For Immediate Release

April 24, 2013




Violinist Nicola Benedetti returns to Pittsburgh for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto

PITTSBURGH— Conductor Kazem Abdullah begins his PSO concert debut with Brahms’ furiously brooding Tragic Overture and Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler.

Young Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. Her recent recording of this piece is highly praised in the classical music world. 

The concerts will take place at 8 p.m., Friday, May 10, 2013, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 12, 2013. Tickets, ranging in price from $20 to $98, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or by visiting the PSO online at


The PSO would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 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.


Violinist Nicola Benedetti has captivated audiences and critics alike with her musicality and poise. Hilary Finch recently wrote in The Times, “it was thrilling to hear and watch Nicola Benedetti in a truly risk-taking performance that lived so much in the body and fused the sinews of the violin and the nerve-system of the player.”


Throughout her career, Nicola’s desire to perform a broad variety of repertoire and reach a wide audience has shown her to be one of Britain’s most innovative and creative violinists. Nicola’s choice of the Szymanowski Violin Concerto for the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2004 was just the beginning of her focus on less-often programmed repertoire.  She has recorded newly commissioned works by John Tavener and James Macmillan, worked on jazz-influenced repertoire with Wynton Marsalis and others, and explored authentic baroque performance.  And whilst she is a highly sought performer on the world platform, Nicola is also fiercely dedicated to music education. Through her work with such organizations as Sistema Scotland, she has helped to demonstrate the power that music has in transforming the lives of young people.


In recent seasons, Nicola has performed with virtually all of the UK’s major orchestras, including the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Royal Scottish National, Hallé, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, and City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras. Outside of the UK she has played with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Deutsche Symphony Orchestra in Berlin, Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, Russian National Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, KBS Symphony, Simon Bolivar Symphony in Caracas, and Japan Philharmonic, as well as the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Vancouver Symphony orchestras, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. 


Nicola’s busy schedule has seen her work with a number of conductors, such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Stéphane Denève, Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Alan Gilbert, Jakub Hrusa, Louis Langrée, Andrew Litton, Jiří Bělohlávek, Sir Neville Marriner, Diego Matheuz, Kristjan Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Mikhail Pletnev, Donald Runnicles, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Mario Venzago, Pinchas Zukerman, and Jaap van Zweden.  


A vibrant, versatile and compelling presence on the podium, American conductor Kazem Abdullah is one of the most watched up-and-coming talents on the international stage today. He assumed the post of Generalmusikdirektor of the City of Aachen, Germany, in August 2012, and will lead both the orchestral and operatic seasons. His predecessors in this tradition-rich post include Fritz Busch, Herbert von Karajan, and Wolfgang Sawallisch.


 In his first season in Aachen, Kazem conducts four productions: Carmen, Hänsel und Gretel, Simon Boccanegra, and Die Zauberflöte. In addition to this he will also lead several subscription concerts and will conduct Mozart’s Requiem in the Aachener Dom. As GMD in Aachen, Kazem Abdullah will also serve as the artistic director of the 3rd International Aachen Chor Bienalle where he will lead several concerts with choirs from Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, Iceland and Brasil. Kazem Abdullah is also the honorary patron of the Accordate Chamber Music series and the Honorary Patron for the bid for the Aachen-Maastrict bid to be the European capital of Culture in 2018. In addition to his many duties in Aachen, Kazem will also make his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony in May 2013.


A passionate advocate of new music as well as established repertoire, Maestro Abdullah continues to develop relationships with national and international orchestras and opera houses. Among his orchestral credits are the Berliner Kammerphilharmonie, Philharmonisches Orchester der Stadt Nürnburg, Staatskapelle Weimar, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Huntsville Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Napa Valley Symphony, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, and the National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa. During the 2011-2012 season, Maestro Abdullah’s guest conducting included performances with the Sinfonieorchester Aachen and Nürnberger Philharmoniker in Germany and the Michigan Opera Theater, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (Houston, Texas) and a return reengagement with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Editors Please Note:

Friday, May 10 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, May 12 at 2:30 p.m.
Heinz Hall



Johannes Brahms                                   Tragic Overture in D minor, Opus 81

Paul Hindemith                                      Mathis der Maler, Symphony

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky                           Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 35




Contact: James Barthen, Vice President of Public Affairs
Phone: 412.392.4835 | email:

Contact: Louise Cavanaugh Sciannameo, Associate Vice President of Public Affairs
Phone: 412.392.4866 | email:

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