The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of guest conductor David Zinman, brings Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 and Strauss’ Don Quixote to life in two sensational BNY Mellon Grand Classics performances on Friday, May 19, and Sunday, May 21 at Heinz Hall.
Cellist Maximilian Hornung makes his Pittsburgh Symphony debut performing Strauss’ famous tone poem, Don Quixote, which is inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ timeless 17th-century novel. In Strauss’ score, the knight, Don Quixote de la Mancha, comes to life in the solo cello. Principal Viola Randolph Kelly also will solo in the finale, in which the Don is ready for death and Strauss reflects the scene in six brief, gentle measures, which convey a mood touchingly similar to that of the final passages of the Brahms Third Symphony.
Brahms’ Third Symphony, also known as the composer’s Eroica, is filled with conflicts and warm resolutions, turbulence, gentle sentiment and a twilight serenity.
A pre-concert talk, open to all ticketholders, with Assistant Conductor Andrés Franco will occur on stage one hour before each concert. Ring Pittsburgh (a community handbell choir) and the Youth Chamber Connection Ensemble (a student ensemble) will perform in the Grand Lobby of Heinz Hall one hour before concert start on Friday and Sunday respectively. Both pre-concert presentations are free and open to ticketholders.
Program notes for the weekend are available online at pittsburghsymphony.org/Romantic and on the PSO mobile app the day of the concert.
The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 19, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 21. Tickets, ranging in price from $20 to $94, are available through the Heinz Hall Box Office by phone at 412-392-4900 or online at pittsburghsymphony.org/Romantic.
The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2016-2017 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Radio station WQED-FM 89.3 and WQEJ-FM 89.7 is the official voice of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
About the Artists
New York-born David Zinman’s career has been distinguished by a wide-ranging repertoire, a commitment to contemporary music and the introduction of historically informed performance practice. He has held positions as music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic and Baltimore Symphony orchestras; principal conductor of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and music director of the Aspen Music Festival, School and American Academy of Conducting. He is conductor laureate of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, having completed his 19-year tenure as music director in summer 2014, and for the past two seasons has been the music director of the Orchestre Français des Jeunes.
A regular guest with the world’s leading orchestras, this season includes appearances with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (in a semi-staged production of Barber’s Vanessa), Orchestre national de Lyon, SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester, Bamberger Symphoniker, NHK Symphony Orchestra and Royal Flemish, Netherlands Radio and Czech philharmonic orchestras. He also returns to the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich for concerts and his now world-renowned masterclasses.
He has long-standing collaborations with soloists such as Janine Jansen, Mitsuko Uchida, Alfred Brendel, Yefim Bronfman, Radu Lupu, Truls Mørk, Lisa Batiashvili, Gil Shaham, Julia Fischer, Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax and András Schiff.
Zinman’s extensive discography of more than 100 recordings has earned him numerous international honors, particularly for his interpretation of Beethoven’s symphonies with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, including five Grammy awards, two Grand Prix du Disque, two Edison Prizes, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis and a Gramophone Award. Recent releases include a 50-CD box set David Zinman: Great Symphonies – The Zurich Years, which commemorates his recording legacy with the Tonhalle-Orchester. His most recent accolade is the 2015 Echo Klassik Conductor of the Year award.
In 2000, the French Ministry of Culture awarded Zinman the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in October 2002 the City of Zürich Art Prize was awarded to him for his outstanding artistic efforts — making him the first conductor and first non-Swiss recipient of this award. More recently, Zinman received the prestigious Theodore Thomas Award in recognition of outstanding achievement and extraordinary service to one’s colleagues in advancing the art and science of conducting. In 2008, he won the Midem Classical Artist of the Year award for his work with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich. He was also the 1997 recipient of the prestigious Ditson Award from Columbia University in recognition of his exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers.
With his striking musicality, instinctive stylistic certainty and musical maturity, the young cellist Maximilian Hornung, whose career began when he won the German Music Council’s Competition in 2005, is taking the international music scene by storm. He received an ECHO Klassik prize as best newcomer of the year for his first Sony CD in 2011, followed by an ECHO Klassik prize for the best cello concerto recording of the year for his recording of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Bamberg Symphony under Sebastian Tewinkel in October 2012. In August 2014, he made his debut at the Salzburg Festival with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen and released a CD of Richard Strauss’ most important works for cello with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Bernard Haitink, as well as a CD of the cello concertos of Joseph Haydn and Vaja Azarashvili with the Kammerakademie Potsdam under Antonello Manacorda on Sony Classical in the same year.
