The Magic of Disney Comes to BNY Mellon Grand Classics May 8-10

Fantasia_webPITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra showcases the magical use of music in Disney’s “Fantasia” and “Fantasia 2000” during the BNY Mellon Grand Classics on May 8-10 at Heinz Hall.

This family friendly program features excerpts from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and 6, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, Debussy’s Clair de Lune and Stravinsky’s Firebird suite.  The music of Ponchielli, Dukas and Elgar have their moments too in this captivating concert event as scenes from Disney’s original “Fantasia” (1940) and Disney “Fantasia 2000” accompany the live performance.

The Pittsburgh Symphony will be led by guest conductor Ward Stare, who was recently appointed music director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Stare began his musical career as a musician and was trained as a trombonist at the Juilliard School before becoming a conductor.

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 were created. A pre-concert talk, open to all ticket holders and led by Resident Conductor Fawzi Haimor, will occur on stage one hour before each concert. Cartoonist Joe Wos will be Maestro Haimor’s special guest to explore the animation process and the history of “Fantasia.”

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $25.75 to $105.75, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting

The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2014-2015 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.

Stare, Ward_webAmerican-born conductor Ward Stare has been described as “one of the hottest young conductors in America” by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and “a rising star in the conducting firmament” by the Chicago Tribune. Recently appointed music director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Stare opened their 2014-2015 season at Kodak Hall with a special RPO Philharmonics concert featuring guest soloist Midori. He returned to Chicago in 2013 to lead Die Fledermaus, for which Opera News praised his “piquantly effervescent concoction of Strauss’s exquisite score.” Stare led the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra and Chorus in 2013 for his Millennium Park debut with sopranos Ana María Martínez and Albina Shagimuratova, tenor James Valenti, and bass-baritone Evan Boyer for LOC’s annual “Stars of Lyric Opera” concert. Following his critically acclaimed debut with the Opera Theater of St. Louis in 2013 conducting Il Tabarro and Pagliacci, Stare returned to OTSL the next season for performances of “Dialogues of the Carmelites.” He made his debut with the Washington National Opera conducting Donizetti’s comic opera L’elisir d’amore in 2014. Equally active on the concert stage, Stare served as the resident conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra from 2008 to 2012. In 2009, he made his highly successful Carnegie Hall debut with the orchestra, stepping in at the last minute for Music Director David Robertson who performed the role of chansonnier in H. K. Gruber’s Frankenstein!! Recent engagements include the Houston, Québec, and Dallas Symphonies, as well as numerous engagements with the Saint Louis Symphony where he served as a regular guest conductor on the orchestra’s 2012-2013 Family, Special Event and Subscription series. In August 2007, Stare made his critically acclaimed debut with the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Center, The Plain Dealer praising his “clear and vibrant performance and keen ear for phrasing, balance and pacing.” Stare has appeared with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Bangkok Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival and the DITTO Festival in South Korea, and has also led the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in multiple engagements. Highlights of recent seasons include being named “Musician of the Month” by Musical America in November 2011 and an invitation to participate in the prestigious Allianz Cultural Foundation’s 2012 International Conductors’ Academy. Over the course of four months, Stare worked intensively with both the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philharmonia culminating in Stare’s debut with the LPO in Royal Festival Hall in April 2012. The 2010-2011 season included Stare’s debut with the Norwegian National Opera in a new production of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. Stare was the recipient of both the Robert J. Harth Conductor Prize (2006) and the Aspen Conducting Prize (2007) at the Aspen Music Festival before spending the 2007-2008 season as a League of American Orchestras Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Stare has studied conducting with David Zinman, János Fürst and Jorma Panula, and worked with Michel Merlet in composition and musical analysis. Following in the path of many great orchestral conductors whose careers began as instrumentalists, Stare was trained as a trombonist at the Juilliard School in Manhattan. At the age of 18, he was appointed principal trombonist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and has performed as an orchestral musician with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, among others. As a soloist, he has concertized in both the United States and Europe.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, known for its artistic excellence for more than 119 years, 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. Past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004).  This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1944 and John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast on the airwaves coast-to-coast and in the late 1970s it made the ground breaking PBS series “Previn and the Pittsburgh.” The orchestra has received increased national attention since 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900—including 36 international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America—the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras.

Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts is owned and operated by Pittsburgh Symphony, Inc., a non-profit organization, and is the year-round home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, Heinz Hall also hosts many other events that do not feature its world-renowned orchestra, including Broadway shows, comedians, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit

Editors please note:

Friday, May 8, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 9, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 10, 2:30 p.m.

Heinz Hall
WARD STARE, conductor

Ludwig Van Beethoven:

Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Opus 67
I. Allegro con Brio

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Symphony No. 6 in F major, Opus 68, “Pastoral”
III. Merry assembly of country folk: Allegro
IV. Thunderstorm: Allegro
V. Shepherd’s Song – Happy, grateful feelings after the storm: Allegretto

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Suite from The Nutcracker
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Tea (Chinese Dance)
Mirlitons (Dance of the Reed-Flutes)
Coffee (Arabian Dance)
Trepak (Russian Dance)
Waltz of the Flowers

Paul Dukas

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Amilcare Ponchielli

“Dance of the Hours” from La Gioconda

Claude Debussy

Clair de lune

Edward Elgar

Military March from Pomp and Circumstance, Opus 39

Igor Stravinsky

Suite from The Firebird (1919 revision)
II. Dance of the Princesses
III. Infernal Dance of King Kastchei
IV. Berceuse
V. Finale

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