Students Shine During Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Kraft Heinz Audience of the Future and EQT Side-by-Side Programs

Students Shine During Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Kraft Heinz Audience of the Future and EQT Side-by-Side Programs


The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s annual Kraft Heinz Audience of the Future & EQT Student Side-by-Side event will be held on Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. in Heinz Hall.

The Kraft Heinz Audience of the Future program is a unique opportunity for local high school students to plan and implement a Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concert, and their work, “A World Kaleidoscope,” will be featured in the first half of this concert.

Over the course of a school year, the students visited Heinz Hall to select concert repertoire, write marketing and public relations plans, promote and sell tickets to the concert, learn about backstage and concert production, create multimedia to document and promote the program, practice sound recording techniques, and design interactive exhibits through the use of STEAM concepts and project-based learning. Students were coached by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra staff members and local teaching artists, and proceeds from the concert benefit the arts and music programs of the participating schools.

The second half of the program features students from the EQT Student Side-By-Side program, which gives aspiring young musicians the unique opportunity to rehearse and perform “side-by-side” with their Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra counterparts on the Heinz Hall stage. Participants benefit from rehearsals, coachings, performances and workshops with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conductors and musicians.

Attendees are invited to Heinz Hall at 6 p.m. for pre-concert exhibits showcasing the creativity of the Kraft Heinz Audience of the Future program, and stay after the concert for an ice cream and jazz reception featuring the Shaler Area High School Jazz Band.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27. Tickets, $10, are general admission and can be purchased at the Heinz Hall Box Office, online at or by phone at 412-392-4900.

The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank The Kraft Heinz Company for its title sponsorship of the Audience of the Future Program. The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank the EQT Foundation for its title sponsorship of the Student Side-By-Side. The STEAM/technology portion of this project — provided by SNAP! — is supported in part by a Remake Learning grant from The Sprout Fund.

About the Artists

Recently named music director of Tulsa’s Signature Symphony at TCC and assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, ANDRÉS FRANCO has established himself as a conductor to watch. He is in his fifth season as principal conductor of the multimedia project Caminos del Inka and his third season as artistic director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Festival, “Concerts in the Garden.”

Franco’s 2014-2015 highlights included subscription debuts with the Columbus and Fort Worth symphony orchestras, as well as return engagements with the Houston and Saint Louis symphonies. In 2015-2016, he will make subscription debuts with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, and will return to conduct the Corpus Christi and Fort Worth symphony orchestras.

A frequent guest conductor in the U.S., Europe and South America, Franco has appeared with the Elgin, El Paso, Eugene, Lake Forest, Mississippi, Springfield and Stockton symphony orchestras, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León/Spain and the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, as well as with the National Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic, Medellin Philharmonic and EAFIT Symphony Orchestra in Colombia. Festival appearances include the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Wintergreen Music Festival in Virginia. Franco formerly served as music director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City (2004-2010), associate and resident conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony (2009-2014), and Leonard Slatkin’s assistant conductor during the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (2013).

A native of Colombia, Franco is dedicated to preserving and performing the music of the Americas. As principal conductor of Caminos del Inka, he has led many performances of Latin American music by composers of our time, such as Jimmy López, Diego Luzuriaga and the popular Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. Born into a musical family, Franco began piano studies with his father, Jorge Franco. An accomplished pianist, he studied with Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jose Feghali and attended piano workshops with Rudolph Buchbinder in Switzerland and Lev Naumov in France.  He studied conducting with Marin Alsop, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Helmut Rilling, Gerard Schwarz and Leonard Slatkin.

Franco holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as Master of Music degrees in piano performance and conducting from Texas Christian University. Franco is married to Victoria Luperi, principal clarinetist in the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

The PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 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

REMAKE LEARNING GRANTS are small-scale funding awards ($1,000-$10,000) to catalyze innovative learning projects that inspire educators and students to explore new ways of teaching and learning. Remake Learning is a professional network supporting the people, organizations and ideas shaping the future of teaching and learning in the greater Pittsburgh region. Representing more than 250 organizations including schools & universities, museums & libraries, afterschool & community centers, educational technology companies and local philanthropies, Remake Learning Network members are working together to inspire a generation of lifelong learners in Pittsburgh, West Virginia and beyond. The Sprout Fund supports the Remake Learning Network by funding new learning initiatives, building a community of practice, and sharing the story of learning innovation in the region. Learn more at

Editors please note:

Wednesday, April 27, 7 p.m.
Heinz Hall
ANDRÉS FRANCO, conductor

First Half: Kraft Heinz Audience of the Future

Camille Saint-Saëns:

Danse macabre, Opus 40

Ralph Vaughan Williams (orch. Gordon Jacob):

English Folk Song Suite
March “Seventeen Come Sunday”
“My Bonny Boy”
“Folk Songs from Somerset”

James Peterson:


Johannes Brahms (orch. by Martin Schmeling):

Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G minor

Reinhold Gliere:

Red Poppy: Russian Sailor’s Dance


Second Half: EQT Student Side-by-Side

Ary Barroso (arr. Wasson):

Brasil (Aquarela do Brasil)

Aaron Copland:

Variations on a Shaker Melody from Appalachian Spring

Bedrich Smetana

“The Moldau,” No. 2 from Má vlast

Arturo Marquez:

Danzón No. 2


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