Saturday, March 4, 2017

PSO Spotlights Prague in Weekend Concerts

Slovakian conductor Juraj Valčuha Credit: Courtesy Photo

Prague is the city that cherished Mozart, inspired Smetana and Janáček, and launched Dvořák. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra celebrates the city’s unique place in musical history during the BNY Mellon Grand Classics weekend, “Mozart in Prague,” on March 10 & 12 at Heinz Hall.

Slovakian conductor Juraj Valčuha returns to Pittsburgh with a program inspired by this magical city — from Smetana’s famous Moldau, depicting the river flowing through the city, to Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, nicknamed the “Prague,” premiered in Prague in 1787.

Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi,Credit: Benjamin Ealovega
 The weekend’s program features the debut of Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi, performing Dvořák’s Piano Concerto, last heard in Heinz Hall over a decade ago. The program closes with Dvořák’s colorful Carnival Overture, in which the composer depicts a city at nightfall, filled with “shouts of joy and unrestrained hilarity.”

A pre-concert talk, open to all ticketholders, will occur on stage one hour before each concert. On Friday, students from the Pittsburgh Piano Teachers’ Association and, on Sunday, a Youth Chamber Connection ensemble will perform one hour before concert start time in the Grand Lobby of Heinz Hall. These performances are free and open to ticketholders. Program notes for the weekend are available online at and on the PSO mobile app the day of the concert.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $20 to $94, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting

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