Fall arts: Classical concerts offer wide array of sounds, styles
The classical concert scene is led by symphonic music and supplemented by a robust array of chamber music, as well as baroque and new music.
The world class Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will offer 20 weekend programs, half led by music director Manfred. He’ll celebrate his
60th birthday at concerts
Sept. 28 and 30, featuring a premiere by Mason Bates
in his honor with Pinchas Zukerman soloing in Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto
No. 1 and Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. The next week he’ll remember Leonard Bernstein on his centennial with a program of music Lenny conducted in Pittsburgh, including his Symphony No. 1 (“Jeremiah”). The traditional Thanksgiving weekend concerts, Nov. 23 and 25, will be followed by a program featuring Joseph Haydn’s great “Mass in Time of War,” Nov. 30 and Dec. 2. Honeck returns for Valentine’s Day weekend
with pianist Emanuel Ax,
Feb. 15-17; and Hector Berlioz’ “The Damnation of Faust,” March 8 and 10. The music director also will lead Gustav Mahler’s “The Song of the Earth,” May 10 and 12; Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, June 6-9; and Richard Strauss’ “An Alpine Symphony,” June 14 and 16.
Other notable symphony concerts include principal horn William Caballero playing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Horn Concerto
No. 4 paired with Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” Nov. 2-4; Yan Pascal Tortelier leading Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Dec. 7 and 9; the local debut of conductor Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla,
Jan. 11-13; Herbert Blomstedt conducting Beethoven and Antonin Dvorak, Feb. 8 and 10; conductor Leonard Slatkin April 12 and 14; and pianist Garrick Ohlsson, May 10 and 12.
The Westmoreland Symphony is celebrating its 50th season with six concerts at Greensburg’s Palace Theatre led by music director Daniel Meyer. The season opens with a northern European program starting with “Finlandia” and including Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Jan Sibelius’ Symphony
No. 7. The other events are the traditional Home for the Holidays, Dec. 15; “Heart Strings” featuring Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Feb. 16; Music and Magic,” March 16; Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” with five choirs and soloists from Pittsburgh Opera, April 27; and Music of John Williams, May 11.
The Saint Vincent Concert Series presents internationally touring musicians, mostly performing classical music. The season opens with Occidental Gypsy, fusion band, Sept. 22; and continues with organist Damin Spritzer,
Oct. 20; pianist Sejoon Park, Nov. 10; violinist Hye-Jin Kim,
Jan. 26; the Argus Quartet, Feb. 23; guitarist Dimitris Kotronakis, March 30; and Pittsburgh Symphony harpist Gretchen Van Hoesen, April 13.
Chamber Music Pittsburgh
The subscription series of Chamber Music Pittsburgh presents top-ranked internationally touring musicians in the superb acoustics of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Music Hall.
The lineup is: Jerusalem Quartet, Oct. 3; Imani Winds, Nov. 26; pianist Jeremy Denk, Jan. 21; Sybarite5, Feb. 11; Artemis Quartet, Feb. 11; and two Franz Schubert Piano Trios played by violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley, cellist Peter Wiley and pianist Robert Levin, May 6.
At the end of last season, the outstanding early music ensemble Chatham Baroque merged with Pittsburgh’s venerable presenting organization Renaissance and Baroque. Chatham Baroque and guests playing Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” opens the season, Sept. 21 to 23; followed by The Art of the Trio, Nov. 9 to 11; a Christmas program, Dec. 14 to 16; Cupid’s Harp, Feb. 15 to 17; and From Battles to Ballets, April 5 to 7.
The Rose Ensemble is the first of the touring groups, which will bring music of medieval Spain, Oct. 6. The other guest artists are cellist Jaap ter Linden and fortepianist David Breitman, Nov. 3; Ayreheart, Jan. 12; Acronym, March 23; and Quicksilver, April 27.
River City Brass
River City Brass Band’s lineup includes Rocky Horror Brass, Oct. 4-11; The Brit-Am Invasion, Nov. 1-7; Christmas Brasstacular, Nov. 29-Dec. 6; Celtic Connections III,
Feb. 28-March 12; Take the “A” Train, April 4-11; and Caribbean Carnivale, May 2-9.
Mark Kanny is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.