Sunday, February 19, 2017

Landmark American Works Coming Next Weekend to Heinz Hall

Join the Pittsburgh Symphony and guest conductor Lahav Shani (debut) at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh as they perform landmark works by America’s most celebrated composers honoring the city of New York.

The concert opens with Charles Ives' The Unanswered Question  and Kurt Weill's Symphony No. 2. Ives, son of George Ives, wrote his composition in 1906 but it remains a touchstone for avant-garde composers throughout the 20th century.

Weill's symphony embraces the melodies, harmonies and even feeling of his popular Broadway works. Pianist Jon Kimura Parker joins the orchestra for Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin’s iconic jazz-concerto, filled with driving rhythms and rich melodies. Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story brings the program to a rousing close.

 Rhapsody in Blue

Ives: The Unanswered Question
Weill: Symphony No. 2
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Friday, February 24 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 25 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 26 at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets starting at $20! Phone 412.392.4900.
Sappy Shakespeare - Not Your Usual Bard

Calling all drama queens, poetic waxers, over-the-toppers, and melodramatic types for a night of sappy Shakespeare. 

Bring your favorite Shakespeare monologue, scene or sonnet. Bring the histrionics, bring the tissues.  Leave the subtlety at home.

 BYOB ("Bring Your Own Bard") is Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks’ informal scene night in which professional actors and non-actors alike take a crack at their favorite Shakespeare pieces in a light-hearted competition.

BYOB takes place at the Te Café, 2000 Murray Ave. (at Beacon Ave) in Squirrel Hill. Doors open at 7:15 PM, readings begin at 7:30 PM.  Suggested $10 donation at the door.

BYOB.  For those who really want to read Shakespeare out loud and not worry about feeling stupid. 
All ages and levels of experience welcome to read or listen. Kids are welcome. Beverages and light fare available for purchase.

 All proceeds benefit PSIP’s Fall 2017 free production of HENRY V.directed by Alan Irvine.

 Shakespeare Slam takes place the last Monday of every month from February-May.
Anyone interested in reading should contact, 412.521.6406, or visit us on Facebook at Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks.  All proceeds support FREE Shakespeare in the Steel City.

PITTSBURGH SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKS is the city’s outdoor Shakespeare company and has been offering free Shakespeare productions in city parks since 2005.  Now in its 13th season, PSIP has entertained thousands of patrons in city parks since its inception.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Book of Mormon" returns to Benedum Center Feb. 21

Back by popular demand, THE BOOK OF MORMON, which previously played record breaking and sold out engagements, returns to Pittsburgh for a limited engagement Tuesday, February 21 through Sunday, February 26, 2017 at the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222.  This tour is a season special, part of the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, a presentation of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Pittsburgh Symphony and Broadway Across America.

Performances are Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday evening at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Tickets start at $40 to THE BOOK OF MORMON at the Benedum Center and are available at these Pittsburgh Cultural Trust official ticket sources:, by calling 412-456-4800 or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  For information about the PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh subscription series, visit or call 412-456-1390.  Tickets for Groups of 10+ are available online at or call 412-471-6930.

THE BOOK OF MORMON features book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone are the four-time Emmy Award-winning creators of the landmark animated series, “South Park.” Tony Award-winner Lopez is co-creator of the long-running hit musical comedy, Avenue Q.  The musical is choreographed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw (Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone) and is directed by Nicholaw and Parker.

THE BOOK OF MORMON is the winner of nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone), Best Book (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone), Best Direction (Casey Nicholaw, Trey Parker), Best Featured Actress (Nikki M. James), Best Scenic Design (Scott Pask), Best Lighting Design (Brian MacDevitt), Best Sound Design (Brian Ronan) and Best Orchestrations (Larry Hochman, Stephen Oremus); the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical; five Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album; four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best Musical, and the Drama League Award for Best Musical.

THE BOOK OF MORMON features set design by Scott Pask, costume design by Ann Roth, lighting design by Brian MacDevitt and sound design by Brian Ronan.  Orchestrations are by Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus.  Music direction and vocal arrangements are by Stephen Oremus.

The Original Broadway Cast Recording for THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, is available on Ghostlight Records.

