Friday, June 3, 2016


Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

A feast for the eyes and ears, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra pairs a majestic look at our planet with glorious music of John Adams and Richard Strauss during the BNY Mellon Grand Classics weekend on June 10 and 12.

Costa Rican conductor Giancarlo Guerrero makes his Pittsburgh Symphony debut with a jam-packed program of cinematic music, including Aaron Copland's folksy El Salón México and Prokofiev's music from the Soviet comedy Lieutenant Kijé. A visually and aurally stunning second half features 
The Earth, a high-definition compilation of NASA footage, featuring erupting volcanoes, tropical islands and majestic glaciers. Adams' exhilarating Short Ride in a Fast Machine and Strauss' epic tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra seamlessly accompany the footage.

A pre-concert talk, open to all ticket holders and led by Assistant Conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong and featuring Mike Hennessy, Carnegie Science Center Buhl Planetarium and digital media manager, will occur on stage one hour before each concert. “Spaceship Earth: The Future Frontier” will feature a conversational, informative tour of NASA’s Earth science endeavors using live science demonstrations and real images from space, as well as an in-depth discussion of the music that will be heard during the evening’s concert. Also, throughout the hall, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History will have touchable displays featuring some of the wonders found in our planet, such as fossils, volcanic rock and more.

Program notes for the weekend are available online at and on the PSO mobile app the day of the concert.

During the weekend, beginning one hour before each concert’s start time, student musicians from Steinway Young Artists program will perform in the Grand Lobby of Heinz Hall. These performances are free to ticketholders.

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

About the Artist

Giancarlo Guerrero Credit: Chad Driver

GIANCARLO  GUERRERO is the music director of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra's Miami Residency. Guerrero has led the Nashville Symphony to several Grammy wins in recent years, including in the category of Best Orchestral Performance in 2011 and for Best Classical Compendium in 2016.

In the 2015-2016 season, Guerrero makes debuts with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Copenhagen Philharmonic, NDR Hanover, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie and Bilbao Symphony Orchestra. He returns to the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Detroit and Indianapolis; West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic and Brussels Philharmonic; and to the Eugene Symphony (where he was formerly music director) in celebration of the orchestra's 50th anniversary. For many years, he has maintained a close association with the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra in Brazil, and will spend three weeks with the orchestra this summer.

Last season, Guerrero made his debut with the Houston Grand Opera conducting Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and made European debuts with the Orchestre National de France, the Netherlands Philharmonic, Residentie Orkest and Tonkünstler Orchester.

Guerrero has appeared with many of the prominent North American orchestras, including the symphony orchestras of Boston, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and the Philadelphia Orchestra, among others. He is also known to audiences of major summer festivals such as the Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles) and Blossom Music Festival (Cleveland).

He has developed an active and visible profile in Europe and has worked with great success in recent seasons with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Brussels Philharmonic, DSO-Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse.

An advocate of new music and contemporary composers, Guerrero has collaborated with and championed the works of several of America's most respected composers, including John Adams, John Corigliano, Osvaldo Golijov, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Daugherty, Roberto Sierra and Richard Danielpour. His recordings with the Nashville Symphony include releases of music by Danielpour and Sierra on the Naxos label and Bela Fleck's Banjo Concerto on Deutsche Grammophone. Guerrero, together with composer Aaron Jay Kernis, recently developed and guided the creation of Nashville Symphony's Composer Lab & Workshop initiative to further foster and promote new American orchestral music. 

Early in his career, Guerrero worked regularly with the Costa Rican Lyric Opera and in recent seasons has conducted new productions of Carmen, La bohème and Rigoletto. In 2008, he gave the Australian premiere of Osvaldo Golijov's one-act opera Ainadamar at the Adelaide Festival to great acclaim.

Guerrero served as associate conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra from 1999 to 2004 and was music director of the Eugene Symphony in Oregon from 2002 to 2009.

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