Russian Masterpieces Take Center Stage with Conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Young Russian piano virtuoso Daniil Trifonov makes his Pittsburgh Symphony debut

PITTSBURGH—Returning guest conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier and piano virtuoso and winner of the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition Daniil Trifonov will transport the BNY Mellon Grand Classics audience to early 20th-century Russia with the music of Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff on Nov. 1-3.

One of the rising stars of the new generation of pianists, Trifonov tackles Prokofiev’s tumultuous Piano Concerto No. 2, which is known for its impressive technical demands. The concert finishes with the Pittsburgh Symphony performing Rachmaninoff’s passionate and sweeping Symphony No. 2, his answer to the critical failure of his first symphony.

The concerts will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging from $25.75 to $109.75, 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, exhibits, display boards and interactive activities that illuminate the music, composers and the time in which they created. This weekend, Pittsburgh Symphony Assistant Conductor Fawzi Haimor and Guest Conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier will conduct a pre-concert talk one hour before each performance. Also, on Sunday, Nov. 3, the PSO Book Club with WQED-FM’s Jim Cunningham and Principal Contrabassoon James Rodgers will meet at 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Tier Lounge to discussLina and Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev” by Simon Morrison. The book club session is free to all ticket holders to the Sunday afternoon performance, but availability is limited; advance registration is required. To register, call 412.392.4876 or email

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.

Danill Trifonov
Danill Trifonov

Daniil Trifonov is one of the brightest names of the next generation of pianists. His reputation for outstanding performances, musical insight and expressive intensity has already surpassed the attention he received when, during the 2010-2011 season, he won medals at three of the most prestigious competitions in the music world: the Chopin Competition in Warsaw (Third Prize), the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv (First Prize) and the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (First Prize and Grand Prix). Trifonov began his musical studies at the age of five. He studied at Moscow Gnesin School of Music (2000-2009), where he also studied composition and has continued to write piano, chamber and orchestral music since. Since 2009, he has studied piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2008, at the age of 17, he received awards at the Scriabin Competition of Moscow and at the San Marino International competition. He also received a Guzik Foundation Career Grant in 2009 and toured the United States and Italy.

Conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier
Conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier

Yan Pascal Tortelier enjoys a distinguished career as a guest conductor with the world’s most prestigious orchestras. He began his musical career as a violinist and at 14 won first prize for violin at the Paris Conservatoire and also made his debut as a soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Following general musical studies, Tortelier studied conducting with Franco Ferrara at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena. From 1974 to 1983, he was associate conductor of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. Further positions have included principal conductor and artistic director of the Ulster Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He was principal conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and currently holds the position of guest conductor of honour, as which he returns to the orchestra a number of times each season. Following his outstanding work as chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic between 1992 and 2003, he was given the title of conductor emeritus and continues to work with the orchestra regularly. He also holds the position of principal guest conductor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Editors Please Note:

Friday, Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 2 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2:30 p.m.

Heinz Hall

Sergei Prokofiev           Concerto No. 2 in G minor for Piano & Orchestra, Opus 16

I.     Andantino
II.   Scherzo: Vivace
III. Moderato
IV.  Finale: Allegro tempestoso

Sergei Rachmaninoff    Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Opus 27

I.   Largo – Allegro moderato
II.  Allegro molto
III. Adagio
IV. Allegro vivace

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