Music for the Spirit Festival Celebrates the Power of Music


For Immediate Release

March 18, 2013




PSO inaugural Music for the Spirit Festival features world premieres, concerts, recitals, book discussions, and much more


The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) will hold its first Music for the Spirit Festival April 20-28, 2013, with an extraordinary series of special concerts, recitals, discussions and other events throughout the city of Pittsburgh.

Through Music for the Spirit, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra demonstrates its deep commitment to the community, using the power of music to promote and spread a spiritual and universal message.

The festival opens with Singing City, a large-scale concert event presented by Trib Total Media,

at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 20, at the Petersen Events Center at the University of Pittsburgh, and concludes with a weekend of BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts including of one of the most recognizable musical pieces of all time, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy, and the world premiere of the PSO-commissioned work, The Gift, by Christopher Theofanidis, April 26-28 at Heinz Hall.

The Singing City concert, led by Music Director Manfred Honeck, will feature more than 2,500 voices from professional and community choirs, university choirs, high school choirs, and religious-affiliated choirs from the greater Pittsburgh region. They will perform several choral pieces, including the chorale finale from Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection,” and

the world premiere of the newly commissioned Sing as One for a cappella choir by Pittsburgh native, Jonny Priano. Sing as One invites everyone to join in song and celebrate the power that music has to bring people together.

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, will offer the inaugural Music for the Spirit Festival address during Singing City. Cardinal Wuerl will be joined by PSO Board Chair Richard P. Simmons and other community leaders, who will read texts and poems between repertoire selections.

Tickets for the Singing City concert are $20 for the general public, $10 for students with valid I.D., and $5 for children 12 and under. For tickets or more information, please visit

The PSO also will be partnering with the Pittsburgh Opera, Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival, and Robert Morris University’s Pittsburgh Speakers Series to present events at Heinz Hall, the Frick Art and Historical Center, and elsewhere during the Music for the Spirit Festival.

One of the festival’s many highlights will be “Lucis—Music of Light,” a recital by acclaimed organist Paul Jacobs,

at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, April 21, at Heinz Chapel, in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. A native of Washington, Pa., Jacobs is renowned as one of the best organists in the world. Among his numerous accolades, he is the youngest faculty member ever appointed at the famed The Juilliard School, and a recent Grammy Award winner. The chapel’s magnificent stained glass windows will be dramatically lit for the occasion.

Nando Parrado, who was a member of the Uruguayan rugby team that survived for 72 days after their plane crashed in the Andes mountains in October 1972 and whose story was captured in the 1993 film,

Alive, will speak at 8 p.m., Monday, April 22, at Heinz Hall as part of the Pittsburgh Speakers Series.


Thursday, April 25 and Sunday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. the festival will join in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival at the New Hazlett Theater for the presentation of The Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds, a multi-media chamber opera in three acts by Israeli composer Ofer Ben-Amots.

Tickets for all Music for the Spirit events at Heinz Hall are available by calling the box office at 412.392.4900, or visiting For a complete listing of all Music for the Spirit Festival events and details, please visit

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

Additionally, the PSO would like to thank and recognize Trib Total Media for its presenting sponsorship of Singing City. Finally, a special thanks to the supporting partners for Singing City:

Federated Investors, Inc., Dick & Ginny Simmons, Catharine M. Ryan & John T. Ryan III, and Roy & Susan Dorrance.

Music for the Spirit Festival events:

Saturday, April 20, 7:30 p.m.,

Singing City concert, with Manfred Honeck and the PSO

Petersen Events Center, University of Pittsburgh, 3719 Terrace Street

Sunday, April 21, 2 p.m. Pittsburgh Opera Brown Bag Concert-Spiritual Songs from Around the World 2425 Liberty Ave., in the Strip District

Free and open to the public, PSO Music Director Manfred Honeck introduces the program at this one-hour long concert featuring Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists in the George R. White Opera Studio at Pittsburgh Opera headquarters. Audience members are encouraged to bring their friends and bring a lunch. The theme for this event will be Spiritual Songs from Around the World.

Sunday, April 21, 7:30 p.m., Heinz Chapel, Oakland “Lucis – Music of Light,” organ recital, featuring Paul Jacobs

Very few instruments are as closely identified with religious music as the organ, and Jacobs explores a program expressing humanity’s connection to the divine amidst the dramatically-lit windows of Heinz Chapel.

