Leonard Slatkin leads PSO in program that includes William Schuman’s Third Symphony

PITTSBURGH – Principal Guest Conductor Leonard Slatkin will lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) in a weekend of BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts that feature the world premiere of Arlington Sons, an innovative work believed to be the first vocal piece written for a father and son.

The concerts will begin at 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 5, and Saturday, Oct. 6, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7, at Heinz Hall. Tickets, ranging from $20 to $93, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or online at

Written and composed by Scott Eyerly, Arlington Sons depicts a father and son visiting Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Broadway and Metropolitan Opera star David Pittsinger, who commissioned the work, and his 13-year-old son, Richard, will perform the 12minute piece in their PSO debut. David’s father was a US Army veteran and Tomb guard, adding resonance to the work’s themes of patriotism and the bond between a father and son. The PSO concerts will be the first time Arlington Sons will be performed by a full orchestra. Arlington Sons is presented by UPMC for Life.

Considered one of her generation’s great pianists, Olga Kern, will be the featured soloist, bringing her powerful artistry to Rachmaninoff’s virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 3. Kern last played with the PSO in October 2010. The program includes William Schuman’s Third Symphony, which established him as one of the great American composers.

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

Olga Kern’s career began one decade ago with her award winning gold-medal performance at the 11th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2001. Her second catapulting triumph came in New York City on May 4, 2004, with a highly acclaimed New York City recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. With her vivid stage presence, passionately confident musicianship and extraordinary technique, the striking young Russian pianist continues to captivate fans and critics alike. In the 2012-2013 season, she will perform with the symphony orchestras of Nashville, Pittsburgh, Detroit and San Diego, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. She also will perform recitals in St. Louis, Dallas, Scottsdale, and Thomasville, Georgia.

Internationally acclaimed American conductor Leonard Slatkin began his appointment as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in September 2008.  He was named Music Director of France’s Orchestre National de Lyon, beginning with the 2011-12 season. He has served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since September 2008. He served as music director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and was Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl for three seasons. He has led virtually all of the major orchestras in the US, and conducted most of the world’s major orchestras. Slatkin’s more than 100 recordings have been recognized with seven Grammy awards and 64 nominations. Slatkin is the founder and director of the National Conducting Institute, which provides advanced career development for rising conductors. He is the author of a book, Conducting Business, published by Amadeus Press. He is also the recipient of the National Medal for the Arts, the highest award given for service to American culture.

American bass-baritone David Pittsinger has appeared on the world’s leading opera and concert stages in Vienna, Salzburg, Brussels, Paris, Tanglewood, Pesaro, New York, Santa Fe, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and San Francisco. He is equally at home in baroque through contemporary operas, as well as musical theater. His vocal range and color are exceptionally wide-ranging, enabling him to perform a variety of repertoire and styles. Performing in four Live HD broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera, he appeared as Comte des Grieux in Manon with Anna Netrebko, Le Spectre in Hamlet, Angelotti in Tosca and The Speaker in the Julie Taymor production of The Magic Flute, as well as the roles of Colline, Truelove and Achilla. This season, Pittsinger is heard on the new EMI recording of Rodgers & Hammerstein At The Movies, creates the role of Roy Disney in Philip Glass’ world premiere of The Perfect American, and returns to The Met in Dialogues des Carmélites and Glimmerglass Festival in Camelot. He is a two-time Pittsburgh Opera Artist of the Year.

For the last four years, 13-year-old Richard Pittsinger has attended Saint Thomas Choir School, the only church-related boarding choir school in the United States, and one of only a few choir schools remaining in the world. In 2010, Richard made his operatic debut as El Trujamán in Manuel De Falla’s opera El Retablo de Maese Pedro at Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival in Virginia. He also was the featured soloist in the Chichester Psalms for the Bernstein Festival in New York with Judith Clurman. Also that year, his voice was the solo heard in John Gromada’s incidental music, Next Fall, on Broadway. In 2010, he recorded the soprano solo in Fauré’s Requiem under the direction of John Scott and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, opposite his father David Pittsinger. In November 2011, he was the featured soloist in Anatomy of Peace by Marvin Hamlisch.

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