Tuesday, April 17, 2012

PSO Celebrates the City of Light with 3 Week Tribute

For Immediate Release
April 16, 2012


Festival boasts concerts led by Music Director Manfred Honeck & guest conductor Gianandrea Noseda, live street music, free film screenings, lectures & performances by Lise de la Salle, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, PSO Principal Cello Anne Martindale Williams, and famed organist Paul Jacobs

PITTSBURGH –  The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) presents a three-week-long celebration of the music, culture, people and works that transformed one of the most fascinating periods in French history.

Paris was the unrivaled musical capital of the world during the first quarter of the 20th century, and the PSO’s Paris Festival: The City of Light honors that time with a series of concerts, films, recitals, a panel discussion, lectures and other attractions April 27 – May 13.

The PSO, led by Victor de Sabata Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda, begins the Paris Festival with BNY Mellon Grand Classics performances at 8 p.m., Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 29 at Heinz Hall. The program features Respighi’s La Boutique fantasque, Debussy’s Ibéria, and suites from Manuel de Falla’s Three-Cornered Hat. Pre-concert events include Jim Cunningham’s A Window into the City of Light lecture and excerpts from PBS TV special, Paris the Luminous Years: Toward the Making of the Modern. Following the concert, vocalist Daphne Alderson performs L’amour, La Vie: Daphne sings Piaf in the Grand Lobby.

Music Director Manfred Honeck will lead the PSO in the remaining two weekends of the Paris Festival.

At 8 p.m. on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5, audiences can revel in favorites by French composers Debussy (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun), Boulanger (Psalm 130) and Ravel (Boléro). Young French pianist Lise de la Salle makes her PSO debut with Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G.

A pre-concert food and wine tasting event, as well as Case Western Reserve University Professor of Musicology Mary E. Davis’ lecture, A Window into Parisian Salons, and the screening of La Passion Boléro will be held at Heinz Hall. Jazz legends Dave and Maureen Budway perform Fascinatin’ Rhythm: Gershwin Songs directly after in the Grand Lobby.

Organist Paul Jacobs performs at 3 p.m., Sunday May 6 at Heinz Chapel in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. A native of Washington, Pa., Jacobs is renowned as one of the best organists in the world. Among his numerous accolades, he is the youngest faculty member ever appointed at the famed The Julliard School and a recent Grammy Award winner.

The following weekend, Honeck closes the Paris Festival with sheer vigor in Gershwin’s An American in Paris in two BNY Mellon Grand Classics performances starting at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 11 and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 13. PSO’s Principal Cello Anne Martindale Williams solos in Honegger’s Cello Concerto. The program also features Stravinsky’s Pétrouchka.

There will be two intermissions during these concerts. After the second intermission, PSO Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh will lead an ensemble of Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra musicians in Milhaud’s La Creation du Monde. The performance will feature a choreographed dance by Attack Theatre, commissioned by the PSO.

Pre-concert programs for the final weekend of the Paris Festival include Dr. Davis’s lecture, A Window Into the Exotic, and pianist Tom Roberts playing live accompaniment for silent short films by Charlie Chaplin.

On Friday, May 11 only, Consul General of France in Washington, Olivier Serot-Alméras, will be the guest of honor. He also will be attending a festival after-party that evening as Heinz Hall transforms into a night-club with Boilermaker Jazz Band and special guests in the Pittsburgh/Paris: The Roaring Twenties after-party.

Other festival highlights include a free film screening at the Harris Theater of the US premiere of La Passion Boléro at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 3. The film explores how Maurice Ravel’s Boléro – a work of such apparent simplicity – became the biggest hit in the classical repertory. Advance registration is required for this event. Call 412.392.4900.

Tickets to the Heinz Hall concerts range from $20 to $93. Prices are subject to change. Admission to Paul Jacobs’ recital at Heinz Chapel in Oakland will be $40. Tickets for all events can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900, or by visiting www.pittsburghsymphony.org. Tickets for all the recitals also can be purchased at the venues prior to each event.

Tickets for the May 12 event at the Carnegie Museum are $10 for Carnegie Museum members and PSO subscribers and $20 for others.  Tickets can be purchased by calling 412.622.3288 or at members.carnegiemuseums.org/artandmusic.

Please note doors open at Heinz Hall earlier than usual. Doors open 90 minutes before all Paris Festival performances at Heinz Hall. All pre- and post-concert events, including the after-party on May 11, are free to ticket holders. Concert Preludes and Cinematheque film screenings begin at 6:45 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 1:15 p.m. on Sundays.

Paris Festival is made possible, in part, by the Jack Buncher Foundation, The Fine Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Henry J. Gailliot. The PSO would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for their 2011-2012 title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the PSO. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of the PSO. Bobby Rahal Automotive Group is the official automotive group of the PSO.

A native of Austria, Manfred Honeck was appointed its ninth Music Director and began his tenure at the start of the 2008-2009 season. In February, he agreed to extend his contract through the 2019-2020 season. After performances at Carnegie Hall and a much-celebrated tour of European musical capitals in 2010, Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra returned to Europe again in August and September 2011 for appearances at major music festivals, such as the Rheingau Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Grafenegg Festival, Musikfest Berlin, Beethovenfest Bonn, Lucerne Festival, BBC Proms, and concerts in Paris and Vilnius, Lithuania. In October and November of this year, Honeck will again lead the PSO on a tour of Europe, including a four-concert residency at the prestigious Musikverein in Vienna. Honeck's successful work in Pittsburgh is captured on CD by the audiophile Japanese label Exton. So far, Mahler's Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 and Richard Strauss's Ein Heldenleben have been released to critical acclaim.


Contact: James Barthen, Vice President of Public Affairs
Phone: 412.392.4835 | email: jbarthen@pittsburghsymphony.org

Contact: Ramesh Santanam, Director of Media Relations
Phone: 412.392.4827 | email: rsantanam@pittsburghsymphony.org

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