Beauty Queen of Leenane Coming to August Wilson Center

Druid returns with the brilliantly subversive The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh on the twentieth anniversary of its debut. Multi-award winning Garry Hynes will direct the production at the August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh with the stellar cast of Marie Mullen, Aisling O’Sullivan, Marty Rea and Aaron Monaghan.

The Beauty Queen of Leenane is set in the mountains of Connemara and tells the story of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman in her early 40s, and Mag, her manipulative, aging mother. Mag’s interference in Maureen's first and potentially last romantic relationship sets in motion a chain of events that are as tragically funny as they are horrific.

Druid’s production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane debuted in Galway in 1996 in a co-production with the Royal Court Theatre. It then went on to play in London and transferred to the West End and Broadway to critical acclaim. The production won four Tony Awards in 1998 including Best Direction for Garry Hynes, the first woman to ever win a Tony Award® for Direction. In this special 20th anniversary production, Marie Mullen plays the role of Mag, having won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Maureen in the original Beauty Queen.

"The Beauty Queen of Leenane" is at the August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue in Downtown Pittsburgh at 7 p.m., Mar 2 - 3 and at 2 and 7 p.m. on March 4. Tickets are $21 to $46. Phone 412-456-6666 or visit

Friday, February 17, 2017

Warsaw Woodcuts Exhibit at Pittsburgh Holocaust Center

At 3 p.m on Sunday, February 19, the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh presents The Warsaw Woodcuts and Other Works by Bruce Carter with photographs from the collection of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

 The cost for the opening event is $10 (free for Holocaust survivors and students with a valid ID).

RSVP by calling 412-939-7289 and speaking to Christina Sahovey.

The woodcuts will be on display until May 5, 2017.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Magnvm Opvs Tasting Concert Scheduled for February 25

Magnvm Opvs tasting concerts (MOtc) will present a fundraiser at the home of operatic soprano and WQED radio personality Anna Singer to benefit the newly-founded Pittsburgh chapter of Sing for Hope.

The event, will be held on February 25, 2017, at 4 p.m., will combine a wine tasting and a voice recital and will feature the talents of Metropolitan Opera soprano Anne-Carolyn Bird; baritone and MOtc Vice-President, Daniel Teadt; Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist, Eric Michael Ferring; and pianist Laura Ward, Co-Founder of Lyric Fest; sommelier Christian Tripodi of Cioppino Restaurant; and Co-Founder of Sing for Hope, Monica Yunus.

The hour-long program will feature 7 wines paired with musical selections. Ticket price ($100) includes a guided wine tasting, voice recital, and handcrafted delectables. All proceeds will support the launch of the Pittsburgh program of Sing for Hope. ONLY 50 seats are available! Purchase now via EventBrite at the following link: .

Matthew Burns, Founder and President of Magnvm Opvs tasting concerts, says “MOtc is excited to introduce Pittsburgh to the next hottest trend in classical music entertainment: a “tasting concert.” We will hear beautiful singing and drink exquisite wines - and all for a great cause, Sing for Hope.  Join us as we raise a glass and go on a total sensory journey in the concert we are calling: "Taste for Hope!"

The host, Anna Singer, has this to say about the event: “Having enjoyed this unique concert last year, I urge you to join us. It is a treat to be able to hear music and compare it to the taste of wine - a wonderful sensory experience. We enjoy sharing our home to promote the arts and we are very excited to have Sing for Hope as our guest for the afternoon - A Taste for Hope on February 25th - come taste, hear, and enjoy!”

Sing for Hope Co-Founder and international opera singer Monica Yunus (Metropolitan Opera, Opera Omaha, Pittsburgh Opera Theater) says, “Sing for Hope is excited to begin our national rollout with a pilot program launching in Pittsburgh in September 2017. SFH brings harmony in all senses to individuals and communities in need and that feels more urgent now more than ever."