Monday, April 22, 8 p.m., Heinz Hall Robert Morris University Pittsburgh Speakers Series Nando Parrado, speaker, miracle survivor of the plane crash in the Andes Mountains in 1972.


Parrado recounts the extraordinary tale of how he and 15 of his teammates survived for 72 grueling days after their plane crashed into the frozen Andes Mountains. He emerged a hero after he and teammate Roberto Canessa walked for 10 days to find their salvation. Soon after the rescue of the 16 survivors, Parrado worked with Piers Paul Read, the author chosen by the survivors, to pen the best-selling book, Alive, and served as technical advisor on the 1993 film, which starred Ethan Hawke as Parrado. The film’s success prompted requests for Parrado to speak around the world about the “Miracle in the Andes.”

Tuesday, April 23, 7:30 p.m., Heinz Hall “Celebrating the Next Generation” concert


Manfred Honeck, Jeffrey Turner, Christine Jordanoff, Robert Page, Daniel Meyer, Duquesne Symphony Orchestra, Duquesne University “Voices of Spirit” Choir and Pappert Chorale, Carnegie Mellon University Concert Choir, Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra

This concert celebrates the city’s young people by uniting the Duquesne University Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra with the choirs of Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University on stage at Heinz Hall. Each ensemble will perform a work on their own led by their respective directors before joining together on stage for the finale of the program, led by Honeck.

Wednesday, April 24, 7:00 p.m., Frick Art and Historical Center

Music for the Spirit Book Club in the Community

An exploration of Pulitzer-prize winning author Geraldine Brooks’

People of the Book with lively discussion tied to selected works from the Frick Art and Historical Center permanent collection. The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and reservations are required. Please contact 412.371.0600 to make a reservation.

Sunday, April 28, 1:30 p.m., Heinz Hall Grand Tier Lounge

Music for the Spirit Book Club

This book club discussion of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks’

People of the Book is led by Jim Cunningham, WQED-FM’s artistic director, and PSO percussionist Jeremy Branson. Advance registration is required. Call 412.392.4876 or email to register.

Thursday, April 25 & Sunday, April 28, 7:30 p.m., New Hazlett Theater Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival

The classic tale of love and mystical possession,

The Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds is a multimedia chamber opera in three acts, composed by Ofer Ben-Amots and inspired by S. Ansky’s timeless Yiddish play of the same name. This brand new production features singers, a choir, and choreography performed by Texture Contemporary Ballet. The Dybbuk is sung in Hebrew with English supertitles.

Composer: Ofer Ben-Amots; stage direction: Aron Zelkowicz; choreography: Joan Wagman; video art: Sheri Wills; lighting design: J. R. Shaw. Featuring: Yahli Toren, soprano, Gilad Harel, clarinet, Guenko Guechev, baritone, Leon S. Zionts, actor, Texture Contemporary Ballet (Alan Obuzor, Artistic Director, Dancer, and Resident Choreographer, Kelsey Bartman, Associate Artistic Director, Dancer, and

Resident Choreographer), Pappert Women’s Chorale, Children’s Festival Chorus (Christine Jordanoff, Music Director).

This marks the 10

th anniversary production of the highly successful Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival, an annual concert series devoted to improving cultural life for Pittsburgh’s Jewish and artistic communities at large.

Tickets for

The Dybbuk are $25 in advance or $30 at door. Please call the PSO box office at 412-392-4900 or visit Student tickets are available for $15 by phone only.

Friday, April 26 & Saturday, April 27, 8 p.m., Sunday, April 28, 2:30 p.m., Heinz Hall BNY Mellon Grand Classics Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9


Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Manfred Honeck, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh Soloists: Angela Meade, soprano/ Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano / Anthony Griffey, tenor / Alexander Vinogradov, bass

The Music for the Spirit Festival concludes in a special tribute to the good in mankind featuring Honeck, the PSO and Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh in one of the most recognizable and well-loved pieces of all time, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. The program also features the world premiere of Theofanidis’

The Gift, commissioned by the PSO in honor of long-time Board Chairman Richard P. Simmons.

Tickets range from $20–$98.


Contact: James Barthen, Vice President of Public Affairs Phone: 412.392.4835 | email: Contact: Louise Sciannameo, Associate Vice President of Public Affairs Phone: 412.392.4866 | email:

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