The Pittsburgh Symphony has arrived at Austria's Grafenegg Festival for the first rehearsal and concert of the tour. Jim Cunningham speaks with bass player Micah Howard about tonight's program, and adjustments Micah is making to the extension on his instrument, which lets him produce extra-low notes. Tonight, the PSO plays Dvorak indoors with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Hopes run high that tomorrow they can play outdoors, which rain prevented at the PSO's 2011 Grafenegg debut.
The manicured gardens, the mix of old and contemporary buildings, fashionable classical music fans, many in traditional formal Austrian green loden cloth, and the always elegant violin soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter made for a beautiful opening concert for the PSO's tour. Jim Cunningham reports via Skype, just moments after returning to the hotel in Vienna.
Pittsburgh Symphony Princpal Horn William Caballero tells Jim Cunningham about the tour repertoire which includes Richard Strauss's Ein Heledenleben, a showpiece for the orchestra's horn section. Four guest horns, all outstanding players who have a long history as PSO 'extras', contribute to the sound. Mr. Caballero notes the continuing demand for the PSO at Europe's top summer festivals.
Members of the Pittsburgh Symphony visited one of Europe's top pediatric cancer centers last fall, and returned with other, German-speaking players: Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley and Associate Principal Violist Tatjana Mead Chamis. They spoke about their instruments and played everything from Bach to Austrian Folksongs, to "If You're Happy and You Know It." Hospital staff talked about advances in pediatric cancer treatment.
After Delta's nonstop Pittsburgh-to-Paris flight, the first of three groups of Pittsburgh Symphony musicians has flown on to Vienna. QED's Jim Cunningham checks in with Anna Singer on arrival at the orchestra's hotel.
Brooke Welsh (Executive Director), Dennis McNair (Board President) and Bill Locher (Opera Festival Co-Chair) of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra talk about the upcoming Opera Festival taking place September 21st, 7pm at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center in Johnstown, PA.