sonatas during one summer season at the Salzburg Festival. The Salzburg cycle was recorded live and released on DVD.
A recent CD release is the recording of Mozart piano concertos with the Staatskapelle Dresden, directed by Buchbinder from the piano. A live recording of Brahms’ two piano concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta was released on DVD and CD in 2016.
Buchbinder’s readings are based on meticulous study of source material. An avid collector of historic scores, he owns 39 complete editions of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. Furthermore, his library contains an extensive collection of first prints, original editions and copies of Brahms’ two original piano concerto scores.
Buchbinder has been the artistic director of the Grafenegg Festival since its founding in 2007. Under his leadership, it has developed into one of Europe’s foremost festivals for orchestral music.
Buchbinder has published two books: his autobiography “Da Capo,” as well as “My Beethoven – Life With the Master.”
For further information please visit the homepage www.buchbinder.net.
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, April 28, at 8 p.m.
BNY MELLON GRAND CLASSICS: Buchbinder Birthday Concert
MANFRED HONECK, conductor
RUDOLF BUCHBINDER, piano
Franz Joseph Haydn:
Concerto in D major for Piano and Orchestra
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Concerto No. 20 in D minor for Piano and Orchestra, K. 466
III. Rondo: Allegro assai
Ludwig Van Beethoven:
Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 73,”Emperor”
II. Adagio un poco mosso
III. Rondo: Allegro