Hornung regularly performs as a soloist with such renowned orchestras as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Czech Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Bamberg Symphony under conductors such as Daniel Harding, Yannick Nézét-Séguin, Mariss Jansons, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mario Venzago, Bernard Haitink, Manfred Honeck, Antonello Manacorda, Jiří Bělohlávek, Heinrich Schiff, Jonathan Nott, Yakov Kreizberg, Krzysztof Urbánski, Robin Ticciati and Semyon Bychkov. His chamber music partners include Anne-Sophie Mutter, Hélène Grimaud, Christian Tetzlaff, Lisa Batiashvili, François Leleux, Yefim Bronfman, Lars Vogt, Jörg Widmann and Tabea Zimmermann. He has appeared at numerous festivals, including the Schwetzingen, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Rheingau, Lucerne, Verbier, Ravinia and Hong Kong festivals, and concerts have taken him to the philharmonic halls in Berlin, Cologne and Essen, as well as to the Konzerthaus Vienna, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and London’s Wigmore Hall.
In the 2015-2016 season, he played Brahms’ Double Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Mariss Jansons, as well as with Lisa Batiashvili and the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Yannick Nézét-Séguin, among others. He was also invited to the Tonkünstler Orchestra under Hugh Wolff (Elgar) and the Bern Symphony Orchestra under Mario Venzago (Herbert No. 2) as well as the Vancouver Recital Society and together with the Arcanto Quartet to Munich and to the Schwetzingen Festival.
Special highlights of the 2016-2017 season include Hornung’s orchestral debuts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under David Zinman (Don Quixote), the Verdi Orchestra Milan under Jader Bignamini (Dvořák), the NFM Symphony Orchestra Wroclaw under Mario Venzago (Schumann) and with the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hanover under Andrew Manze (Brahms Double Concerto with Antje Weithaas). Re-invitations will take him, among others, back to the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz under Antonello Manacorda (Shostakovich No. 1) and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana under Nicholas Collon (Saint-Saëns No. 1). In November 2016, he will give his recital debut at the Wigmore Hall. Additionally, he will present a cross section of the cello repertoire as artist-in-residence of the Neubrandenburg Philharmonic.
Hornung, born 1986 in Augsburg, began taking cello lessons at the age of eight. The teachers with whom he has studied most intensely are Eldar Issakadze, Thomas Grossenbacher and David Geringas. As cellist of the Tecchler Trio, in which he played until 2011, he won the First Prize of the ARD Music Competition in 2007. At the age of only 23, he became first principal cellist of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and held this position until 2013. Numerous recordings were released on Sony Classical, Genuin, Linn Records, NEOS, Bridge Records and CPO.
Hornung is supported and sponsored by the Anne-Sophie Mutter Circle of Friends Foundation and Borletti-Buitoni Trust London.
Randolph Kelly has enjoyed a distinguished and multifaceted career as principal violist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He was signed by André Previn in 1976, and has since played under the direction of Lorin Maazel and Mariss Jansons. Previn once wrote that Kelly “transformed his section into what I believe is the best viola section of any orchestra in America.”
One highlight of Kelly’s tenure with the PSO was performing the world premiere of a viola concerto written for him by Samuel Adler. The PSO commissioned this piece for their 2000-2001 Season.
In addition to his orchestral career, Kelly’s virtuosity as a soloist and chamber musician has been celebrated around the world. He has collaborated with such artists as Yo-Yo Ma, André Previn, Pinchas Zukerman and Trauls Mork, among others. He has recorded and toured extensively with the Los Angeles Piano Quartet. In reviewing an LAPQ performance, the German Press Passaver Neve stated, “Randolph Kelly is in a class of his own. He has a richness of tone such as one seldom hears…” Additionally, Kelly has been invited to perform as a guest artist at chamber music festivals in Japan, Australia, Europe, China, Taiwan and Russia.
As a soloist, Kelly has appeared on some of the most prestigious concert stages in the world. He performed the New York premiere of Sir Michael Tippet’s Triple Concerto in Carnegie Hall. He made his European solo debut when Lorin Maazel invited him to play the Walton Concerto with the National Orchestra of France. James DePriest conducted the Oregon Symphony when Kelly played the Bartók Viola Concerto. The review in The Oregonian stated, “guest soloist Randolph Kelly provided the evening’s highlight… it was a breathtaking performance.”
In addition to his rigorous performing schedule, Kelly has recorded a wide range of music for the Albany, Naxos and Music Masters labels. He also appeared on National TV, performing Don Quixote as part of a series entitled Previn and Pittsburgh.
Randolph Kelly is a graduate of The Curtis Institute, where he worked closely with the esteemed violist Joseph DePasquale. He is committed to performing new music, and he generously volunteers his time to educational programs in an effort to bring a wide range of musical experiences to young audiences.
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 hosts many events that do not feature its world-renowned Orchestra including Broadway shows, popular touring artists, comedians, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit heinzhall.org.
Editors Please Note:
Friday, May 19, at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 21 at 2:30 p.m.
BNY MELLON GRAND CLASSICS: Romantic Brahms
DAVID ZINMAN, conductor
MAXIMILIAN HORNUNG, cello (debut)
RANDOLPH KELLY, viola
Symphony No. 3 in F major, Opus 90
I. Allegro con brio
III. Poco allegretto
Don Quixote, Opus 35
II. Theme and variations