The Fiddlesticks Family Concert Series wraps up the 2017-2018 season with “Around the World!,” a celebration of the music created in different countries on Saturday, May 13 at 11:15 a.m. at Heinz Hall.
Fiddlesticks, the orchestra’s feline musical ambassador to children, joins the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony to explore how composers have been inspired by the exhilarating rhythms and colorful melodies from around the world. Hear how Barroso brought the colorful sounds of Brazil to life and how Gershwin created a musical journey through Paris. Imaginations will set sail with Fiddlesticks on a whirlwind trip around the globe!
Ticket holders are invited to participate in Discovery Time Adventures prior to every Fiddlesticks concert. These educational activities allow young audiences and their families to meet symphony musicians, learn songs and take part in various musical activities. Discovery Time Adventures for “Around the World” include sing alongs, music makers, story, crafts and eurhythmics rooms, as well as a selfie station, ZooBeats Kiosks and musical ambassadors from the orchestra! A quiet room will be available during the concert for those who may need a quiet space with bean bags, play mats and coloring materials, and a video monitor to watch what’s happening onstage.
Discovery Time Adventures will begin at 10 a.m. and the concert will begin at 11:15 a.m. Tickets, ranging in price from $12 to $22.25, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or by visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/fiddlesticks.
The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank PNC for its presenting sponsorship of Fiddlesticks Family Concerts. Macy’s is a presenting partner of Fiddlesticks Family Concerts. This series is endowed by Gerald and Audrey McGinnis, honoring the Center for Young Musicians. Pittsburgh Symphony Education & Community Engagement programs are also generously supported by Lincoln Learning Solutions and the Allegheny Regional Asset District.
About the Artists
American conductor FRANCESCO LECCE-CHONG has worked with orchestras around the world including engagements with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. With the start of the 2015-2016 season, he begins his new position as assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra after serving four years as associate conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO). He will return to the MSO throughout the season for several guest engagements and will make his opera debut with the Florentine Opera. He also will continue as associate conductor of the Grand Teton Music Festival.
Lecce-Chong has earned a growing reputation and critical acclaim for dynamic, forceful performances, garnering national distinction, including the Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award and The Presser Foundation Music Award. He has also been featured in master classes with Bernard Haitink, David Zinman, David Robertson and Christopher Seaman, while working with the St. Louis Symphony, National Arts Center Orchestra and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich.
As a trained pianist and composer, Lecce-Chong embraces innovative programming, champions the work of new composers and supports arts education. While working with the MSO, he curated and presented the works of both active and lesser-known composers, including two works commissioned by the orchestra, as well as two U.S. premieres. He also helped create the first MSO Composer Institute, providing performance opportunities for young American composers. Lecce-Chong has complemented his programming with a strong commitment to arts education for all ages. In Milwaukee, he provided artistic leadership for the MSO’s nationally lauded Arts in Community Education program — one of the largest arts integration programs in the country — and he continues to be a frequent guest speaker for arts organizations around the country.
Lecce-Chong is a native of Boulder, Colorado, where he began conducting at the age of 16. He is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree with honors in piano and orchestral conducting. Lecce-Chong also holds a diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied as a Martin and Sarah Taylor Fellow with Otto-Werner Mueller. He has been mentored by many world-renowned conductors, including Edo de Waart and Donald Runnicles, with whom he continues to maintain a close working relationship.
KATY SHACKLETON WILLIAMS has performed extensively in the Pittsburgh area with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera, Mendelssohn Choir, Pittsburgh Opera Theater, River City Brass Band and Pittsburgh Concert Chorale. She was a featured soloist for several Pittsburgh Symphony Holiday Pops concert series and made her BNY Mellon Grand Classics debut in September 2005 with Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She was a soloist in the Heinz Hall performance of The Lord of the Rings and has been the special guest vocalist for many of the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Fiddlesticks and Tiny Tots children’s concerts.
JAMES GOURLAY was born in Scotland, where, at the age of 10, he was “volunteered” to play in his school brass band. Being the tallest in class, he was serendipitously given the tuba, an instrument he loves and continues to promote all over the world.
After much success as a solo champion, Gourlay entered the Royal College of Music but left after a short time to become the principal tuba of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the age of 18. He continued working at the BBC Symphony Orchestra for 10 years, then performed for an additional 10 years with the Orchestra of the Zurich Opera. Gourlay’s career as a chamber musician and soloist continues to flourish. He has been a member of the Philip Jones and English Brass ensembles with which he has toured the world, and also continues to perform as a soloist extensively. He has recorded five solo CDs, the latest being British Tuba Concertos recorded for the Naxos label with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, which has since received international critical acclaim.
Gourlay’s early work within the Brass Band Movement forms a vital component of his creative output. After early success with the Brass Band Berneroberland, he became music director of the Williams Fairey Band with which he won the English Masters and British Open contents. Gourlay has also been the professional conductor of the Grimethorpe Colliery and the Etoiles, with which he has won the Swiss National Championships, the Swiss Open Championships, and second place at the European as well as at the World Brass Band Championships.
Gourlay’s commitment to music education is a continuing passion. He has been head of wind and percussion at the Royal Northern College of Music and Deputy Principal and music director at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Salford University, a masters degree from Leeds University, a fellowship of the Royal Northern College of Music, a Fellowship of the London College of Music, and is also a recipient of the Henry Iles Medal, presented by the Worshipful Company of Musicians for services to the Brass Band Movement. Currently, Gourlay is international vice president of the International Tuba and Euphonium Association and artistic director of the River City Brass.
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), André 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. Its “Pittsburgh Live!” series with Reference Recordings has resulted in back-to-back Grammy Award nominations in 2015 and 2016. 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.
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:
Saturday, May 13 at 11:15 a.m.
Discovery Time Adventures at 10 a.m.
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
FIDDLESTICKS FAMILY SERIES: Around the World
FRANCESCO LECCE-CHONG, conductor
KATY SHACKLETON WILLIAMS, soprano
JAMES GOURLAY, alpine horn
YEMAYA PITTSBURGH, drumming/dance ensemble
Music Can Make Your Life Complete
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Overture to The Abduction from the Seraglio, K. 384
Traditional Alpine Horn solo
Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Opus 68
IV. Adagio – Più andante – Allegro non troppo, ma con brio
“Polovtzian Dances” from Prince Igor
Traditional (Lucas Richman):
Ary Barroso (John Wasson):
Brasil (Aquarela do Brasil)
Traditional Yangko Folk Dance
An American in Paris (excerpt)
Music Can Make Your Life Complete
Discovery Time Adventures
- Sing-along room
- Music Makers room
- Eurhythmics room
- Story room
- Selfie station
- Craft room
- ZooBeats Kiosks from 91.3 WYEP
- Musical Ambassadors from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
- And a quiet room during the concert