Celebrate 50 years of the groundbreaking Beatles album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Classical Mystery Tour on Friday, July 21 at 8 p.m. at Heinz Hall.
This concert, led by Assistant Conductor Andrés Franco, offers many Beatles fans an opportunity that they may never have had — to experience the classic songs of John, Paul, George and Ringo live! The first half of the concert will feature the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album performed in its entirety and the second half will showcase the Beatles’ greatest hits, such as “Come Together,” “Imagine,” “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da” and many others!
The four musicians of Classical Mystery Tour — Jim Owen, Tom Teeley, Tony Kishman and Chris Camilleri —look and sound just like The Beatles, but Classical Mystery Tour is more than just a rock concert. The Beatles tunes have been transcribed note-for-note and are performed exactly as they were originally recorded but are enriched with live trumpet sections, string quartets, orchestral crescendos and more provided by the Pittsburgh Symphony.
About the Artists
Having completed highly successful first seasons as music director of Tulsa’s Signature Symphony at TCC, as well as assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, ANDRÉS FRANCO has established himself as a conductor to watch. While maintaining his roles as principal conductor of the multimedia project Caminos del Inka, and artistic director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s summer festival “Concerts in the Garden,” he continues to delight audiences with his imaginative programming and energetic style.
During the 2016-2017 season, Franco made debuts with the Boise Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Texas Music Festival, and will return to conduct the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. A frequent guest conductor in the United States, Europe and South America, Franco has appeared with the Columbus, Elgin, El Paso, Eugene, Fort Worth, Houston, Lake Forest, Mississippi, Saginaw Bay, Springfield, St. Louis and Stockton symphony orchestras; the Chicago Sinfonietta; Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León/Spain; 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, Grant Park, OK Mozart and Oregon Bach Festivals. Franco formerly served as music director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City, as associate and resident conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony, and as Leonard Slatkin’s assistant conductor during the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
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 works by Latin American composers, such as Jimmy López, Diego Luzuriaga and the famous Argentine composer Ástor 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, associate principal clarinetist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
Since its initial performance at the Orange County Performing Arts Center (now renamed Segerstrom Center for the Arts) in 1996, CLASSICAL MYSTERY TOUR has become the #1 symphony pops attraction over the last decade. The group has been performing consistently for nearly 20 years with more than 100 orchestras in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. The group played to packed houses at the Sydney Opera House, and has performed with America’s most prestigious orchestras: The Cleveland Orchestra, The Boston Pops, The Philadelphia Orchestra and The San Francisco Symphony, among many others.
The Los Angeles Times called Classical Mystery Tour “more than just an incredible simulation…the swelling strings and soaring French horn lines gave the live performance a high goose-bump quotient…the crowd stood and bellowed for more.”
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 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, July 21 at 8 p.m.
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
CLASSICAL MYSTERY TOUR: SGT. PEPPER’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY
ANDRÉS FRANCO, conductor
JIM OWEN, rhythm guitar, piano, vocals
TOM TEELEY, lead guitar, vocals
TONY KISHMAN, bass guitar, piano, vocals
CHRIS CAMILLERI, drums, vocals