The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Scottish Rite Cathedral Series celebrates its 16th anniversary during the 2016-2017 season with a diverse selection of concerts that hit all the right notes.
The season opens on Thursday, December 15 with one of the most festive nights of the year — Holiday Pops! Assistant Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong leads the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and a sleigh full of guest artists in a performance of favorite carols, cherished holiday tunes, seasonal orchestral pieces and a Christmas sing-along.
On Saturday, February 4, 2017, Music Director Manfred Honeck returns to the Scottish Rite Cathedral with superstar violinist Midori. She will perform Mendelssohn’s poetic and lyrical Violin Concerto. Honeck also will lead Mozart’s ingenious “Haffner” Symphony, which was originally designed as party music for the prominent Haffner family of Salzburg, and Brahms’ triumphant Symphony No. 1. A work nearly 14 years in the making, it announced Brahms’ arrival as a symphonist in dramatic style.
The season concludes on Friday, May 5 with “A Night at the Movies: The Music of John Williams,” a program that features music from the legendary composer’s well-known movie scores, including “Superman,” “Harry Potter” and “Indiana Jones.” This thrilling evening also will include brand new music from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Three-concert season packages are on sale now and range from $33 to $150. Packages can be purchased by calling 800-743-8560 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/src. Packages for the 2016-2017 season also can be purchased in person prior to the final concert of the 2015-2016 season, “The Ultimate Oscars,” on Saturday, April 9. Tickets for individual concerts will go on sale this summer.
All concerts are held at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in New Castle. Pre-concert dinners are held at the cathedral, beginning at 6 p.m., before each performance. Call 724-654-6683 for reservations.
2016-2017 Scottish Rite Cathedral Series at a Glance
Programs, artists and dates are subject to change
Thursday, December 15, 8 p.m.
Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor
Share this favorite holiday musical tradition with family and friends, and thrill to the spectacle of the season with the annual Holiday Pops concert. It’s a sparkling celebration of favorite carols, cherished holiday tunes, seasonal orchestral pieces and a Christmas carol sing-along all headed to New Castle’s Scottish Rite Cathedral. And yes, Virginia, there will be a Santa Claus!
Saturday, February 4, 2017, 8 p.m.
Manfred Honeck, conductor
Mozart: Symphony No. 35 in D major, K. 385, “Haffner”
Mendelssohn: Concerto in E minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 64
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Opus 68
Since skyrocketing onto the scene as a dazzling young virtuoso capturing the hearts and minds of audiences around the world, violin sensation Midori has always made people stand up and take notice. She makes her long-awaited return to the Pittsburgh Symphony in a performance of Mendelssohn’s poetic and lyrical Violin Concerto. Mozart’s ingenious “Haffner” Symphony opens the program. Originally designed as party music for the prominent Haffner family of Salzburg, this work was later transformed into a symphony for the great musical center of Vienna. Also not to be missed is Brahms’ triumphant Symphony No. 1. This long-awaited work, nearly 14 years in the making, announced Brahms’ arrival as a symphonist in dramatic style.
Friday, May 5, 2017, 8 p.m.
A Night at the Movies: The Music of John Williams
Soar to new heights with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the music from legendary composer John Williams’ well-known movie scores, including “Superman,” “Harry Potter” and “Indiana Jones.” Plus, enjoy brand new music from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Arguably the most famous cinematic composer of all time, Williams has been nominated for 50 Academy Awards® and has won five Oscars®. Experience the excitement and adventure captured in his compositions to the fullest. This concert promises to be a thrilling ride through the unmistakable melodies of Williams’ masterful movie music!
The PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, celebrating 120 years of music in the 2015-2016 season, 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.