Music for the Spirit Concerts Scheduled for July 1

Resident Conductor Fawzi Haimor to lead two free performances at CMU’s Kresge Theatre

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s popular Music for the Spirit program returns for two special summertime concerts, at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on July 1, at the Kresge Theatre on Carnegie Mellon University’s campus in Oakland.

Led by Resident Conductor Fawzi Haimor, these Music for the Spirit performances will highlight a variety of music from the major world faith traditions. The program for both concerts is nearly identical and include works by Mendelssohn, Haydn, Finzi, Vali and Roustom. The evening performance will also feature Exsultate, jubilate by Mozart. Laura Motchalov, second violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, will perform a solo during both performances. Vocalist Katy Shackleton Williams will be featured in the evening program. Texts complementing the concerts’ music will be read by Williams as well as composers Reza Vali and Kareem Roustom.

“The upcoming Music for the Spirit concerts are uniquely programmed to bring together music from composers of completely different backgrounds and cultures, starting from Western Europe and stretching to the Middle East,” says Haimor. “In addition to the great composers Haydn, Mozart and Mendelssohn,  we’re excited to play music of modern day great composers such as Finzi, Vali and Roustoum, all put together in a single concert experience with the common goal to use music as a vessel to help uplift the spirit.”

Admission to Music for the Spirit is free, but reservations are required. Seating is general admission and limited. Reservations can be made by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org.

Each season, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents several performances with spiritual roots — including one at Heinz Hall as part of the BNY Mellon Grand Classics series and others in rotating venues in the community, such as churches, synagogues, mosques and community centers. These performances feature works with spirituality at their heart and that appeal to music lovers of all faiths. The Music for the Spirit concerts sprang from the Pittsburgh Symphony’s 2004 performance at the Vatican, the first American orchestra to perform for the pope. That powerful, monumental experience sparked a commitment between the Pittsburgh Symphony and faith communities in Pittsburgh to perform concerts that celebrate the spiritual and universal message of music.

Generous support for Music for the Spirit is provided by Astorino, Mr. and Mrs. J. Christopher Donahue, Susan and Roy Dorrance, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Catharine M. Ryan and John T. Ryan III.

Fawzi HaimorFawzi Haimor holds the position of resident conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, where he conducts a variety of concerts including classical, pops, education and outreach. While in Pittsburgh, he has served as a cover to esteemed conductors including Manfred Honeck, Leonard Slatkin, Gianandrea Noseda, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos and Yan Pascal Tortelier. In his first European season, Haimor made an impressive debut with the Filarmonica del Teatro Comunale di Bologna with Bruckner’s Symphony No.4 and was re-invited after the first rehearsal. In the United Kingdom, he appeared with the Württembergisches Kammerorchester at the Ca-dogan Hall, London with a contemporary programme and with Sinfonia ViVA in a classical pro-gramme, including Schumann cello concerto with Leonard Elschenbroich and Beethoven Sym-phony No.1. The Derby Telegraph noted of the Beethoven, “A buoyant scherzo was followed by a runaway romp of a finale, the criss-crossing scale-patterns exhilarating in their precision and inci-siveness.” Elsewhere, Haimor works with Jacksonville Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Ala-bama Symphony Orchestra, Erie Chamber Orchestra and Amman Symphony in the Middle East. Highlights for the 2014-2015 season include returning to the Orquesta Sinfonia di Porto and de-buts with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi with Prokofiev’s 7th Symphony, Haydn Orchesta Bolzano, Qatar Philharmonic, Bursa State Orchestra, Turkey and education pro-jects with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg with a staged production of Grieg’s Peer Gynt. Haimor was invited to attend rehearsals with the West Eastern Divan Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim this summer at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires. His repertoire includes the late romantic Germanic works, 19th and 20th century Russian and American composers, plus he is a committed advocate of contemporary music and has performed works by composers such as Kevin Puts, Bela Fleck, Mohammed Fairouz and Avner Dorman. Passionate about the education of young musicians, Haimor was the first music director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra and has subsequently been invited to guest conduct youth ensembles across the United States. An eloquent and compelling speaker from the podium, he was the founder of the Davis Summer Symphony which is geared towards the education and out-reach of classical music in the community. Born in Chicago in 1983, Haimor was raised in the Middle East and the San Francisco Bay area. He completed his violin training at the Jacobs School of Music in Indiana University, where he studied under David Effron and Arthur Fagen. He earned bachelor’s degrees in both music and neurobiology, a master’s degree in conducting from the University of California-Davis, and second master’s in instrumental conducting at Indiana University.

