Conductor Nikolaj Znaider Returns to BNY Mellon Grand Classics Series for Mendelssohn, Bruch and Schumann

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley featured in Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy

PITTSBURGH—Praised by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette during his 2011-2012 conducting debut for his “graceful” baton work, Nikolaj Znaider returns to the Heinz Hall stage to lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s BNY Mellon Grand Classics concerts on Oct. 25 and 27.

Joining Znaider onstage, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley performs Bruch’s virtuosic Scottish Fantasy—a bravura four-movement treatment of Scottish folk melodies. Audience members will first arrive on the Scottish Isles with Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides Overture, also known as “Fingal’s Cave,” which was inspired by a cavern on an island off the Scottish coast. Schumann’s romantically inspired Symphony No. 4 will close the concert.

The concerts will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging from $30.75 to $124.75, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900, or by visiting

Each BNY Mellon Grand Classics concert is part of the Explore & Engage program, which includes pre-concert talks, beginning one hour prior to performance, as well as exhibits, display boards and interactive activities that illuminate the music, composers and the time in which they created and enrich each concertgoers understanding and enjoyment of the concert. These events are free to all ticketholders.

The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2013-2014 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley (Photo by Rob Davidson)
Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley (Photo by Rob Davidson)

Noah Bendix-Balgley is a laureate of the 2009 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and also won third prize and a special prize for creativity at the 2008 Long-Thibaud International Competition in Paris. Bendix-Balgley won the first prize at the 2011 Vibrarte International Music Competition in Paris and was awarded first Prize and a special prize for best Bach interpretation at the 14th International Violin Competition “Andrea Postacchini” in Fermo, Italy. As a soloist, he has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre National de Belgique, I Pomeriggi Musicale of Milan, Orchestre Royal Chambre de Wallonie (Belgium), the Binghamton Philharmonic and the Asheville Symphony (USA). In 2011, Bendix-Balgley was appointed concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. His Pittsburgh debut recital in January 2012 was named the “Best Classical Concert of 2012” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bendix-Balgley has also performed his own version of The Star-Spangled Banner for solo violin in front of 39,000 fans at the Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day at PNC Park. He is a passionate and experienced chamber musician and has performed on North American tour with the Miro String Quartet. From 2008 to 2011, he was the 1st violinist of the Munich-based Athlos String Quartet, which won a special prize at the 2009 Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Competition in Berlin, and performed throughout Europe. Bendix-Balgley has appeared at numerous festivals in Europe and North America, including the Verbier Festival, Sarasota Festival, ChamberFest Cleveland, Brevard Music Center, and Chamber Music Connects the World in Kronberg, Germany. Bendix-Balgley graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Munich Hochschule. He plays a violin made in 1732 by the great Cremonese maker Carlo Bergonzi.

Conductor Nikolaj Znaider
Conductor Nikolaj Znaider

Nikolaj Znaider is not only celebrated as one of the foremost violinists of today, but is fast becoming one of the most versatile artists of his generation uniting his talents as soloist, conductor and chamber musician. Znaider is passionate about the education of musical talent and for 10 years was founder and artistic director of the Nordic Music Academy, an annual summer school whose vision it was to create conscious and focused musical development based on quality and commitment.

Editors Please Note:

Friday, Oct. 25 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2:30 p.m.

Heinz Hall

Felix Mendelssohn                     The Hebrides Overture, Opus 26 [Fingal’s Cave]

Max Bruch                                 Scottish Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 46

Prelude: Grave
I.       Adagio cantabile
II.     Allegro
III.   Andante sostenuto
IV.    Finale: Allegro guerriero

Robert Schumann                       Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Opus 120

I.      Ziemlich langsam – Lebhaft
II.    Romanze: Ziemlich langsam
III.  Scherzo: Lebhaft
IV.   Langsam – Lebhaft

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