Fall Arts Preview: Classical


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Welcome back!

That's a call not just to the return of the classical music season, but to several compositions and programs that had success in Pittsburgh in recent years.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will reprise music director Manfred Honeck's poignant, enhanced version of Mozart's famous "Requiem." His "Mozart's death in Words and Music" combines readings of Mozart's letters to his father, poems on the subject of death and beyond, scripture along with church bells and Gregorian chant. Actor John Lithgow narrates.

The PSO also brings back Mahler's monumental Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Resurrection" and the Thanksgiving weekend waltzfest with Mr. Honeck. Then there are the return engagements of violinist Gil Shaham soloing in Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers premiering Mason Bates' Violin Concerto, baritone Thomas Hampson singing orchestral songs by Richard Strauss and pianist Olga Kern performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3.

The orchestra's own virtuosi will contribute: principal horn player William Caballero (Strauss' Horn Concerto No. 1), principal clarinetist Michael Rusinek (Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major) and concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley (Beethoven's Violin Concerto).

The Bach Choir of Pittsburgh revisits its powerful production of Handel's "Messiah" in the Hunt Amory in Shadyside, with chorus and soloists relating the story in the presence of military craft. The well-loved early-music orchestra, Apollo's Fire, comes on the Renaissance & Baroque Society series. And the Pittsburgh Opera brings back Verdi's "Rigoletto" and Mozart's "Don Giovanni," the latter in a new production.

The Pacifica and Takacs quartets are frequent visitors to the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society series at Carnegie Music Hall but don't miss the chance to hear the Jerusalem String Quartet Oct. 23 performing Mozart, Shostakovich and Borodin. Pitt's Music on the Edge presents the crack Sequitur Ensemble.

The PSO pops will be without the dear dynamo Marvin Hamlisch. It begins the season with an appearance of vocalist Matthew Morrison of "Glee" fame.

Plenty more of the good stuff below.

ALIA MUSICA East Liberty Presbyterian Church: Fred Rzewski's "De Profundis" (Oct. 19); Kresge Hall, Carnegie Mellon University: winners of composition contest (Nov. 16). 412-361-0194.

BACH CHOIR OF PITTSBURGH TBA: "Time Remembered/Time Forgotten" (Oct. 13-14); Hunt Amory, Shadyside: " 'Messiah' in Space" (Dec. 8-9). 412-394-3353.

BUDAPEST ON THE BLUFF PNC Recital Hall, Duquesne University School of Music. "Fife and Drums" (Sept. 9); "Purely Piano" (Oct. 21); "Dominantly Dohnanyi" (Nov. 26). 412-396-6083.

BUTLER COUNTY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Butler Intermediate High School Auditorium. "Italia" (Oct. 6); "Jazz," with the Joe Negri Trio (Nov. 3); "Holidays" (Dec. 1). 724-283-1402.

CHATHAM BAROQUE: Various venues. "Say, Darlin' Say" (Oct. 13-14); "Continental Christmas" (Dec. 13-15). 1-888-71-TICKETS.

CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL CHORUS East Liberty Presbyterian Church: "Nature of the Season" (Dec. 11). 1-888-718-4253.

EDGEWOOD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Jewish Community Center, Squirrel Hill. Concerts (Oct. 20); First Presbyterian Church of Edgewood (Dec. 8); Carnegie Music Hall (Dec. 9). 412-473-8880.

GUITAR SOCIETY OF FINE ART PNC Recital Hall, Duquesne University. Nelida Tirado, Jesus Montoya and Ricardo Marlow Flamenco Show (Sept. 19); Petar Jankovic, guitar, and Sophie Bird, violin (Oct. 3). 412-612-0499.

HEINZ CHAPEL CHOIR Heinz Memorial Chapel, Oakland. Holiday Concert (Dec. 1-2, 7 and 9). 412-624-4125 or 412-394-3353.

MUSIC IN A GREAT SPACE Shadyside Presbyterian Church. "Four Hands, Warm Heart" (Sept. 30); organist Joan Lippincott (Nov. 18); Handel's "Messiah" with the Shadyside Chancel Choir (Dec. 9). 412-682-4300.

MUSIC ON THE EDGE Bellefield Hall Auditorium, Oakland. Sequitur Ensemble (Nov. 18); Talujon Percussion Ensemble (Dec. 1); IonSound Project (Oct. 14). 412-624-4125.

OPERA THEATER Mellon Institute, Oakland. Concerts of the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition and Opera Champion of Pittsburgh Competition (Nov. 3-4). Calvary United Methodist Church, North Side: "Messiah" Sing-Along (Dec. 16). 412-621-1499.

ORGAN ARTISTS SERIES St. Paul Cathedral, Oakland: Christopher Herrick (Oct. 28); Shadyside Presbyterian Church: Joan Lippincott (Nov. 18). 412-242-2787.

PITTSBURGH CAMERATA Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church, Sixth Presbyterian Church, Squirrel Hill, and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Highland Park. "Apollo Unbound" (Oct. 13, 19-20); "The Light of Christmas" (Dec. 7-8, 15). 412-421-5884.

PITTSBURGH CIVIC ORCHESTRA Upper St. Clair High School. Saint-Saens' "Organ" Symphony and Handel's Organ Concerto with Nicholas Will, organist. (Oct. 13); Anderson Christmas Festival (Dec. 15). 412-279-4030.

