American pianist Jonathan Biss is soloist

PITTSBURGH – Guest Conductor Andris Nelsons returns to Heinz Hall to lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) in BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts featuring guest pianist Jonathan Biss.

Nelsons appeared at Heinz Hall twice before, most recently in November 2009. Biss last appeared with the PSO in Pittsburgh in March 2010.

The BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts will be held at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 25, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 27. Tickets range from $20 to $93 and can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or by visiting the PSO online at

The program will include Felix Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides Overture, “Fingal’s Cave”; Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. The Hebrides Overture was inspired by Mendelssohn’s travels through Scotland and the music and cadenza of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 are extravagant and powerful.

The stories on which Rimsky-Korsakov based Scheherazade were taken from One Thousand and One Nights, a collection of millennium-old fantasy tales from Egypt, Persia and India which had been gathered together, translated into French, and published in many installments by Antoine Galland beginning in 1704. They were in large part responsible for exciting a fierce passion for turquerie and chinoiserie among the fashionable classes of Europe later in the century.

The PSO would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for their 2010-2011 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Bobby Rahal Automotive Group is the Official Automotive Group of the PSO. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the Official Hotel of the PSO.

Andris Nelsons is one of the most sought-after young conductors on the international scene today, earning himself a distinguished name both on the opera and concert podiums. In 2008, Nelsons was appointed as Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and has enjoyed a critically acclaimed first two seasons. He was recipient of the prestigious Latvian Grand Music Award for outstanding achievement in music in 2001.

American pianist Jonathan Biss, widely regarded for his artistry and deeply felt interpretations, has won international recognition for his orchestral, recital, and chamber music performances on four continents and for his award-winning recordings. He has worked with many major orchestras, including the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, the London Symphony, the Seoul Philharmonic, the Montreal Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphonies and the National Arts Centre and Budapest Festival Orchestras.

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