|Music Director and Conductor Manfred Honeck Photo Credit: Felix Broede|
The annual tradition returns! The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Manfred Honeck perform waltzes and polkas from his home country of Austria on November 27 and 29 at Heinz Hall.
A toe-tapping kick-off to the holiday season, this weekend features some of the most popular works from Vienna, including the best pieces by the Strauss family, in a concert that is fun, festive and perfect for the whole family! As a special treat, dancers from the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School will dance on stage during several of the waltzes and polkas.
The heart of the concert is Rossini’s Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra and Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No.1, featuring a virtuosic performance by the Pittsburgh Symphony’s clarinet star Michael Rusinek. Each of these pieces showcases the clarinet’s amazing, dynamic range of sound. This lively musical program will perfectly accompany your family’s Thanksgiving celebrations!
A pre-concert talk, open to all ticket holders and led by Assistant Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong, will occur on stage one hour before each concert. Program notes for the weekend are available online at pittsburghsymphony.org/waltz 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 pittsburghsymphony.org/waltz. Families can buy one adult ticket and get one child ticket free by ordering their tickets in person at the box office or by phone. This offer is not valid online.
About the Artists
Michael Rusinek is currently the principal clarinetist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, teaches clarinet and chamber music at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and teaches clarinet at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Starting in summer 2016, he joins the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School. Born in Toronto, Canada, his early studies were with Avrahm Galper at the Royal Conservatory of Music. He later attended the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Donald Montanaro. Upon graduation, he served as assistant principal clarinet with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. In addition to his position in the Pittsburgh Symphony, he has performed as principal clarinet with the orchestras of Philadelphia, St. Louis, The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and National Arts Center in Ottawa, Canada.
Rusinek has performed as a soloist with many orchestras and as a recitalist across Canada, on CBC Radio and throughout the United States and Israel, including appearances with the Czech Philharmonic, Concerto Classic Wien, Toronto Symphony, Belgrade Philharmonic, Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, Aspen Chamber Symphony and the Symphony Orchestra of the Curtis Institute of Music. He has been heard as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony many times and, in May 2008, he premiered a new concerto by composer Alan Fletcher, a concerto commissioned for him by the Pittsburgh Symphony. That performance was recorded and is available on the Exton label.
Rusinek was awarded the grand prize in the International Clarinet Society competition, and was a prize winner in the Belgrade International clarinet competition. He has participated in numerous music festivals, including the Salt Bay and Portland Chamber Music Festivals, and Music In the Vineyards in Napa Valley. He returns regularly to the Grand Teton, Santa Fe Chamber and Marlboro music festivals. He has toured with the acclaimed “Musicians from Marlboro,” and was featured on the Sony label celebrating Marlboro’s 50th anniversary.
In summer 2000, he performed as principal clarinet in the Super World Orchestra, an ensemble comprised of musicians from orchestras around the world. Dedicated to teaching, he has led master classes at some of the leading institutions around the world, including the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, the Colburn Music School, the Manhattan School of Music and the New World Symphony. He served on the faculty of the Canton International Summer Music Academy in Canton, China for its inaugural season, and returns often to play and teach in Tianjin and Beijing. He also returns frequently to conduct master classes and perform recitals in Mexico City. He served on the jury for the inaugural Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition in Rouen, France. Rusinek is proud of his association with Selmer Clarinets and Rico Reeds.
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
BNY MELLON GRAND CLASSICS: A WALTZ TRADITION
MANFRED HONECK, conductor
MICHAEL RUSINEK, clarinet
DANCERS OF THE PITTSBURGH BALLET THEATRE SCHOOL
Franz von Suppé Overture to Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna
Carl Michael Ziehrer Viennese Maiden Waltz, Opus 388
Carl Maria Von Weber Concerto No. 1 in F minor for Clarinet and Orchestra, Opus 73
II. Adagio ma non troppo
III. Rondo: Allegretto
Carl Michael Ziehrer Walk In Waltz, Opus 518
Richard Strauss Suite from the Ballet Whipped Cream, Opus 70
Dance of Coffee – Dreams Finale (Common Dance)
Gioachino Rossini Introduction, Theme and Variations for Clarinet and Orchestra(Edited by Jost Michaels) Mr. Rusinek
Johann Strauss, Jr. New Pizzicato Polka, Opus 449
Dancers of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School
Max Schönherr Drive in the Prater Park