Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Dreamweaver Marketing Associates News and Views

For Immediate Release
November 5, 2015


PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is offering a free community concert at Heinz Hall on Friday, November 20 at 7 p.m. during the annual Light Up Night celebration in downtown Pittsburgh.
Nathan Meltzer
Take a break from the chilly weather and warm up your ears with a concert brimming with musical energy. Conducted by one of the Pittsburgh Symphony’s new assistant conductors, Andrés Franco, this 45-minute concert includes selections by Dvořák, Saint-Saëns, Strauss, Tchaikovsky and more, and features 15-year-old Duquesne University Young Artist National Concerto Competition winner, violinist Nathan Meltzer, along with vocalists Brian Vu and Claudia Rosenthal, both resident artists this season with the Pittsburgh Opera. The performance includes pieces from the farcical operetta “Die Fledermaus” and “The Nutcracker” suite. Enjoy the rest of Light Up Night with a skip in your step (and start your holiday celebrations off right) following this lively community concert!
Reserve your free tickets in advance at the Heinz Hall box office, online at or by calling 412-392-4900. Tickets also will be available on the night of the performance. This event is general admission with seating on a first come, first served basis.
This concert is made possible by annual funding from the Allegheny Regional Asset District.
About the Artistsath

Recently named 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 will
Andres Franco
make subscription debuts with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, and will return 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.

Fifteen-year-old Nathan Meltzer attends the Professional Performing Arts School in New York and studies on a Starling scholarship at Juilliard with Itzhak Perlman and Li Lin. He began his music education in a second-grade orchestra class in Austria, joined the "Violin Virtuosi" at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2011, and entered the Perlman Music Program in 2013. Meltzer has played on NPR’s From the Top; appeared with The Piano Guys at Carnegie Hall; performed alongside Gilles Apap, David Chan and Augustine Hadelich; and had lessons and master classes with Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank and Jaime Laredo, among others. He has performed in Buenos Aires, Quebec, São Paulo, Tel Aviv, Vienna and across the United States, including solo engagements with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Bloomington Symphony, the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, the Evansville Philharmonic and the Muncie Symphony. Meltzer plays an 1844 Italian violin by Johannes Pressenda on generous loan from Juilliard.

Brian Vu
Brian Vu is a first-year resident artist of the Pittsburgh Opera in 2015-2016, and is slated to perform as John Brooke/”Little Women,” Leo Stein/”27,” Fiorello/”The Barber of Seville” and Figaro/”The Barber of Seville” (student matinee). A former Young American Artist with Glimmerglass Festival, he has sung the Jazz Trio baritone in “Trouble in Tahiti.” Vu has also performed Moralès/”Carmen” with Music Academy of the West, and Marquis d’Obigny/”La traviata” with Wolf Trap Opera Studio. A graduate of Yale Opera, his roles there included Count Almaviva/”Le nozze di Figaro,” Dandini/”La cenerentola,” Marcello/”La bohème” and Duke Robert/”Iolanta.” Previously with OperaUCLA, Vu performed Ottone/”L’incoronazione di Poppea,” Narciso/”Agrippina” and Minskman/”Flight.” Vu made his Carnegie Hall debut singing Mitch Leigh’s "The Impossible Dream" from “Man of La Mancha” with the composer in attendance, and returned to Carnegie Hall in December 2014, performing songs from the Frederich R. Koch Collection of Yale's Beinecke Library. A New England regional winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, he has also received awards from the George London Foundation, Gerda Lissner Competition, Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition, Kurt Weill Foundation and Opera Buffs of Los Angeles. A native of Los Angeles, Vu is a graduate of the Yale School of Music and University of California, Los Angeles.

Claudia Rosenthal is a first-year resident artist in 2015-2016 at the Pittsburgh Opera, and is scheduled to perform as Amy/”Little Women” and Berta/”The Barber of Seville” (including the student matinee). In summer 2015, as a young artist with Opera on the Avalon, she appeared as the Governess/”The Turn of the Screw.” She
Claudia Rosenthal
has been a vocal fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, and performed Cobweb/”A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Stella/”Les contes d’Hoffmannas” as a studio artist with Wolf Trap Opera Company. At Yale Opera, Rosenthal’s roles included Giulietta/”I Capuleti e i Montecchi,” Musetta/”La bohème,” Clorinda/”La Cenerentola” and Brigitta/”Iolanta.” While with Mannes Opera, she appeared as Nannetta/”Falstaff” and Norina/”Don Pasquale.” She also made her Carnegie Hall debut performing Hindemith’s cantata “Die Serenaden” with Yale in New York City, and made her professional debut as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. An Eastern regional finalist and recipient of the Rohatyn Great Promise Award at the 2015 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she also recently received First Prize in the Young Patronesses of the Opera Competition. Other honors include the Richard F. Gold Career Grant, the Career Bridges Grant and the Yale School of Music Alumni Prize. A native of Scarsdale, New York, Rosenthal double-majored in music and art history at Yale College, and has further degrees from The Hartt School, Mannes College the New School for Music, and The Yale School of Music.

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), 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 36 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

Editors Please Note:

Friday, November 20 at 7 p.m.

Heinz Hall
ANDRÉS FRANCO, conductor
BRIAN VU, baritone

Antonin Dvorak                         Carnival Overture, Opus 92

Camille Saint-Saëns                   Introduction and Rondo capriccioso in A minor for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 28
                                                    Mr. Meltzer

Johann Strauss, Jr.                      Overture to Die Fledermaus (The Bat), Opus 362

Johann Strauss, Jr.                      “Mein Herr Marquis” (Laughing Song) from Die Fledermaus
                                                     Ms. Rosenthal

Franz Lehar                               “Lippen schweigen” from The Merry Widow
                                                    Mr. Vu
                                                    Ms. Rosenthal

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky             Suite from The Nutcracker, Opus 71a
                                                    Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
                                                      Chinese Dance
                                                        III. Waltz of the Flowers

Johann Strauss, Sr.                     Radetzky March, Opus 228

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