FUSE@PSO, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s category shattering early evening concert series, returns to Heinz Hall on Wednesday, June 14 with string trio Time for Three in “Mash-Up Mix-Down.”
A classically trained trio known for their exploration of a variety of musical genres, Time for Three joins Creative Director and Conductor Steve Hackman and the Pittsburgh Symphony for a concert that hits the shuffle button, offering the audience a playlist of classical-pop mash-ups. Mozart meets The Beatles, Mahler mixes it up with Guns n’ Roses and the Verve, jams with Dave Matthews…and much more!
“I couldn’t be more excited for the FUSE@PSO audience to experience Time For Three! Their combination of virtuosity, charisma and artistry is truly one-of-a-kind. It has been my privilege and pleasure to be the closest of colleagues and friends to this group for almost a decade, and indeed many of the principles that the FUSE series embodies were developed out of my collaborations with them,” said Hackman. “The combination of Time For Three and the Pittsburgh Symphony is going to make for a truly unforgettable FUSE concert!”
Time for Three is Nick Kendall on violin, Charles Yang on violin and Ranaan Meyer on double bass. The trio is known for its passion for improvisation, composing and arranging and has appeared as guest soloists everywhere from the Philadelphia Orchestra’s subscription series to “Dancing with the Stars.”
In keeping with the mission of FUSE@PSO to engage and illuminate music in a way that excites and educates, the evening kicks off with a happy hour-type atmosphere, featuring mingling with musicians and fellow music lovers and happy hour-priced drinks. The Heinz Hall Garden will be open, weather permitting.
“FUSE@PSO: Mash-Up Mix-Down” begins at 5 p.m. with happy hour; the concert starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Tickets are on sale now online at pittsburghsymphony.org/fuse, via phone at 412-392-4900 or in person at the Heinz Hall Box Office. Tickets are general admission and there is no intermission. Drinks are allowed in the concert hall at this performance.
The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its series sponsorship of FUSE@PSO. Radio station WQED-FM 89.3 and WQEJ-FM 89.7 is the official voice of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
About the Artists
Conductor, composer, arranger, producer and songwriter STEVE HACKMAN is one the most innovative artists contributing to a new landscape in classical music. Fluent in both classical and popular repertoire, he crafts virtuosic, cross-genre works and performances that intrigue the established audience and engage an excited new one.
Hackman presents programs he architects that synthesize orchestral and pop masterworks. He has performed his pieces such as Brahms + Radiohead, Beethoven + Coldplay, Copland + Bon Iver and Bartók + Björk with the symphony orchestras of Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Charlotte, Columbus and the Colorado Music Festival.
In 2016-2017, Hackman continues as creative director and conductor of FUSE@PSO, a genre-defying series at the Pittsburgh Symphony that has introduced the symphony and its repertoire to thousands of new listeners. Created in 2015, the series has received accolades from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh Quarterly magazine, Whirl magazine, Table magazine, Next Pittsburgh and Made in PGH. On March 8, 2017, KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today Live led with the story “Pittsburgh Symphony’s FUSE Series getting rave reviews.”
In April 2017, Hackman conducted the Nashville Symphony and in June will make his debut with the Boston Pops, conducting four concerts June 8 – 11. He will return to the Pittsburgh Symphony later in June, then to the Colorado Music Festival in July for the premiere of his next mashup, Classicalapalooza, a trip through an imaginary music festival where both classical masterpieces and pop hits are performed.
In summer 2016, Hackman conducted the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh at the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh and the Oglebay Park Summer Concert Series in West Virginia. The program, entitled “Defying Gravity,” featured several new mash-up arrangements of Hackman’s, including Mozart with The Beatles, Mahler with John Mayer, and Randall Thompson’s Alleluia with Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Hackman’s work as an artistic innovator was recently recognized by an invitation to speak at the TedX Conference.
From 2013 to 2015, Hackman was music director of the “Mash-Up” series at the Colorado Music Festival. From 2009 to 2013, Hackman served as co-creative director of the Happy Hour at the Symphony Series with the Indianapolis Symphony, where, along with co-artistic directors Time For Three (TF3), he pioneered a new type of concert experience by producing, arranging/composing and conducting compelling presentations that blended classical with pop. He returns as guest conductor annually.
Hackman mirrors his work on the classical side as a producer, DJ and songwriter on the pop side under the moniker :STEREO HIDEOUT:. In 2014, he released the debut album The Radio Nouveau along with several music videos. The album was mixed in London by Gareth Jones (Grizzly Bear, Depeche Mode) and mastered in Brooklyn by Joe Lambert (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors). The follow-up album Down with the Classics (a mixtape introduction to classical music), due out in spring 2017, was co-produced by Grammy-nominated producer Good Guy Dez (Big Sean, Will.i.Am, Juicy J, Meek Mill, Kid Cudi, King Los, Puff Daddy), and features 13 songs, all of which sample a different classical composer and layer melodies and raps over top.