Laura Motchalov_webCanadian violinist Laura Motchalov joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra during the 2003-2004 season. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Motchalov comes from a very musical family. Her father is a violinist, and her brother is a pianist. She began studying the violin at the age of four and by the age of six, was accepted into the Mount Royal College Conservatory of Music program in Calgary. As a teen, she won many awards at the local, provincial and national levels. She won the Provincial Grand Prize award in Alberta in 1997 as well as prizes at the Austrian-Canadian Mozart Competition and the Canadian Music Competitions. In 2001, she won Second Prize at the Corpus Christie International Concerto Competition in Texas. Throughout the years, she has participated in many summer music festivals such as the Indiana String Academy, Music Academy of the West, Aspen Music Festival, Keshet Eilon, Spoleto USA, National Repertory Orchestra and the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival. She has studied with William Preucil, Linda Cerone, Zvi Zeitlin, Oleh Krysa, Edmond Agopian, Steven Bryant and Dr. Lise Elson. She has also studied chamber music with members of the Ying Quartet, Cleveland Quartet, and the Cavani Quartet. She is very active as both a chamber musician and soloist. Locally, she often collaborates with other members of the Pittsburgh Symphony and is also a member of the new music ensemble, IonSound Project. In the past, she was a member of the Atlantica trio in Rochester and toured New York State and New Jersey. She has appeared as a soloist with the Calgary Civic Symphony Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Williams, Katy ShackletonAs a performer and a teacher, Katy Shackleton Williams loves to combine her passion for teaching with her passion for singing. She has performed extensively in the Pittsburgh area with prestigious organizations such as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera, Civic Light Opera, the Mendelssohn Choir, Pittsburgh Opera Theater and River City Brass.  Williams has also had the frequent pleasure of singing with Maestro Lawrence Loh’s Northeastern Philharmonic in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Williams is a member of the professional core for the Mendelssohn Choir, section leader of the Jr. Mendelssohn Choir, chorister in Pittsburgh Opera and is adjunct music staff at Point Park University and Washington & Jefferson College. She is the soprano soloist at Rodef Shalom, Oakland, and the vocal artist in residence at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Mt. Lebanon. Williams is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor of fine arts degree in vocal performance.

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 heinzhall.org.

Editors please note:

Wednesday, July 1, 1 and 7:30 p.m.
Kresge Theatre, Carnegie Mellon University
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
SUMMER WITH THE SYMPHONY: MUSIC FOR THE SPIRIT
FAWZI HAIMOR, conductor
LAURA MOTCHALOV, violin
KATY SHACKLETON WILLIAMS, vocalist

Program for 1 p.m. concert:

Felix Mendelssohn:

Sinfonia No. 8 in D major
Menuetto

Franz Joseph Haydn:

Symphony No. 59 in A major, “Fire”
I. Presto

Gerald Finzi:

Romance for String Orchestra, Opus 11 8:00

Reza Vali:

Funebre
Ms. Motchalov

Kareem Roustoum:

Dabke

Franz Joseph Haydn:

Symphony No. 59 in A major, “Fire”
IV. Allegro assai

Felix Mendelssohn:

Sinfonia No. 8 in D
Allegro molto

Program for 7:30 p.m. concert:

Felix Mendelssohn:

Sinfonia No. 8 in D major
Menuetto

Franz Joseph Haydn:

Symphony No. 59 in A major, “Fire”
I. Presto

Gerald Finzi:

Romance for String Orchestra, Opus 11

Wolfgang Amade Mozart:

Exsultate, jubilate, K. 1581 [165]
I. Alegro
II. Recitativo – Andante
III. Allegro (Allelujah)
Ms. Williams

Reza Vali:

Funebre
Ms. Motchalov

Kareem Roustoum:

Dabke

Franz Joseph Haydn:

Symphony No. 59 in A major, “Fire”
IV. Allegro assai

Felix Mendelssohn:

Sinfonia No. 8 in D
Allegro molto

 

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