A 10th Anniversary Season of Firsts


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Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Celebrates 
10 Years with Manfred Honeck

Since becoming music Director of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Manfred Honeck and the orchestra have recorded 13 CDs, two of which have been nominated for Grammy Awards, have toured on three continents, launched new concert formats, premiered 15 new works and collaborated with some of the world's greatest artists.
“These 10 years of music- making with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have truly been a gift to my life,” says Honeck. “I am so excited to celebrate an amazing decade in Pittsburgh with this incredible orchestra and our wonderful patrons and subscribers. I am especially looking forward to presenting to Pittsburgh new pieces commissioned to celebrate this milestone year and introducing 15 new talented guest artists to Pittsburgh.”

Three Pieces Commissioned to Celebrate this Milestone Year

Throughout Manfred Honeck’s 10 years with the Orchestra, one project that has touched him significantly is Music for the Spirit. In 2004, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra became the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican. The concert honored the Pope’s lifelong commitment to interfaith understanding and reconciliation of the Christians, Jews and Muslims. From that beginning, a partnership developed between the PSO and the faith communities in Pittsburgh to continue to perform concerts that celebrate the spiritual and universal message of music.

This season, three programs will include a special commission in honor of Honeck’s anniversary, and will have themes that use the power of music to promote and spread a spiritual and universal message. Israeli composer Boris Pigovat’s…therefore choose life…” (September 22-24, 2017) is inspired by the well-known passage in Deuteronomy (30:19), which contrasts “life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life.” James MacMillan’s Larghetto for Orchestra (October 27-29, 2017) is the orchestrated version of his choral work, Miserere, a setting of 17th Century composer Gregorio Allegri’s Psalm 51: 3-21. And Iranian composer Reza Vali’s Isfahan Calligraphy No. 16 (June 8-10, 2017), uses Persian-influenced musical technique known as “Isfahan,” named after the Persian city where it was developed. The ancient city of Isfahan also served as an intersection of many of the world’s religions.

15 Guest Artists to Perform in Pittsburgh for the First Time

This season, Manfred Honeck will continue his tradition of introducing new talent to the City of Pittsburgh. Throughout the season, 15 guest artists will make their debuts with the Orchestra:
Jan Lisiecki, and Igor Levit, conductors Rafael PayareSir Mark Elder, and Cristian Macelaru. Also  
soprano Rachele Gilmore, mezzo-soprano Kate Aldrich; tenors Werner Gura and Keon-woo Ki,  and bass
Jan Martinik.

New Pieces Throughout the Season

Nearly every program led by Honeck will feature at least one piece that he will conduct with the Pittsburgh Symphony for the first time. Those pieces are:
John Adams, LollapaloozaPigovat,  …therefore choose life…  and SaintSaëns, Organ Symphony (September 22-24, 2017).
MacMillan, Larghetto for Orchestra, and Schumann,  Cello Concerto (October 27-29, 2017).
Chausson,  Poeme,  and Ravel, Tzigane (November 24 & 26, 2017).
Haydn, Creation (December 1-3, 2017)
Prokofiev, Symphony No. 5, Beethoven,  Piano Concerto No. 2 and Janáček,  Sinfonietta (March 2 & 4, 2018).
Vali, Isfahan (Calligraphy No. 16), Liszt, Les Preludes, and Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (June 8 &10, 2017).
Berlioz, Te Deum, Opus 22 (June 15-17, 2018)

Lobby Display

From September 22 – December 14, 2017, an archival display featuring photographs, programs, and important memorabilia of Honeck’s 10 seasons with the Orchestra will be on display on the Grand Tier of Heinz Hall.

Side-By-Side Concert
On April 23, 2018 at 7pm, Manfred Honeck will conduct a special concert celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the EQT Student Side-By-Side program, featuring the student musicians of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Launch of PSO360

In honor of Manfred Honeck’s 10th Anniversary, the PSO will launch a new concert format called PSO360. Featuring 200 seats in-the-round on the Heinz Hall stage, the concerts offer listeners an intimate experience with Pittsburgh Symphony musicians and special guest artists, two of which are performing with the PSO for the first time. Upcoming concerts include:
  • Ray Chen performing music from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” on an historic “Joachim” Stradivarius violin (October 14, 2017)
  • Pianist Kirill Gerstein performing the original jazz band version of Rhapsody in Blue and other solo piano works (January 27, 2018)
  • Grammy award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich performing works by Niccolo Paganini and others(May 19, 2017)
City of Asylum

Also new this season, in honor of Manfred Honeck’s 10th Anniversary, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will partner with the City of Asylum (COA) to create a series of five events in the 2017-18 season that will explore the intersections of creativity, expression, and community. The musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, like the artists at City of Asylum, come to Pittsburgh from across the globe. They have varied experiences and backgrounds, but they have a common drive to be part of a larger artistic community. The series of performances and conversations will be presented in the new Alphabet City space on the Northside of Pittsburgh. Tickets are free, but registration is required. More info is available at pittsburghsymphony.org.


Reception Honoring Manfred Honeck
On April 19, 2018, the Third Annual Maestro’s Wine Dinner at the Duquesne Club will honor Manfred Honeck’s 10th Anniversary.  It is an evening of wine and music featuring a chamber group comprised of PSO Musicians.  Tickets range from $500 to $10,000 and it is open to the public. Tickets and more information will be available beginning October 15.