PITTSBURGH CONCERT CHORALE Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland: "Pittsburgh Sings! The Pittsburgh Concert Chorale Festival of Choirs" (Nov. 4). Ingomar United Methodist Church, Franklin Park, and Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church: "We Wish You a Merry Christmas!" (Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2). 412-635-7654.

PITTSBURGH CONCERT SOCIETY Kresge Recital Hall, Carnegie Mellon University, Oakland: Major audition winner recitals: Ganna Kovalevska and Yuting Zhou, piano duo, Hilary Gamble, violin (Sept. 23); Misook Yun, soprano, Alice Wang, clarinet, Sophia van der Westhuizen, John DiCesare, tuba (Oct. 21); Mengyi Yang, piano, Jessie Nucho, flute, Alexander Hettinga, viola, Natalie Severson, harp (Nov. 4). 412-279-2970.

PITTSBURGH CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland: Jerusalem String Quartet (Oct. 23); Takacs Quartet (Nov. 12); Pacifica Quartet (Dec. 10). 412-624-4129.

PITTSBURGH OPERA: Benedum Center, Downtown:?Verdi's "Rigoletto" (Oct. 6, 9, 12, 14); Mozart's "Don Giovanni" (Nov. 3, 6, 9, 11). Special events: Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters (2425 Liberty Ave., Strip District): "Rising Stars Concert" (Sept. 29); Art Song Recital (Nov. 18). 412-456-6666.

PITTSBURGH PHILHARMONIC Butler County Community College and Shaler Area Elementary. "Once Upon a Dream" (Oct. 26-27); "Winter Dreams" (Dec. 7-8). 412-394-3353 and 724-284-8505.

PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Heinz Hall, Downtown. Opening gala with Manfred Honeck, conductor, and Lang Lang, piano (Sept. 15). Mr. Honeck, Thomas Hampson, baritone; William Caballero, horn; Strauss' Orchestral Songs, Strauss' Horn Concerto No. 1 and Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World" (Sept. 21-23). Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Olga Kern, piano; Respighi's "Ancient Airs and Dances," Suite No. 3, Schumann's Symphony No. 3, Scott Eyerly's "Arlington Sons" and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 (Oct. 5-7). Mr. Honeck, Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin; Adriana Kucerova, soprano; Gerhild Romberger, mezzo-soprano; Paul Appleby, tenor; Liang Li, bass; John Lithgow, narrator; Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Beethoven's Violin Concerto, Willi's "Abba Ma" and Mozart's Requiem, K. 626, "Mozart's death in Words and Music" (Oct. 12-14). Music for the Spirit, Manfred Honeck, conductor; Adriana Kucerova, soprano; Gerhild Romberger, mezzo-soprano; Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Resurrection" (Oct. 19). Mr. Honeck; Yefin Bronfman, piano. Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, "Emperor," and waltzes and polkas by the Strauss family (Nov. 23-25). Mr. Honeck, Bates' "Mothership," and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 (Nov. 30, Dec. 2). Mr. Slatkin, Anne Akiko Meyers, violin; Haydn's Symphony No. 68, Bates' Violin Concerto and Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3, "Organ" (Dec. 7, 9). Arild Remmereit, conductor; Gil Shaham, violin; Walker's Sinfonia No. 4, "Strands," Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5, "Turkish," and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1, "Winter Dreams" (Dec. 14-16). 412-392-4900.

PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY POPS Heinz Hall. Matthew Morrison, vocalist (Sept. 29-30); Beatles tribute band, Classical Mystery Tour, celebrates "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (Nov. 15-18); Highmark Holiday Pops (Dec. 20-23). Special concert: "Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration With the PSO" (Dec. 3-4). 412-392-4900.

PSO FIDDLESTICKS FAMILY CONCERT Heinz Hall: "Celebrations Around the World" (Oct. 6). 412-392-4900.

PITTSBURGH YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Heinz Hall. Fall concert (Dec. 2). 412-392-4872.

RENAISSANCE & BAROQUE SOCIETY Synod Hall, Oakland: Rebel (Oct. 6); Red Priest (Nov. 3), Apollo's Fire (Dec. 8). 412-361-2048.

RENAISSANCE CITY CHOIRS Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland: Holiday Concert: "Warm by the Fire" (Dec. 9). 412-394-3353.

RIVER CITY BRASS Various venues.?James Gourlay, conductor, "Broadway Brass" (Sept. 6-13); "OctoberFiesta" (Oct. 4-11); "All American Heroes" (Nov. 2-15); "Christmas Brasstacular" (Nov. 30-Dec. 13). 1-800-292-7222.

MUSIC AT RODEF SHALOM Rodef Shalom Congregation, Shadyside, The Pittsburgh Chamber Players (Sept. 10). 412-621-6566.

SOUTH HILLS CHORALE Westminster Presbyterian Church, Upper St. Clair. Holiday Concert (Dec. 14-15). 412-220-4227.

TIFFANY CONCERT SERIES Calvary United Methodist Church, North Side. "Sunday Afternoon Baroque" with Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra (Sept. 30). 412-323-1070.

WASHINGTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Trinity High School, Washington, Pa. "Scored to Death" (Oct. 13); "Ho, Ho, Ho With the WSO"? (Dec. 1). 724-223-9796.

WESTMORELAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Palace Theatre, Greensburg. Daniel Meyer, conductor; Zuill Bailey, cello, "Opening Night" (Sept. 29); "Home for the Holidays" (Dec. 22). 724-837-1850.

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