Successful as a composer and arranger, Hackman’s work includes pieces for ensembles and artists as diverse as the string trio Time for Three, and choral ensembles Chanticleer and The Tallis Scholars. His orchestrations for artists like Time for Three, The Five Browns, Michael Cavanaugh, My Brightest Diamond, Arlo Guthrie, Aoife O’Donovan and Joshua Radin have been performed by nearly all the major orchestras in America.
Hackman was a four-year member, producer and musical director of the a capella group The Other Guys at the University of Illinois, a group that under his direction placed runner-up in the International Competition of Collegiate Acapella at Avery Fisher Hall. He is a prolific songwriter, having written hundreds of songs and releasing several albums of original music. His song “The Pendulum Song” was chosen among tens of thousands as a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition, and he has also received honorable mention in the Billboard songwriting competition. In season seven of American Idol, Hackman was one of 164 contestants chosen from more than 150,000 to attend Hollywood Week. He finished in the top 64.
Hackman studied conducting under Otto-Werner Mueller and counterpoint/composition under Dr. Ford Lallerstedt at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He subsequently studied conducting with David Zinman at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen and received further instruction in orchestration from the prolific Broadway orchestrator and composer William Brohn (Miss Saigon, Wicked, Ragtime and countless others). He served as the assistant conductor of the Reading Symphony for two seasons, where he led subscription, family, education and New Year’s Eve programs.
Hackman is active on social media under the handle @stereohideout, and many of the pieces referred to here can be watched in their entirety on YouTube via the stereohideout channel.
The groundbreaking, category-shattering trio TIME FOR THREE (Tf3) transcends traditional classification, with elements of classical, country western, gypsy and jazz idioms forming a blend all its own. The members — Nicolas (Nick) Kendall, violin; Charles Yang, violin; and Ranaan Meyer, double bass — carry a passion for improvisation, composing and arranging, all prime elements of the ensemble’s playing.
To date, the group has performed hundreds of engagements as diverse as its music: from featured guest soloists on the Philadelphia Orchestra’s subscription series to Club Yoshi’s in San Francisco to residencies at the Kennedy Center to Christoph Eschenbach’s birthday concert at the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. Recent highlights included their Carnegie Hall debut, appearances with the Boston Pops, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, a sell-out concert at the 2014 BBC Proms, and an appearance on the ABC prime time hit show “Dancing with the Stars.”
Tf3’s high-energy performances are free of conventional practices, drawing instead from the members’ differing musical backgrounds. The trio also performs its own arrangements of traditional repertoire and Meyer provides original compositions to complement the trio’s offerings.
In 2014, Time for Three released their debut Universal Music Classics album, Time for Three, which spent seven consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Classical Crossover Chart. The ensemble has also embarked on a major commissioning programs to expand its unique repertoire for symphony orchestras including Concerto 4-3, written by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon, Travels in Time for Three by Chris Brubeck in 2010, co-commissioned by the Boston Pops, the Youngstown Symphony and eight other orchestras, and Games and Challenges by William Bolcom, commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphony. Their latest project, a three-year residency with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, includes commissions for three new works. Time for Three premiered the first of these works, Elevation: Paradise, in Sun Valley in August 2015 and the second, Free Souls, in July 2016.
On March 25, 2016 PBS premiered the Emmy-winning show Time for Three in Concert nationwide. Time for Three in Concert is an hour-long program in collaboration with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Universal Music Classics and WFYI Public Media, that brings together diverse artists and unique arrangements to create a one-of-a-kind concert experience.
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:
Wednesday, June 14, 6:30 p.m. (Happy hour starts at 5 p.m.)
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
FUSE@PSO: Mash-Up Mix-Down
STEVE HACKMAN, conductor
TIME FOR THREE, string trio
NICK KENDALL, violin
CHARLES YANG, violin
RANAAN MEYER, double bass
Gustav Mahler (arr. Hackman):
Symphony No. 1 in D major, Movement 3 + “Bittersweet Symphony” (The Verve) + “Sweet Child o’ Mine” (Guns N’ Roses)
“Toxic” (Britney Spears + Vivaldi)
“Cry Me a River” (Justin Timberlake + Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings)
Time for Three:
“Eleanor Rigby” (The Beatles + Mozart: Lacrimosa from Requiem)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (arr. Hackman):
Symphony No. 40 in G minor, Movement 1 + “All of Me” (John Legend)
“Stairway to Heaven”/Lament (Led Zeppelin + Henry Purcell)
Antonín Dvořák (arr. Hackman):
Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Opus 95, From the New World, Movement 4 + “So Much to Say” (Dave Matthews Band)