Music Director Honeck also leads PSO in performances of Dvořák’s ‘New World’ Symphony

PITTSBURGH – Music Director Manfred Honeck will lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) in the opening weekend of the 2012-2013 BNY Mellon Grand Classics season, with concerts featuring renowned American baritone Thomas Hampson and PSO Principal Horn William Caballero as soloists.

The concerts will begin at 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23. Tickets, ranging from $20 to $93, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or by visiting

The program also includes Dvořák’s 9th Symphony, nicknamed ‘From the New World.’ It was inspired by the composer’s visit to America and exposure to Native American and African American cultures.

Hampson will sing the moving Orchestral Songs by Richard Strauss, while Caballero, hailed by The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. as “one of the best in the business,” performs one of Strauss’ most famous concertos.

Hampson also will give a free master class with Pittsburgh Opera resident artists at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, in Rehearsal Room A at the Pittsburgh Opera, 2425 Liberty Ave., in the Strip District. Capacity is limited; anyone interested should RSVP by calling at 412.281.0912 ext. 0 by 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 18.

The PSO would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2012-2013 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the PSO.

Thomas Hampson enjoys a singular international career as a recitalist, opera singer, and recording artist, and maintains an active interest in teaching, research, and technology. The American baritone has performed in all of the world’s most important concert halls and opera houses with many renowned singers, pianists, conductors, and orchestras. Praised by the New York Times for his “ceaseless curiosity,” he is one of the most respected, innovative, and sought-after soloists performing today. Hampson has won worldwide recognition for his thoughtfully researched and creatively constructed programs that explore the rich repertoire of song in a wide range of styles, languages, and periods. He is one of the most important interpreters of German Romantic song, and with his celebrated “Song of America” project, a collaboration with the Library of Congress, has become the “ambassador” of American song. Through the Hampsong Foundation, founded in 2003, he employs the art of song to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.

The 2012-2013 season represents William Caballero’s 24th year as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Horn. Before joining the PSO in May 1989, Caballero previously held principal horn positions with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and Hartford Symphony. He held Third Horn positions with the Montreal Symphony, Montreal Opera, and acting Third Horn with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. He has also performed as guest principal horn with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and St. Louis Symphony. Born in New Mexico and reared in Wisconsin, Caballero’s early horn studies included working under Larry Simons, Barry Benjamin and Basil Tyler, as well as studying the piano and pipe organ. Caballero graduated from New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Richard Mackey and Thomas Newell, both former members of the Boston Symphony.

Manfred Honeck was appointed the ninth Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in January 2007, and began his tenure at the start of the 2008-2009 season. After a first extension in 2009, his contract was extended for the second time in February 2012, now through the 2019-2020 season. Following their successful European Tour in 2010 and the European Festival Tour 2011 with appearances at the major music festivals, such as BBC Proms, Lucerne, Grafenegg, Rheingau, Schleswig-Holstein or Musikfest Berlin, Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will return to Europe in October-November 2012. This year’s tour will take them to Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Luxembourg, and Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart in Germany. During a week-long residency at the Musikverein in Vienna, the orchestra will perform four concerts. Honeck’s successful work in Pittsburgh is captured on CD by the Japanese label Exton. So far, Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben have been released to critical acclaim. Their recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 won a 2012 International Classical Music Award (ICMA).  Honeck was born in Austria and studied music at the Academy of Music in Vienna. An accomplished violinist and violist, he spent more than 10 years as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra.

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