Principal Guest Conductor Leonard Slatkin leads PSO in BNY Mellon Grand Classics program that includes Haydn, Saint-Saëns

PITTSBURGH – Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers makes her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) when she performs the world premiere of Mason Bates’ Violin Concerto in a weekend of BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts next month.

Principal Guest Conductor Leonard Slatkin returns to Heinz Hall to lead the PSO in the two concerts that also will feature Haydn’s charming Symphony No. 68 and Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 (“Organ Symphony”),

The concerts will begin at 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7 and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9. Tickets, ranging from $20 to $93, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or by visiting the PSO online at

Bates’ Violin Concerto was commissioned by Meyers with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

“I am thrilled to premiere Mason Bates’ first violin concerto-actually his first concerto for any instrument,” she remarked. “I have been very interested in his work for some time and asked him to write some cadenzas for the Beethoven Violin Concerto, several years ago.”

Meyers said she enjoys collaborating with composers because “we can discuss technical aspects to help achieve the storyline the composer has so deeply in mind. Understanding the soul of the piece is what’s important, and we have done a lot of work via Skype. The premiere feels much like giving birth to a child. I look forward to sharing this beautiful work with audiences soon.”

Added Bates, who is the PSO’s Composer of the Year: “Every note is written with Anne in mind, and Leonard Slatkin who will be at the helm. … I have known (Meyers) for a long time. She has a fiery personality and is an incredible player.”

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. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of the PSO.

Bates is the Music Alive Composer-in-Residence with the PSO. Music Alive is a national residency program of the League of American Orchestras and New Music USA.

Anne Akiko Meyers is one of the world’s premiere concert violinists. A celebrated and versatile soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and educator, she has collaborated with world-class musicians from both the classical and popular worlds, commissioned and premiered new works, and showcased under-performed works to new audiences. In February 2012, Meyers’s eagerly anticipated Bach Air album, recorded with the English Chamber Orchestra, will be released on eOne. Air features Bach’s violin concerti and the double concerto, for which Meyers recorded both parts, on  her two Stradivari violins, the 1697 “ex-Napoleon/Molitor” and the 1730 “Royal Spanish.”

Internationally acclaimed American conductor Leonard Slatkin began his appointment as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in September of 2008. August of 2011 marked the start of his tenure as Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL), France. In addition, Mr. Slatkin continues to serve as Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a post that began in the fall of 2008. Following a 17-year tenure as Music Director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Slatkin became Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. in 1996. Other positions in the United States have included Principal Guest Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, where he founded their “Sommerfest”; first Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra’s summer series at the Blossom Music Festival, a post he held for nine years; Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl for three seasons; and additional positions with the New Orleans Philharmonic and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

The music of Mason Bates fuses innovative orchestral writing, imaginative narrative forms, the harmonies of jazz and the rhythms of techno. Frequently performed by orchestras large and small, his symphonic music has been the first to receive widespread acceptance for its expanded palette of electronic sounds, and it is championed by leading conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Leonard Slatkin, and John Adams. He has become a visible advocate for bringing new music to new spaces, whether through institutional partnerships such as his residency with the Chicago Symphony, or through his classical/DJ project Mercury Soul, which has transformed spaces ranging from commercial clubs to Frank Gehry-designed concert halls into exciting, hybrid musical events drawing more than a thousand people.

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