Streisand Songbook, ‘Smash’ star Megan Hilty singing Sinatra, Bugs Bunny & friends, John Williams’ music, Broadway tunes highlight PSO’s 2013-2014 PNC Pops season

PITTSBURGH – Songs made famous by Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra, the music of Oscar-winning composer John Williams, Broadway tunes, Bugs Bunny and friends, along with singing sensations Ann Hampton Callaway, Smash star Megan Hilty, and Brian Stokes Mitchell highlight the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s (PSO) 2013-2014 PNC Pops season at Heinz Hall.

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Mitchell, Brian Stokes 2The season opens with Tony Award-winning actor and singer Brian Stokes Mitchelljoining the PSO on stage for Broadway and Beyond (Oct. 17-20), featuring songs from classic Broadway musicals, including Porgy and Bess, South Pacific and Funny Girl. Dubbed “the Broadway baritone extraordinaire,” he has enjoyed a rich and critically acclaimed career on Broadway, film and television, as well as in some of America’s finest concert halls. Ted Sperling, music director and conductor of the first Broadway revival of South Pacific, which won seven 2008 Tony Awards, will conduct. In 2005, Sperling won the Tony and Drama Desk awards (with Adam Guettel and Bruce Coughlin) for his orchestrations of The Light in the Piazza. Stephen Holden of The New York Times called a March 2011 concert conducted by Sperling, “the ultimate embodiment of the romantic myth that sustained the Broadway musical during its golden years.”

Next, award-winning singer-songwriter and Tony Award-nominee Ann Hampton Callaway performs unforgettable songs made famous by one of the most powerful and enduring musical artists, Barbra Streisand. The Streisand Songbook (Nov. 14-17) features timeless classics from Streisand’s extraordinary five-decades-long career. Callaway crafts a loving musical portrait of the legendary performer, while putting a unique pop/jazz spin on unforgettable songs from Streisand’s Broadway years to her film and pop album works. PSO Assistant Conductor Fawzi Haimor will conduct.

The hugely popular Highmark Holiday Pops (Dec. 12-15 & 20-21), returns for two weekends. Todd Ellison, hailed by The New York Times as one of “Broadway’s electric conductors,” leads the PSO in the concerts that feature the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and a host of guest artists. Currently music director and conductor of the new Broadway production of Annie, Ellison’s credits include Monty Python’s Spamalot, La Cage aux Folles, and Michel Legrand’s Amour. He also was the late Marvin Hamlisch’s music director and worked with Hamlisch on productions of Ballroom and The Nutty Professor.

The PNC Pops begins 2014 in grand fashion when the PSO’s Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh leads a weekend of concerts featuring the music of John Williams (Jan. 23-26), quite possibly the most famous composer of movie music. The winner of five Academy Awards, Williams has written music for Lincoln, Jaws, Schindler’s List, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Saving Private Ryan, The Accidental Tourist, War Horse, The Adventures of Tintin, Born on the Fourth of July, the first three Harry Potter movies and the unforgettable themes for Star Wars andall four Indiana Jones films.

The PSO brings some razzle-dazzle to Heinz Hall when celebrated Broadway stars and conductor Jack Everly join the orchestra for All That Jazz: A Symphonic Celebration of Kander and Ebb (March 6-9). One of Broadway’s most successful songwriting teams, composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb wrote such hits as Chicago, Cabaret, New York, New York, and The Scottsboro Boys. The concerts feature favorites, including “All That Jazz,” “Razzle Dazzle,” “Mr. Cellophane,” “Cabaret,” “Me and My Baby,” “Maybe This Time” and “Don’t Tell Mama!”

Bugs Bunny at the Symphony 1
Audiences can experience a fantastic fusion of classical music and classic animation with Bugs Bunny at the Symphony (April 10-13). Created and conducted by Emmy Award-winner George Daugherty, the concert features favorite Warner Bros. Looney Tunes characters on screen in their most memorable moments, all with live accompaniment by the PSO. Bugs Bunny will be joined by his well-known cohorts Elmer Fudd, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Pepe Le Pew, Daffy Duck, Tweety and more. In a review of Daugherty’s “Bugs Bunny on Broadway” concert, The Chicago Tribune raved, “The roaring kettledrums, the sweetly confiding strings, the braying brasses, and luxuriant woodwinds were every bit as vibrant as the colors and choreography of the animation on screen.”

SMASH Star Megan Hilty At The Alison Brod PR ShowroomThe PNC Pops season concludes with Megan Hilty, star of NBC’s hit television show, Smash, acclaimed conductor Steven Reineke and the PSO paying tribute to songs Ol’ Blue Eyes made famous. In a weekend of concerts titled, Luck Be a Lady (June 19-22), Hilty will perform Sinatra staples such as The Lady Is a Tramp, Moon River, and I’ve Got You Under My Skin, as well as other classics, including Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, Someone to Watch Over Me and Almost Like Being in Love. The concert will be led by Steven Reineke, newly appointed Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, and Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The PSO will continue the popular tradition of hosting Pops Talks, an insider’s look at the concerts, following each Thursday performance.

The PSO would like to recognize and thank PNC for its 2013-2014 title sponsorship of the PNC Pops, marking PNC’s 13th consecutive year as title sponsor of this series. The PSO would also like to recognize and thank Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield for its 2013 title sponsorship of Highmark Holiday Pops. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the PSO.

Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 20, at 2:30 p.m.
Broadway and Beyond with Brian Stokes Mitchell
Ted Sperling, conductor
Brian Stokes Mitchell, vocalist

Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2:30 p.m.
Ann Hampton Callaway presents The Streisand Songbook
Fawzi Haimor, conductor
Ann Hampton Callaway, vocalist

Thursday, Dec. 12, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 13, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14, at 2:30 & 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2:30 & 8 p.m.
Highmark Holiday Pops
Todd Ellison, conductor
Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh

Thursday, Jan. 23, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 24, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 26, at 2:30 p.m.
The Music of John Williams
Lawrence Loh, conductor

Thursday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 7, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 8, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 9, at 2:30 p.m.
All That Jazz: A Symphonic Celebration of Kander & Ebb
Jack Everly, conductor

Thursday, April 10, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 11, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 12, at 2:30 & 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 13, at 2:30 p.m.
Bugs Bunny at the Symphony
George Daugherty, conductor

Thursday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, June 20, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, June 21, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 22, at 2:30 p.m.
Luck Be a Lady: Megan Hilty Sings Sinatra and More
Steven Reineke, conductor
Megan Hilty, vocalist


All artists, programs and dates are subject to change.

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