Concert Blog: Celebrating Connections in Spring – Viennese Celebration: Beethoven Piano Concertos

It was a perfect spring night in Pittsburgh to celebrate spring in Vienna at the first performance of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 Viennese Festival.  The orchestra was conducted Music Director Manfred Honeck, and they were joined by Till Fellner who played piano in Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Concerto No.3  in C minor for Piano and […]

Apr 22

Concert Blog: A New Romance: Gustavo Dudamel & the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

On the evening of Friday, April 7 at Heinz Hall, Gustavo Dudamel, perhaps the most recognizable conductor in the world, made his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in lieu of Christoph von Dohnanyi, who canceled his scheduled appearance after suffering an injury. I think it is safe to say that there was the start […]

Apr 17

Concert Blog: The Magic of Gustavo Dudamel with the Pittsburgh Symphony

It’s Thursday and it’s raining. Raining, never-ending raindrops pounding the pavement and my umbrella. Inside it’s dull. So I go back to walk in the rain. At least the birds seem to appreciate the season with their songs, they are prepping for spring and summer mating season. Inside again I play Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude, a […]

Apr 8

Concert Blog: Deftly Extrapolating the Magic of the Exhibition

Sometimes it seems like musicians, or experts in any field, are riding on the spur of the moment. In reality it is us, the audience, who canter into the orchestra hall with high expectations and are riding toward an emotional crescendo when the concert begins. Many of us are not even musicians by training. We […]

Apr 1

Concert Blog: Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel

I first saw The Graduate when I was 17, 25 years after it made “Plastics” a catchphrase for the 1960s zeitgeist. I loved the movie. I loved Mrs. Robinson’s elegant cynicism, Benjamin’s dumbfounded naivete and Elaine’s sweet nonchalance. I most loved the movie for the music it brought me: “Sounds of Silence.” “Scarborough Fair.” “April […]

Mar 25

Concert Blog: Mozart in Pittsburgh with Valčuha and Piemontesi


I begin with a poem written while intently listening to “The Moldau” from Ma Vlast by Smetana. I was surprised that my friend had not heard this composition before. He listens to classical music (perhaps not enough), and his father was born in Hungary, close to Czech Republic. Slowly dancing, sprightly dime, riddled humored tones […]

Mar 12

Concert Blog: Debut conductor Lahav Shani shines

Last weekend the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presented to us an as-yet unfamiliar name in the classical music world — 27-year-old Israeli conductor Lahav Shani. Shani, who is the in­com­ing prin­ci­pal guest con­duc­tor of the Vi­enna Sym­phony Orches­tra and the succeeding main con­duc­tor of the Rot­ter­dam Phil­har­monic, conducted the entire evening without a score. With his exceptional performance […]

Mar 6

Concert Blog: It takes a Heinz Hall village

// It has been a while since we have been here, and we miss our once much more frequent outings to Heinz Hall and the PIttsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The occasion today actually was not the Pittsburgh Symphony, but the young artists who were there for the pre-concert Steinway Young Artists recital. We knew two of […]

Feb 25

Concert Blog: I Know You, We’ve Met Before

Meet the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. 100+ of the finest musicians with skills beyond compare. Tonight they are assembled before us, getting ready to play three selections old and new. They amble in one by one, and begin to warm up. As I approach my seat I see Charles Lirette, co-principal trumpet, again in the audience […]

Feb 11

Concert Blog: A Land of Magic and Mystery in The Sleeping Beauty

To say that you need to experience the glory and emotion that is the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s performance of The Sleeping Beauty this weekend is a poor and almost indescribable understatement. Russian and Scottish influences beautifully compete for your senses as the audience is enveloped into the lives and masterpieces of Prokofiev, MacMillan, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. […]

Feb 11