Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to Perform at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill as Part of the Carolina Performing Arts Series

PITTSBURGH—The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Manfred Honeck will perform two concerts at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill as part of the Carolina Performing Arts Series on September 28 and 29.

The symphony will perform its quintessential blend of timeless orchestral masterpieces and new American works during this engagement. Highlights of the two evenings include YouTube phenomenon Valentina Lisitsa performing Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and a performance of the Pittsburgh Symphony’s 2014 Composer of the Year Mason Bates’ “Rusty Air in Carolina,” a bluesy reminiscence of his childhood summers. The Pittsburgh Symphony also brings “The Elements,” a commissioned piece in five parts, each written by a different Pittsburgh-based composer, that are inspired by the region’s landscape and environmental history.

Single tickets start at $45 and student tickets start at $10. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit carolinaperformingarts.org.

Manfred HoneckManfred Honeck has served as music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008-2009 season. After two extensions, his contract now runs until the end of the 2019-2020 season. To great acclaim, Honeck and his orchestra perform regularly for European audiences. Since 2010, annual tour performances have led them to numerous European music capitals and major music festivals, including Rheingau Musik Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Musikfest Berlin, Grafenegg Festival, Lucerne Festival and the BBC Proms. Several recordings, amongst them Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, which won a 2012 International Classical Music Award, are available on Japanese label Exton. Honeck’s successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is now captured by Reference Recordings. The first SACD — of Strauss tone poems — was released in fall 2013 and received rave reviews. The second recording, of Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 and the Symphonic Suite from Janacek’s opera Jenufa, conceptualized by Honeck himself, followed in summer 2014 and was likewise enthusiastically received. Several additional recordings are completed and it is expected that two releases will be issued per year. Born in Austria, Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and at the helm of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. He began his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado in Vienna. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. Other early stations of his career include Leipzig, where he was one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra and Oslo, where he assumed the post of music director at the Norwegian National Opera on short notice for a year and was engaged as principal guest conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for several years. From 2000 to 2006, he was music director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm and, from 2008 to 2011, principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, 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 leading international orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome and the Vienna Philharmonic. Orchestras he conducted in the United States include New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. He also is a regular guest at the Verbier Festival. In February 2013, he had his successful debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the direct result of which was a CD recording together with Anne-Sophie Mutter (works of Dvorak). The current season sees returns to Bamberg, Stuttgart, Rome and New York as well as to the Vienna Symphony (a CD of works by the Strauss family was released in summer 2013) and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He also will conduct Tonhalleorchester Zürich and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, amongst others. Honeck has received honorary doctorates from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., and, most recently, from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He has been artistic director of the “International Concerts Wolfegg” in Germany for more than 15 years.

Lisitsa, Valentina (Gilbert Francois) Valentina Lisitsa is the first classical “YouTube star” who converted her internet success into a global career in the principal venues of Europe, the United States, South America and Asia since posting her first video playing a Rachmaninoff Etude in 2007. Her YouTube channel now tops 70 million clicks and has almost 130,000 subscribers. A spectacular recital in London’s Royal Albert Hall before an audience of 8000 in 2012 marked her international breakthrough. Listeners voted online for their preferred programme — a form of audience participation that has become one of her trademarks. The Ukraine-born artist began her musical education in her native city of Kiev at the Lysenko Music School for highly talented children and continued it at the Conservatoire in the city. In 1992, she emigrated to the United States, where she launched herself as a piano-duet partner alongside her husband. Several competition successes and the consequent concert engagements marked the start of her life as a concert artist. In May 2010, Lisitsa played the Dutch premiere of the newly arranged Piano Concerto No. 5 (based on the Second Symphony) by Sergei Rachmaninoff with the Rotterdam Philharmonic. In August 2011, she debuted with the Orchestra Sinfonica Brasileira under the baton of Lorin Maazel, having previously played with such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony, WDR SO Cologne, Seoul Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Her appearances introduced her to conductors such as Manfred Honeck, Yannick Nézét-Séguin and Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Lisitsa signed an exclusive agreement with DECCA and released the live recording of the Royal Albert Hall concert. In her following CD releases, she presents works by Rachmaninoff with the London Symphony Orchestra, various works by Liszt and soundtracks by Michael Nyman. Highlights of the 2014 season include performances with Orchestre de Paris under Paavo Järvi, Staatskapelle Dresden at the Semperoper and recitals as at Prinzregententheater München.

For more than 117 years, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been an essential part of Pittsburgh’s cultural landscape. The Pittsburgh Symphony, known for its artistic excellence, is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. This tradition was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras. The Pittsburgh Symphony has made 40 international tours, including 20 European tours, eight trips to the Far East, and two to South America. Under the baton of Gilbert Levine, the PSO was the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican in January 2004 for the late Pope John Paul II, as part of the Pontiff’s Silver Jubilee celebration. The PSO has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. As early as 1936, the PSO broadcast coast-to-coast, receiving increased national attention in 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International (PRI). The PRI series is produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3 in Pittsburgh and is made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

The mission of Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) is to enrich lives by creating and presenting exceptional arts experiences and connecting them to The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) community and beyond. Established in 2005 at UNC-Chapel Hill, Carolina Performing Arts presents the very best from the full spectrum of the performing arts: internationally renowned recitalists and orchestras; dance and chamber ensembles; jazz, roots and world music performers; and opera and theatre companies. In the 2014/15, CPA celebrates its 10th season. In addition to returning favorites, CPA is partnering with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Southern Folklife Collection as they celebrate 25 years; the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Arts and Humanities’ campus-wide World War I Centenary Project; and will present a three performance program in its inaugural Curatorial Fellowship through CPA’s Arts@TheCore initiative. CPA strives to nurture artistic innovation and the development of new works on and off campus; to challenge and inspire audiences with powerful and transformative performances; and to integrate the arts into the life of the University, embracing its mission of teaching, research and public service. For more information, please visit carolinaperformingarts.org.

Editors Please Note:

Sunday, September 28, 8:00 p.m.

Mason Bates:

Rusty Air in Carolina
Nan’s Porch
Katydid Country
Southern Midnight
Locusts Singing in the Heat of Dawn

Sergei Rachmaninoff:

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Opus 43
Ms. Lisitsa

Gustav Mahler:

Symphony No. 1 in D major
I. Langsam Schleppend
II. Kräftig bewegt
III. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen
IV. Stürmisch bewegt

Monday, September 29, 2014 7:35 PM

Steven Stucky:

Silent Spring
The Sea Around Us — The Lost Wood — Rivers of Death — Silent Spring

Burke, Jang, Rosenblum, Vali, Williams:

The Elements

Dmitri Shostakovich:

Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Opus 47
I. Moderato
II. Allegretto
III. Largo
IV. Allegro non troppo

4 thoughts on “Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to Perform at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill as Part of the Carolina Performing Arts Series”

  • It was truly an awesome evening. Loved every minute of it. The performances were majestic. So glad PSO came to UNC, and that I got a ticket. Wish I could see the second evening, as well.

  • Glad I got a last minute ticket for the 9/29/14 concert. Both new works were colorful, with fascinating orchestrations.
    Shostakovich Fifth Symphony’s performance was spectacular.
    Every section of the orchestra sounded superb and Honek’s interpretations were inspiring. The encore was a hoot!

  • Stupendous. What a sound the orchestra has. I especially enjoyed the Stucky piece. And the magnificent symphony of Shostakovich.

    A former professional flutist myself, I can’t imagine hearing a better flutist than the orchestra’s principal. The piccolo playing was amazing as well.

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