Saturday, September 23, 2017

Pittsburgh Symphony to Perform Chopin and Rachmaninoff

Yulianna Avdeeva Plays Chopin with the PSO! Credit: Courtesy Photo

BNY Mellon Grand Classics:
Chopin & Rachmaninoff
Friday, October 6 | 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 8 | 2:30 p.m.
Tickets start at $20!
To purchase, go to

Christoph König, conductor
Yulianna Avdeeva, piano

Mussorgsky: Scherzo in B-flat major (PSO Premiere)
Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2

Christoph Konig Credit: Pedro Lobo- Casa de Musica
Returning to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Christoph König leads the Orchestra in a program steeped in rich Russian musical tradition. König opens the night with the Pittsburgh Symphony premiere of Scherzo in B-flat Major by one of the mighty “Russian Five” – Modest Mussorgsky. This is one of 10 pieces this season that will be played for the first time by the orchestra.

Also making her return is 2010 Chopin Competition winner Yulianna Avdeeva, the young Russian pianist known for her fresh yet mature interpretation of the Chopin repertoire. To close the program, König leads the orchestra in Rachmaninoff’s impassioned Symphony No. 2 that has left listeners spellbound by its technical and lyrical mastery since its premiere in 1908.

Friday, September 22, 2017

School of Rock Original London Production Credit: Tristram Kenton

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces Broadway legend Andrew Lloyd Webber’s high-octane Broadway and West End hit SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL is coming to the Benedum Center, 237 7th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, with performances beginning on Tuesday, October 17 through Sunday, October 22, 2017.  This touring production is part of the 2017-2018 PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Broadway Across America.

Tickets currently start at $30* for SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL 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.  *All ticket prices are subject to change. 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.
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.

In Pittsburgh, the following special events will take place during SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017: Kids’ Night on Broadway, a national initiative sponsored by The Broadway League, will take place on the opening night of the performance of SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL.  For more information, visit:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017: Know the Show Before You Go, is a free pre-show talk for all PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh patrons: 6:30 p.m., Trust Arts Education Center, 805-807 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.  For more information and to register, visit:

School of Rock Original London Production Credit: Tristram Kenton
SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL is based on the smash hit 2003 film of the same, featuring music from the movie, as well as an original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, a book by Julian Fellowes, choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter and direction by Laurence Connor.

SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL opened on Broadway to rave reviews on Sunday, December 6, 2015.  This Ben Brantley New York Times ‘Critics’ Pick’ “is an inspiring jolt of energy and mad skillz,” raves Jesse Oxfeld of Entertainment Weekly.  And in his four-star Critics’ Pick review, Time Out’s David Cote proclaimed, “School’s IN – forever!”  SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL was nominated for four 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score (Lloyd Webber and Slater), Best Book (Fellowes), and Best Leading Actor in a Musical (Alex Brightman).  SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL also won the 2017 Oliver award for Outstanding Achievement in Music.

Based on the hit film, SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL is a hilarious new musical that follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school.  There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band.  While teaching these pintsized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.

Soon to be rocking the roofs off of theaters across America, the SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL national tour stars Rob Colletti as Dewey, Lexie Dorsett Sharp as Rosalie, Matt Bittner as Ned, Emily Borromeo as Patty, Merritt David Janes as Dewey Alternate, Deidre Lang as Ms. Sheinkopf, Olivia Bucknor as Shonelle, Theodora Silverman as Katie, Chloe Anne Garcia as Marcy, Carson Hodges as Mason, Gianna Harris as Tomika, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy, Phoenix Schuman as Zack, John Michael Pitera as Billy, Theo Mitchell-Penner as Lawrence and Ava Briglia as Summer. The adult ensemble features John Campione, Patrick Clanton, Christopher DeAngelis, Kristian Espiritu, Melanie Evans, Liam Fennecken, Kara Haller, Elysia Jordan, Jameson Moss, Sinclair Mitchell, Tim Shea and Hernando Umana. The kid’s ensemble features Rayna Farr, Bella Fraker, Alex Louis, Tommy Ragen, Gabriella Uhl and Aiden Niklas Villa.

SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL features scenic and costume design by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Mick Potter and music supervision by John Rigby.
SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL is produced on Broadway by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group & Access Industries, The Shubert Organization and The Nederlander Organization. Nina Lannan and Madeleine Lloyd Webber serve as Executive Producers.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Carnegie Science Center Explores How Computers Can Fight HIV

An estimated 2.1 million individuals worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2015, including 150,000 children under the age of 15. Join National Institutes of Health computational biologist Michael Dolan as he explains how computers can be used to design antibodies against HIV that researchers can then test in the laboratory. Café Sci happens Monday, Oct. 2 from 7-9 pm at the Carnegie Science Center.

