Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra announces 2013-2014 season of concerts at Scottish Rite Cathedral

Featuring Holiday Pops, Valentine’s Day-themed concert, PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck conducting works by Mozart

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) will mark its 13th season at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle with two concerts featuring popular music and one classical music concert of Mozart’s works led by Music Director Manfred Honeck.

Three-concert subscription prices for the 2013-2014 season range from $33 to $150. Student subscription packages are available for $24. Subscriptions can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall Box Office toll-free at 1.800.743.8560, or visiting the PSO at www.pittsburghsymphony.org/src.

The season opens with the popular Holiday Pops concert at 8 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 19. The audience will get to celebrate the season with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and an all-star cast of guest artists in a spectacular concert of popular carols and much-loved holiday music. The program will include Here Comes Santa Claus, A Holly Jolly Christmas, O Holy Night, Silent Night, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and many more favorites, as well as an appearance by Santa. Hailed by The New York Times as one of “Broadway’s electric conductors,” renowned conductor Todd Ellison leads this festive concert. Ellison is currently music director and conductor of the new Broadway production of Annie.

In the second concert of the season, PSO Assistant Conductor Fawzi Haimor will lead the orchestra in a performance of love-themed songs to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The concert, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, will feature John Williams’ “Princess Leia’s Theme” from Star Wars, Elton John’s “Can you Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King, as well as music from West Side Story and The Godfather. This concert will showcase Ryan Silverman and Tony Award-nominated Melissa Errico as guest vocalists. Called “one of the most valuable assets of the musical theater” by The New York Times, Errico’s career began as Cosette in Les Misérables, when she was only 18. Later, she starred as Eliza Doolittle in Howard Davies’ daring and unusual revival of My Fair Lady on Broadway. Silverman played Raoul in the Broadway and Las Vegas productions of The Phantom of the Opera, and has performed with the Cincinnati Pops, New York Pops and The Philadelphia Orchestra.

The PSO’s season at the Scottish Rite Cathedral concludes when Music Director Honeck conducts a concert of Mozart’s music at 8 p.m., Monday, April 28, featuring soloists Robert Levin on piano and PSO Principal Horn William Caballero. The program includes Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, better known as the “Jupiter Symphony,” and Concerto No. 4 for Horn and Orchestra.

“The audiences in New Castle have always been so welcoming and appreciative, and I am excited about conducting this wonderful orchestra there again,” Honeck said.

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. His contract was extended for the second time in February 2012, now through the 2019-2020 season. In October-November 2012, he and the PSO toured Europe, with performances in Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Luxembourg, and Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart in Germany. During a week-long residency at the Musikverein in Vienna, the PSO performed four concerts. Honeck’s successful work with the PSO is captured on CD by the Japanese label Exton, with Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben being released to critical acclaim. Their recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 won a 2012 International Classical Music Award (ICMA). Born in Austria, Honeck is an accomplished violinist and violist, and spent more than 10 years as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra.

Fawzi Haimor is the newly appointed Assistant Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra beginning in the 2012-2013 season. Prior to his Pittsburgh appointment, he was the Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony for two seasons. In Alabama, he conducted subscription, pops, education, and outreach concerts. Additionally, Haimor worked with numerous orchestras, including the Amman Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, and Orquestra Sinfonico do Porto, and has collaborated with famous artists such as Bela Fleck, Bobby Horton, Diane Schuur, and Luciana Souza.  He has also served as a cover conductor to esteemed conductors including Justin Brown, Marvin Hamlisch, Grant Llewellyn, Michael Morgan, Robert Spano, Stefan Sanderling, and Michael Stern. Extremely passionate about the education of young musicians, Haimor was the first music director of the newly formed Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra, where he was involved in the development of a brand new premier level youth orchestra for the state of Alabama.

The 2012-2013 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) Season represents William Caballero’s 24th year as its 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, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the St. Louis Symphony. Caballero is the Associate Teaching Professor of Horn at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music and chairs the Brass Department. Previously, he held teaching positions at Indiana University Bloomington, Rice University in Houston, Texas, and Duquesne University. He has been invited and presented master classes throughout the world, including Northwestern University, Colburn School of Music, New England Conservatory, University of Indiana Bloomington, Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New World Symphony, and the Beijing and Shanghai Conservatories. This past summer, he joined the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival as performer and teacher. For the previous seven summers, Caballero was on the faculty at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. In January 2012, Caballero began collaborating with the Internet music teaching company, ArtistWorks.com, based in Napa, Calif. Caballero’s complete horn teaching curriculum is available on the ArtistWorks.com website for horn students worldwide. Caballero is also in demand as a chamber musician collaborating with musicians such as violinists Gil Shaham, Joseph Silverstein and Philip Setzer, and pianists André Previn, Christoph Eshenbach, Orli Shaham and Andre Watts.

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