Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, pianist Hélène Grimaud to join tour

PITTSBURGH – Music Director Manfred Honeck will lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) on a 12-concert European Festivals Tour presented by BNY Mellon from Aug. 23 to Sept. 12, 2011.

Maestro Honeck will lead the PSO at the prestigious Lucerne Festival in Switzerland (Sept. 3), Berlin Festival in Germany (Sept. 11), as well as concerts in Wiesbaden (Aug. 26) and Hamburg , Germany (Aug. 27), Vilnius, Lithuania (Aug. 29), Paris (Sept. 7). The orchestra also will perform two concerts at the Grafenegg, Austria, on Sept. 1 & 2, at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn on Sept. 9 & 10. Additional performances in the United Kingdom will be announced at a later date.

Violin virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter and acclaimed pianist Hélène Grimaud will join the PSO on tour.

Mutter will appear in Wiesbaden, Hamburg, Vilnius, Grafenegg, Lucerne, the U.K., Bonn and Berlin, playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Wolfgang Rihm’s Gensungene Zeit and Lichtes Spiel, both written for her. Grimaud will appear with the PSO in Grafenegg, the U.K., Paris and Bonn, playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4.

The tour program also will feature Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5, Braunfels’ Fantastic Appearances of a Theme by Hector Berlioz and Wagner’s Prelude to Lohengrin.

“I am thrilled to return to the music capitals in Europe with the Orchestra and Manfred Honeck, who both received tremendous accolades on their previous tour,” PSO President and CEO Lawrence Tamburri said. “Honeck is a master of the core Austro-German repertoire, which historically is part of the PSO heritage.”

“Touring Europe with our wonderful musicians is always a special experience for me,” said Music Director Honeck. “It is fantastic to make music with our world-class orchestra in some of the finest concert halls in the world.”

The PSO would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its presenting sponsorship of the 2011 European Festivals Tour.

“BNY Mellon is proud to be the presenting sponsor of 2011 PSO European Festivals Tour, which showcases the PSO’s formidable artistic talent and bolsters its international reputation among the world’s elite symphony orchestras,” said Vince Sands, Chairman of BNY Mellon of Pennsylvania.

International touring is also made possible, in part, by the Hillman Endowment for International Performance.

The PSO also is continuing its partnership, now entering in its sixth year, with the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance to promote the Pittsburgh region in Europe.

“We are excited to join forces with BNY Mellon and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance yet again,” Tamburri said. “The Pittsburgh region routinely gets chosen as one of the most livable areas in the United States and we are honored to serve as ambassadors and tell the world about this great region.”

“A city and region of bridges, Pittsburgh has become internationally recognized for creating partnerships that are, in fact, bridges connecting us to the world. The partnership with the PSO is just one example of how diverse organizations and individuals come together to introduce this exceptional live-work-play destination,” said PRA President Dewitt Peart.

“Showcasing the PSO, one of our best cultural assets, and engaging with global business leaders let us nurture established relationships and build new friendships that bring investment to our region. The PRA is excited to return to Europe, promoting the opportunities for international business investment in southwestern Pennsylvania. In fact, CEOs of companies abroad have been asking, ‘When are you coming back?’ The anticipation seems to be mutual,” Peart said.

Here’s what some of the tour presenters are saying about the PSO:

Rudolf Buchbinder, Grafenegg :

As Artistic Director of the Grafenegg-Festival , it is a great honour to welcome the Pittsburgh Symphony for the first time in Grafenegg . I remember playing the 2nd Brahms Concerto with Lorin Maazel in Pittsburgh and I am glad, that my admiration for this wonderful Orchestra has succeeded in inviting the Pittsburgh Symphony with one of my absolute favourite conductors, your great music director Manfred Honeck to Grafenegg . I am sure, your concerts will be an enrichment for our audience and we all look forward to your performances.

Ilona Schmiel, Beethovenfest Bonn:

I am very much looking forward to welcoming back Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with their chief conductor Manfred Honeck at Beethovenfest Bonn after their first and very successful performance in 2009. They overwhelmed us with their very specific sound, a mixture of European string sound, shaped by Manfred Honeck, and the American wind tradition. Especially their interpretation of Beethoven’s violin concerto with Viktoria Mullova was very intensive and impressive. For Beethovenfest Bonn 2011 we set up a short residency with outstanding programmes at the opening weekend. I am very proud that Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra together with Anne-Sophie Mutter will play the opening concert of this year’s festival on 9 September. On 10 September Hélène Grimaud, “artist in residence” of Beethovenfest Bonn 2010, will be the soloist.

Emmanuel Hondré, Salle Pleyel Paris:

The Salle Pleyel, managed by Laurent Bayle, is pleased and proud to host the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in September 2011, with Hélène Grimaud as soloist. This orchestra is one of the greatest American orchestras because, in our opinion, it combines strength and subtlety in very extensive repertoires. Certainly, it’s in the field of romantic music that it excels, thanks to the incredible talent of Manfred Honeck who knew how to share with this orchestra his vivid heritage sensitive to the great Viennese tradition.

Michael Haefliger, Lucerne Festival

Since the early 1960’s, we have had a wonderful relationship and excellent experiences with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Our most recent experience was a huge success when, in September 2009, Manfred Honeck and the PSO played the final concerts of Lucerne Festival. We now eagerly anticipate their return on September 3rd 2011, when they will be joined by the outstanding soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter. We are especially delighted with their Program featuring the Swiss premiere of “Lichtes Spiel” by Wolfgang Rihm, Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s Violin Concerto in E-minor and Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony.

Winrich Hopp Artistic Director musikfest berlin / Berliner Festspiele

Remarkably, it has already been 12 years since the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra made its last appearance in Berlin. Time for a new invitation, a new encounter with this legendary American orchestra at musikfest berlin 11, part of the Berliner Festspiele, at the Berlin Philharmonic this September 11th. We look forward to hosting musical director Manfred Honeck, the magnificent soloist Anne Sophie Mutter, and the innovative Pittsburgh Symphony in their presentation of an ear- and heart-rousing program: the Lohengrin Prelude, Wolfgang Rihm’s violin concerto written for the magic energy of Mutter’s animated playing, Gesungene Zeit, as well as Gustav Mahler’s 5th Symphony. An outstanding program of the first order and an affirmation of the music of our times. Berlin eagerly awaits Anne Sophie Mutter, Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Welcome to the Berlin Philharmonie!


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