Dolan’s talk will provide details about how HIV infects cells, which portions of the virus are being targeted, and the various computational techniques used to combat the virus, including protein homology modeling, molecular dynamics, and protein-protein docking.

Dolan is Lead of the Biomedical Informatics Program at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. His research areas include using computational biology techniques to tackle infectious diseases such as HIV, influenza, Ebola, Zika, anthrax, and prions, as well as visualizing big data. Dolan received his graduate degree in biochemistry from North Carolina State University and an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Admission to Café Sci is free. Food and drinks are available for purchase. Doors open at 6 pm and the event lasts from 7–9 pm. The evening includes time for informal discussion, eating, and drinking with a cash bar.

For more information and to register, visit or call 412.237.3400.


Williams Girls Rock Science WeekendSM brings special displays and activities to Carnegie Science Center to get girls excited and engaged in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) pursuits.

Saturday, Sept. 23 and Sunday, Sept. 24 from 10 am to 4 pm at Carnegie Science Center.

STEM professionals from dozens of local organizations will present hands-on activities related to their fields. Girls will be able to talk with and ask questions of all STEM professionals onsite.

OF NOTE:      
While the event is aimed at sparking girls’ interest in STEM, all children are welcome and will be able to participate in hands-on activities offering a first-hand look at the day-to-day careers of science professionals.

Williams Girls Rock Science Weekendsm is presented by Verizon and in partnership with KDKA and Pittsburgh’s CW. All activities are included with general admission. For more information visit

Clara Barton and Rosie the Riveter Get Spotlight in Greensburg

Two shows at Greensburg Garden & Civic Center reveal the compelling stories behind remarkable women in U.S. history.  Award-winning actress and Smithsonian Scholar Mary Ann Jung will portray Clara Barton and, Rosie the Riveter the following evening.

“Clara Barton – Red Cross Angel” will be performed on Wednesday, September 27th and “Rosie the Riveter” will be presented on Thursday, September 28th  at 7:00 p.m. at the Greensburg Garden & Civic Center, 951 Old Salem Road, Greensburg, PA.

A portion of show proceeds will be donated, respectively, to American Red Cross of Chestnut Ridge and Westmoreland County Historical Society.  Tickets are $25 and are now on sale at or by phone at 724-836-8000.

In “Clara Barton – Red Cross Angel,” Ms. Jung depicts how Barton defied society’s conventions and risked her life in order to help others, thus becoming a true heroine.  Proper ladies of her time were supposed to be quiet, get married, have children, and stay home. Miss Barton would have none of that! A passionate and moving public speaker, Clara dramatically relates how she became the first woman to work for the federal government, its first female department head, and America’s first woman ambassador.

Audience members portray Yankees and Rebels, “nay-sayers” and believers, in order to discover why Americans fought each other in the Civil War and what that meant on a personal level. Be swept into her story of the Civil War, dangers of nursing at the Battle of Antietam, and her struggle to get America to sign the Geneva Convention. There are few better role models than Clara Barton, who still inspires us to “Never Give Up!”

In “Rosie the Riveter,” the audience learns the fascinating story of Rosie the Riveter through Ms. Jung's portrayal of Rose Leigh Monroe who worked at the largest factory in the world-Willow Run in Michigan.
During World War II, women joined the U.S. workforce by the millions to replace the men who’d gone off to fight.
Join in the fun as audience guests meet or maybe even play Charles Lindbergh, Walter Pidgeon, and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, all of whom toured Willow Run. Discover which came first - the Rosie posters, song, or the real women who sacrificed and worked in factories to help America win the war. Who was the real Rosie? The answer is intriguing!  Lively, funny, fact filled show, full of audience participation and energy.

Mary Ann Jung is an award-winning actress and Smithsonian scholar. She researches and writes her own scripts, and performs in the authentic costumes, accents, and attitudes for her characters’ eras. Ms. Jung has appeared on CNN, the Today Show, Good Morning America, and in newspapers around the world as famous women from history. She has been a lead actress and Director of Renaissance History and Shakespearean Language at the Maryland Renaissance Festival for over 30 years. She performed as queen and was a Director with the Florida Renaissance Festival from 1994-2006. Ms. Jung was Director of Street Theater and Family Performances for ArtScape (the USA's largest arts festival) for ten years; in 1998 she was awarded a citation from the Mayor of Baltimore for her work at that event.

Learn more about Mary Ann Jung’s shows at

Visit the Westmoreland County Historical Society’s website at, and follow their activities on the Westmoreland County Historical Society Facebook page and on Twitter @WCHistory.

