Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Presents Annual Free Concerts in South Park, Hartwood Acres July 2 & 3

Assistant conductor Andrés Franco leads the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in two outdoor summer concerts featuring popular classics at South Park on July 2 at 8:00 p.m. and Hartwood Acres on July 3 at 8:15 p.m.

The Symphony returns to South Park and Hartwood Acres for two wonderful evenings of music, featuring the musical compositions from John Williams, along with other favorites such as Bernstein’s Overture to West Side Story and John Phillip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Fun for the whole family, each concert is free and open to the public. Questions can be directed to the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900.

About the Artists

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 made subscription debuts with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, and returned 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, 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 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.

Editors please note:
Saturday, July 2 at 8:00 p.m., South Park
Sunday, July 3 at 8:15 p.m., Hartwood Acres

ANDRÉS FRANCO, conductor

Leonard Bernstein (adapted by Peress):

Overture to West Side Story

George Gershwin (arranged by Bennett):

Selections from Porgy and Bess

Duke Ellington (arranged by Custer):

A Medley for Orchestra

Ary Barroso (arr. Wasson):

Brasil (Aquarela do Brasil)

John Williams:

Olympic Fanfare and Theme

John Williams:

“Adventures on Earth” from E. T. (The Extra-Terrestrial)

John Williams:

Suite from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry’s Wondrous World

John Williams:

Music from Lincoln
The People’s House

Kenneth Alford:

Colonel Bogey March

Bob Lowden (arranged by Lowden):

Armed Forces Salute
Army Song
Coast Guard Song
Marines Song
Air Force Song
Navy Song

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky:

1812, Overture solennelle, Opus 49

John Phillip Sousa:

Stars and Stripes Forever

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