Friday, September 25, 2015

Exciting News from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform at the nationally broadcast Pittsburgh Steelers versus Baltimore Ravens game at Heinz Field on Thursday, October 1. The performance is sponsored by UPMC Health Plan.
Tony DeSare, the pianist and vocalist headlining the PNC Pops: Sinatra and Beyond program with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 2-4 at Heinz Hall, will sing the national anthem with music by the orchestra to start the game. During halftime, the symphony will take to the field to perform “Whitewater,” composed by guest conductor Jeff Tyzik, during the Jerome Bettis’ career highlight film, celebrating Bettis’ induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This is the first time that the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform at a professional sporting event.
Kick-off is at 8:25 p.m. The game will be broadcast on CBS and the NFL Network.

Pable Villegas Photo Credit: Linda Mazzuco

In other news, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra presents a weekend of music that paints a picture — of lovers reunited, fortunes won (and lost) and times forgotten — with the BNY Mellon Grand Classics: Classical Guitar Master Pablo Villegas on October 9 & 11 at Heinz Hall
The program opens with Academy Award-nominated music from the film “There Will Be Blood,” written by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood who has gained fame in recent years for his concert works and film scores. Guest conductor Gustavo Gimeno, who makes his debut in Pittsburgh during this weekend, leads his fellow country man Pablo Villegas in Joaquín Rodrigo’s Fantasía Para un Gentilhombre, a piece rich in haunting melodies and exhilarating Spanish folk dances. The concert comes to a tender end with music from two ballets — Stravinsky’s Jeu de cartes, a ballet that imagines the dancers as cards locked in the battle of a poker game, and a suite from Ravel’s great love story, Daphnis et Chloé.
A pre-concert talk, open to all ticket holders, led by Assistant Conductor Andrés Franco will occur on stage one hour before each concert. On October 9, the Center for Young Musicians will be performing in the Grand Lobby one hour prior to the concert start. 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

Gustavo Gimeno Photo Credit Marco Borggreve

About the Artists
From the 2015-2016 season, Gustavo Gimeno takes up his post as music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg. He begins his partnership with a focus on the first symphonies of Beethoven, Mahler, Bruckner, Schumann and Shostakovich and with singers from the Wiener Singverein he will conduct Verdi’s Requiem. At the contemporary end of the spectrum he is conducting works of Rihm, Berg and Berio. His soloists in his first season include Isabelle Faust, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Leonidas Kavakos, Anja Harteros and Stefan Dohr.

After a sensational debut with Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2014 and return concerts in Amsterdam, he will tour with the orchestra to Taiwan and Japan. He also returns to the Munich Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Verdi Orchestra, Milan. He will make debuts on the podiums of the Orchestra National de France, Orchestra National de Capitol du Toulouse, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle and the Philharmonia Zurich.
Alongside his U.S. debut with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Festival, Gimeno will also make his debut with Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the 2016 Ravinia Festival. In Japan, he will also be on the podiums of the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and Osaka Philharmonic.

Recent highlights included debuts in 2014-2015 season with the Leipzig Gewandhaus, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Danish National Symphony Orchestra. In spring 2015, Gimeno made his debut at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia conducting Bellini’s “Norma” in a new Davide Livermore production. In February 2014, on the occasion of his sensational Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra debut Gimeno conducted the European debut of Magnus Lindberg’s second Piano Concerto with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and Yefim Bronfman, (its dedicatee). Gimeno has worked closely with many composers including Theo Loevendie, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, George Benjamin and the young Spanish composer Francisco Coll.

Gimeno’s international conducting career began in 2012 as assistant to Mariss Jansons with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He spent several insightful years assisting the late Claudio Abbado with the Orchestra Mozart, Bologna, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra. In 2013 he also assisted Bernard Haitink with the Orchestra Mozart. Working closely with such mentors has had a profound impact on the formative years of his conducting career.

Gimeno was born in Valencia, Spain, and lives with his family in Amsterdam. Between 2001 and 2013 he was principal percussionist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

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