Cheyenne Jackson Performing at Cabaret at Theater Square October 16

Cheyenne Jackson Credit: Courtesy Photo
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is pleased to announce that Cheyenne Jackson will perform on Monday, October 16, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., on the intimate stage of the Cabaret at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue.  This performance is presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, as part of the 2017-2018 TRUST Cabaret Series, now in its 6th season.

For information about ticket availability to this performance ($55, $65), please visit, call 412-456-6666 or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.

Cheyenne Jackson is a Grammy-nominated actor, singer, and songwriter who can most recently be seen in FX’s American Horror Story. He finished a critically acclaimed run of The Most Happy Fella in New York City in 2014.

In the fall of 2012, he starred on Broadway opposite Henry Winkler, Ari Graynor, and Alicia Silverstone in David West Read’s play The Performers. On and off Broadway, Jackson has starred in 8, Finian’s Rainbow (Drama Desk nomination), Damn Yankees, Xanadu (Drama League and Drama Desk nominations), The Agony & the Agony, All Shook Up (Theater World Award, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle nominations), the premiere cast of Altar Boyz, Aida, Thoroughly Modern Millie, On the 20th Century, and The 24 Hour Plays.  For his self-penned album, I’m Blue, Skies, Jackson collaborated with Sia, Stevie Aiello, and Charlotte Sometimes.

About 2017-2018 TRUST Cabaret Series

This 2017-2018 TRUST Cabaret Series opens with a series special performance on Monday, September 25, 2017, by Kelli O’Hara, at 7:30 p.m., at the August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue.  The following performances in the 2017-2018 TRUST Cabaret Series will offer audiences more rare opportunities to experience the finest cabaret artists at the intimate Cabaret at Theater Square, 655 Penn Avenue, in downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

New this year, meet and greet time when patrons can meet the artists in between the two shows: between 8:15-8:45 p.m.!  Performances coming up in the 2017-2018 TRUST Cabaret Series will showcase Tony and Grammy Award winning performers: Cheynne Jackson (October 16, 2017), Lucie Arnaz (November 13, 2017), Marin Mazzie & Jason Danieley (February 12, 2018), Carmen Cusack (March 12, 2018) and LaChanze (April 16, 2018).

For subscription information call (412) 456-1390. Groups of 10+ call (412) 471-6930. Accessible services are available. Table seating for single tickets: $65; Theater seating single tickets: $55. Full tables are also available.

For information, call (412) 456-6666, visit Series.  Additionally, food and beverages are available for purchase. Enjoy fabulous entertainment, a great menu, delicious desserts, coffee and a full bar at the Cabaret at Theater Square.
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust gratefully acknowledges the Benter Foundation and Richard E. Rauh for their generous support of the TRUST Cabaret Series, which is arranged in cooperation with rj productions.

The seventh annual Mildred Miller International Voice Competition leads Pittsburgh Festival Opera's search for America's best singers. Young professionals ages 18–35 compete for cash prizes and solo roles in the 2018 Summer Season, June 22-July 29, 2018.

An esteemed panel of judges led by Mildred Miller Posvar, company founder, selects the finalists on Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 23.

The Miller Competition is a prologue to OPERA America's National Opera Week, Oct. 27-Nov. 5, 2018, when Pittsburgh Festival Opera will feature varied live and online events.

WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham is back as our master of ceremonies for the finals. Eight singers, selected by the judges from Saturday's Semi-Final Round, will present arias during the Final Round. From these eight finalists, three will be selected as winners and a fourth will be chosen as “Audience Favorite.” Winners receive cash prizes ranging from $4,000 to $6,000 and resident artist contracts in Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s 2018 summer season.

Contestants 18-35 may apply via:

In 2017, the panel of five judges includes:

Mildred Miller Posvar, founder of Pittsburgh Festival Opera and acclaimed Metropolitan Opera mezzo soprano

Jonathan Eaton, artistic director of Pittsburgh Festival Opera and Professor of Music/Margot and Bill Winspear Chair in Opera Studies, University of North Texas College of Music

Robert Chafin, tenor, assistant professor of voice, West Virginia University School of Music

Timothy LeFevre, baritone and associate professor of singing, Oberlin College Conservatory

And another colleague TBA.

Pianists are James Lesniak and Stephen Variames

Saturday 21 October 2017
11 a.m.–1 p.m. and 3-6 p.m.
Kresge Theater
College of Fine Arts building
Carnegie Mellon University (Oakland 15213).

Kresge Theatre (also known as Kresge Recital Hall) is located in the College of Fine Arts building on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University. To find Kresge Theatre, enter the College of Fine Arts building from the west (main) entrance closest to the College of Fine Arts Lawn.