About Sing for Hope

Since 2006, Sing for Hope’s arts outreach programs have brought hope and inspiration to thousands of individuals in under-resourced schools, public hospitals, hospices, veterans’ centers, after-school programs, neighborhood centers, nursing homes, and disability networks.
To date, Sing for Hope has partnered with over 250 nonprofit organizations, involved over 3,500 artists in community volunteerism, and placed over 335 artist-created Sing for Hope Pianos throughout New York City’s parks and public spaces for everyone to play – a symbol and celebration of art for all. Learn more at

About MAGNVM OPVS tasting concerts

An internationally acclaimed bass-baritone with a passion for wine, Matthew Burns created MAGNVM OPVS tasting concerts to explore how perfectly the language of wine is set up to help audiences gain a deeper understanding of the classical voice - and vice versa! At a typical wine tasting, participants are guided through an exploration which uses the senses of sight, smell, taste, and touch. Only one is missing: sound.

Matthew solved this by “pairing” singers and wines, presenting carefully curated wines alongside musical selections specifically chosen to highlight the parallels of voice and wine.

At a MAGNVM OPVS tasting concert, seven world-class wines are paired with songs and singers and presented in an hour-long program. At each step, Matthew will guide the audience, giving them the ability to discern and express what they hear and taste. Our intimate, salon-style events promise to change the way our guests think about wine and song! Learn more about this total sensory experience at

About the Artists

Anne-Carolyn Bird has been seen most recently on the stages of the Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, and Hawaii Opera Theatre, among other regional houses. A two-time Grammy nominee, the soprano is an active recitalist specializing in music being written by today’s hottest composers.

Recent chamber music performances include “Knoxville: Summer 1915” with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra and David Lang’s “Little Match Girl Passion” with Miami’s IlluminArts. Known for her complex portrayal of Mozart’s Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Ms. Bird’s other repertoire includes Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Micaela (Carmen), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor.  

Daniel Teadt has sung in opera houses throughout the United States and Europe including Pittsburgh Opera, Arizona Opera, Aix-en-Provençe Festival, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Central City Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera Theater.

He has been on the roster of the New York City Opera for several seasons and toured nationally with the San Francisco Opera. His concert appearances include Grammy Award-winning performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pacific Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

As a recitalist he has performed with the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, The New York Festival of Song and San Francisco Opera’s Schwabacher Debut Recitals.

Laura Ward is pianist and Artistic Director of Lyric Fest,, a unique vocal recital series in Philadelphia. As a distinguished collaborative pianist she is known for both her technical ability and vast knowledge of repertoire and styles.

Concert engagements have taken her to Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, The Spoleto Festival and the Colmar International Music Festival. She has served as vocal coach at The Academy of Vocal Arts, The CoOPERAtive Program at Westminster Choir College, Ravinia Festival Stean’s Institute, Washington Opera, University of Maryland and Music Academy of the West.

Laura is a recording artist and editor for Hal Leonard Music Publishing having recorded over 2000 song accompaniments. These recordings help countless singers and pianists experience, learn and enjoy the art song repertoire and also help introduce a world of art song to many who have had little exposure to classical song.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Yoga and Live Music Pair up at Carnegie Museum of Art

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will partner with Carnegie Museum of Art to offer one yoga and music class each month as part of the museum’s weekly yoga classes. The first class is February 23 and features Pittsburgh Symphony cellist Michael DeBruyn.

Thursday Yoga at CMOA features a weekly rejuvenating yoga session with instructor Stephanie Zito, which emphasizes stretching and relaxation. As part of its Music & Wellness program, the Pittsburgh Symphony is partnering with CMOA to provide live music during the yoga practice on the following days, featuring performances by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians:

February 23
March 30
April 27
May 18
June 22 (tentative)

Admission to the yoga classes are first-come, first-served on Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Hall of Sculpture at the Carnegie Music of Art. The classes have a $10 general admission fee ($8 for Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh members and $5 for students). There is a limit to the number of participants for each class, so early arrival is encouraged. A 10-class pass can be purchased for $75 ($50 for Carnegie members and students).

The Pittsburgh Symphony’s Music & Wellness Program utilizes the Pittsburgh Symphony’s musicians and staff to serve as a resource for individuals and communities looking to use music as a way to promote health and wellness. This has included therapeutic, live music in medical facilities like Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s H.J. Heinz campus; yoga and music events; a handbook for designing and implementing music and wellness programs; and online resources, such as the Musical Living blog. More information about the program can be found at