Maestro Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Celebrate Thanksgiving with Beethoven and Strauss

PITTSBURGH—For the sixth year, Maestro Manfred Honeck presents a special Thanksgiving concert at Heinz Hall as part of the BNY Mellon Grand Classics series on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1.

During this celebratory concert, Viennese pianist Till Fellner applies his scrupulous musicianship to Beethoven’s beautiful Piano Concerto No. 4. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians will then bring favorite Strauss waltzes and polkas to life and deliver a few special surprises—like the Pirate Parrot’s special appearance during the Sport Polka (raising the Jolly Roger)!

This entertaining and uplifting concert is a family event and the perfect way to complete the holiday weekend. Bring the whole family—children ages 3 to 12 may attend free of charge!

The concerts will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price 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 Resident Conductor Larry Loh will conduct a pre-concert talk one hour before each performance.

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.

Maestro Manfred Honeck (photo by Felix Broede)
Maestro Manfred Honeck (photo by Felix Broede)

Manfred Honeck was appointed the ninth music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in January 2007, and began his tenure at the start of the 2008-2009 season. After a first extension in 2009, his contract was extended for the second time in February 2012, now through the 2019-2020 season. Honeck was born in Austria and studied music at the Academy of Music in Vienna. An accomplished violinist and violist, he spent more than 10 years as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra.  He began his career as conductor of Vienna’s Jeunesse Orchestra, which he co-founded, and as assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. In 2010, Honeck was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. Apart from his numerous tasks as conductor, he has been artistic director of the “International Concerts Wolfegg” in Germany for more than 15 years. Honeck served as principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra from 2008 to 2011, a position he has resumed for another three years at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season. As a guest conductor, Honeck has worked with major orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic and in the United States with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington and Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Till Fellner (photo by Jean-Baptiste Millot)
Till Fellner (photo by Jean-Baptiste Millot)

Outstanding Austrian pianist Till Fellner performs regularly with many of the world’s most important orchestras and as solo recitalist and chamber musician at major music centers of Europe, the United States and Japan. He has been lauded for a combination of probing musicianship, flawless technical command and the rare ability to see through the notes to the “inner necessities” of the works he performs. From 2008 to 2010, he undertook a worldwide cycle of all 32 Beethoven solo piano sonatas, a tour de force which brought him recognition internationally as a musician of the first order. Despite the relatively short span of Fellner’s international career, the list of his collaborators reads like a “Who’s Who” of classical music; he has appeared as guest soloist with many of the world’s foremost orchestras and has worked with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Christoph von Dohnányi, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Manfred Honeck, Sir Charles Mackerras, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Leonard Slatkin and Lothar Zagrosek, among many others. Fellner first came to world attention in 1993 by winning First Prize at the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition at Vevey, Switzerland.

Editors Please Note:

Friday, Nov. 29 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 1 at 2:30 p.m.

Heinz Hall

Franz von Suppé

Overture to Poet and Peasant

Ludwig Van Beethoven:

Concerto No. 4 in G major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 58

I.          Allegro moderato

II.         Andante con moto

III.        Rondo: Vivace

Johann Stauss Jr.:

Overture to Waldmeister

Stadt und Land (Town and Country), Polka-Mazurka, Opus 322 (edited by Fritz Racek)

Auf der Jagd (Hunting), Polka, Opus 373

Rosen aus dem süden (Roses from the South), Waltzes, Opus 388

Georges Bizet:

Carmen Fantasie Brilliante for Flute and Orchestra (compiled by Francois Borne, edited by Galway)
 Solo by Lorna McGhee, principal flute

Josef Strauss:

Sport Polka, Opus 170

Johann Strauss Jr.:

Vergnügungszug (Excursion Train), Polka, Opus 281

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