2-5 pm
Frick Art & Historical Center
7227 Reynolds Street
Pittsburgh,  PA  (Point Breeze 15208).

Audience members may explore The Frick and its new exhibit "Undressed" on the history of undergarmets prior the competition and during intermission.

The galleries open at 10 a.m.
Admission is free.

Tickets (general admission) at $35 include refreshments during the intermission while the judges deliberate.  Students with a valid ID may reserve free tickets in advance. Walk-up student admission with valid ID will be dependent on seat availability.

VIP package at $125 includes preferred seating for the Final Round, and a post-concert reception ​with the contestants and judges in a nearby private home.

Tickets and details at: Pittsburgh Festival Opera (


Mildred Miller Posvar was a leading Metropolitan Opera artist for 23 years, performing such signature roles as Carmen, Octavian, and more in New York and around the world. She founded Pittsburgh Festival Opera (formerly Opera Theater of Pittsburgh) in 1978. Mrs. Posvar teaches voice at Carnegie Mellon University and is an active member of the Festival's Board of Directors.

The company's competition named for her began in 2001.

In 2016, applications were received from 156 singers from 14 countries; 23 of these singers were invited to Pittsburgh for the semi-finals round on Saturday 29 October. Nine singers were selected to continue to the finals round. There, audiences enjoyed arias by a wide range of composers—and after a difficult process, the judges awarded four prizes.

In its seventh year, the competition has funded singers from around the world and featured many winners during the Festival's summer seasons since 2012.

As well as awarding monetary prizes, the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition offers young singers leading roles in productions, helping them develop their performing experience and build their repertoire. Previous MMIVC award winners include:

Countertenor ​Andrey Nemzer,​ 2011 first-place winner, was cast in leading roles in Festival productions and went on to win the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and was a third place winner in the prestigious Operalia competition led by Placido Domingo. At the Met, Nemzer covered f​or David Dan​iels in the title role of Handel’s ​Giulio Cesare in Egitto, a role he sang for the first time in Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s 2016 Festival. In 2017, he appeared in the title role of Handel’s ​Xerxes with the Festival Opera.

Tenor ​Juan José de León,​ 2012 winner, is a rising star in demand to sing leading Rossini roles. He was showcased at the Festival as Tamino in ​The Magic Flute, a role he also sang as a resident artist at Pittsburgh Opera. He made his M​etropolitan Opera debut in the world premiere of T​wo Boys. He has since sung with the opera companies of La Scala, Paris, Rome, Verona, Mallorca, Stuttgart, and Tel Aviv, among others.

Soprano Elizabeth Baldwin​, the 2013 MMIVC winner, received critical acclaim for her performance in the title role of ​Ariadne on Naxos in the 2014 Festival, and has contracts with the San Francisco Symphon​y Orchestra. She was recently seen as Tatyana in E​ugene Onegin at Chautauqua Opera Company and the title role in Tosca at both the California Theater and Opera San Jose.

Karen Chia-ling Ho​ placed first in the 2014 MMIVC event. She sang Donna Elvira in D​on Giovanni with San Francisco’s prestigious Merola Opera and made her debut at St. Petersburg Opera (Tampa) as Liu in ​Turandot.

Kisma Jordan ​placed first in the 2015 MMIVC competition. Kisma has appeared in multiple recital series around the country since winning the competition and appeared last fall as Michaë​​la with the Western Opera Reserve.

Alasdair Kent, first-prize winner in 2016, was hailed in his 2017 appearance with Wolf Trap Opera, and he made his European debut with the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. This fall, he performs in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri with the Opéra National de Montpellier, France.

Talk Addresses Slavery and Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania

Slavery & the Underground Railroad in South Central Pennsylvania

The story of slavery in Pennsylvania is seldom told. The institution lingered in some regions of the commonwealth for more than fifty years after the state's 1780 Gradual Abolition. Increasingly antislavery views prevailed.

In South Central Pennsylvania, the Appalachian Mountains and the Susquehanna River provided natural cover for fleeing slaves, causing an influx of travel along the Underground Railroad. Historian and author Cooper Wingert reveals the struggles between slavery and abolition in South Central Pennsylvania.

Cooper Wingert is the author of 10 books and numerous articles, and the winner of the 2012 Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Literary Award. He is currently a student at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.

Where: Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall
300 Beechwood Ave., Carnegie, PA 15106
Captain Thomas Espy Grand Army of the Republic Post 153

Registration not Required. Free and open to the public. 2nd Saturday Lecture Series made possible by the Massey Charitable Trust.

Cooper Wingert

Cooper Wingert
2nd Saturday Lecture
October 14, 2017
1:00 - 2:00 PM
Lincoln Gallery