Leonard Slatkin Conducts PSO’s 9th-Annual Reading Session

For Immediate Release

March 11, 2013



 9th-Annual Reading Session


Event free and open to the public at Heinz Hall on March 23


PITTSBURGH –For the first time, Leonard Slatkin, will conduct the PSO’s Annual Reading Session—a free event, now in its ninth year which features the original works of four Pennsylvania composers.


Since the 2004-2005 season, the PSO has offered an annual reading of works by young composers from area universities as part of its Composer of the Year program.  This year, the PSO’s annual reading program has expanded its call for submissions to Pennsylvania residents and anyone attending a college or university in the state.


The event, starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 23, features the exciting new works of Luke Carlson, Molly Joyce, Binna Kim and Michael McMillan.  PSO Composer-of-the-Year, Mason Bates, will present and provide feedback on the works throughout the session.


A panel discussion open to the public with Leonard Slatkin, Mason Bates, the young composers and PSO musicians will follow immediately in the Dorothy Porter Simmons Regency Rooms (Lower Level, Heinz Hall).


Tickets are free and may be reserved by calling the Box Office at 412.392.4900.


Internationally acclaimed American conductor Leonard Slatkin began his tenure as Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in September of 2008.  In addition to his post at the DSO, he serves as Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon (ONL), France, an appointment which began in August of 2011. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a post that began in the fall of 2008, and is the author of a new book entitled Conducting Business.


Since his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1974, Slatkin has led virtually all of the world’s leading orchestras including those of Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Cleveland, Minnesota and Philadelphia. European orchestras include the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, Bayerische Rundfunk and all the prominent ensembles in Paris and London. He has also appeared on podiums throughout the Far East and is a regular guest at major summer festivals such as Aspen, Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Saratoga.


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 Riccardo Muti, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Leonard Slatkin. 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 over a thousand people.


The music of Luke Carlson has been described as “otherworldly” and “magical” (Philadelphia Inquirer). His compositional output encompasses a wide range of instrumental, vocal, electronic and orchestral works. He strives to write music that is beautiful, adventurous and profound, achieving a synthesis of style and form that is meaningful and relevant in this eclectic age.


He has studied voice, piano, organ, violin and conducting, and remains active as a performer both in traditional and contemporary music, conducting several recent premieres of his own orchestral and chamber works. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania as a Benjamin Franklin Fellow where he teaches a course in music theory. He is also on the music staff at Tenth Presbyterian Church where he is music director and conductor of the chamber orchestra, Sinfonia Sacra.


Molly Joyce is a twenty year old composer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her music has recently been praised as “dreaming” (BBC Music Magazine), written in an “emotionally appealing twenty-first century style” (Fanfare Magazine), and “vibrant, inventive music that communicates straight from the heart.” (Prufrock’s Dilemma). Recent notable performances include a world premiere by the new music supergroup Contemporaneous, a performance by bassoonist Midori Samson at the Flea Theatre as part of the Music With A View Festival in Tribeca, New York City, and a performance on Stephen Burns’ Fulcrum Point Discoveries Series.  Currently, Molly is pursuing a Bachelor of Music at The Juilliard School studying with Samuel Adler. In addition, she has studied with Missy Mazzoli, Christopher Rouse, and Richard Danielpour.


Binna Kim is a composer, pianist, and clarinetist, originally from Seoul, Korea. She received a bachelor’s degree in music composition from Seoul National University in 2009. She came to Pittsburgh and studied music composition under Leonardo Balada at Carnegie Mellon University where she got her master’s degree in 2012. She also has had private studies with Michael Finnissy, Simon Bainbridge, and Martin Bresnick. Her works have been performed in the United States, South Korea, and Germany by various ensembles such as the SNU Chamber Ensemble, Hyun String Quartet, Aulos Woodwind Quintet, and CMU Contemporary Ensemble. 


Michael McMillan is a composer whose interests include French Impressionism, repetition, puzzles, illusions, and compressing large ideas into miniature sizes.  He is also interested in the ways that film and literature can affect compositional style.  His academic research has focused on the music of György Ligeti, as well as music by Danish composers.  Michael received an MA from Eastman School of Music and a BA from Princeton University, and he is currently a doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.





Contact: James Barthen, Vice President of Public Affairs
Phone: 412.392.4835 | email: jbarthen@pittsburghsymphony.org

Contact: Louise Sciannameo, Associate Vice President of Public Affairs
Phone: 412.392.4866 | email: lsciannameo@pittsburghsymphony.org

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