The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is calling the 2013-14 season the Year of Pittsburgh Composers, but a couple of other nicknames would suffice for the first half of the music season's calendar.
Perhaps the Fall of Debuts of Symphonies No. 6. This fall's locally grown works are the world premiere of David Stock's Sixth Symphony and the American debut of Leonardo Balada's Symphony No. 6. It's a good year for the half dozen.
Or maybe the Fall of Piano Concerti (though when is it not?). The featured pianists will be Yulianna Avdeeva, who makes her Heinz Hall debut with Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21, International Tchaikovsky Competition winner Daniil Trifonov on Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2, and Till Fellner on Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4.
Other soloists will grace Heinz Hall, including Yo-Yo Ma at the PSO's "Once Upon a Time" gala, PSO concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley on Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy" and violinist Arabella Steinbacher on Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1.
Music director Manfred Honeck will conduct five concerts in the fall: the gala opening night (which features the Stock and Orff's "Carmina Burana") and a concert weekend with Renaissance vocalists the Tallis Scholars, among others.
This season marks the Pittsburgh Opera's 75th fall. The company will toast its diamond anniversary with Verdi's "Aida" and Mozart's "The Magic Flute," along with a menu of special events.
The Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society will present performances by the Emerson String Quartet, Orion String Quartet and Parker Quartet. Be sure to check out the newly redesigned Emerson Quartet, which has a brand-new cellist, Paul Watkins, who replaced David Finckel. That news sent small ripples through the chamber music world. The group will perform Mozart, Britten and Beethoven.
So let's hope for a Year of Good Music. Or at least a good fall. Check out more of the goods here.
ALIA MUSICA: PNC Recital Hall, Duquesne University: Conductors festival (Sept. 13). East Liberty Presbyterian Church: Penderecki, premieres, organ (Oct. 20 and 23). 412-361-0194.
BACH CHOIR OF PITTSBURGH: St. Agnes Center of Carlow University, Oakland: Bruckner and Byrd, with the CMU Wind Ensemble (Oct. 26-27). 412-241-4044.
BUTLER COUNTY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Butler Intermediate High School Auditorium: Brahms, Copland, Dvorak with cellist Edward Arron (Oct. 5); "City Lights" (Nov. 2); "Holiday Traditions" (Dec. 14). 724-283-1402.
CALVARY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: Tiffany Sanctuary, Allegheny West: Handel's "Messiah" sing-along concert (Dec. 7). 412-512-0589.
CHATHAM BAROQUE: Various venues. "Variations on Corelli" (Oct. 5-6); "Notte di Natale" (Dec. 20-22). 412-687-1788.
CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL CHORUS: East Liberty Presbyterian Church: "Holiday Concert" (Dec. 8). 1-888-718-4253.
DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY MARY PAPPERT SCHOOL OF MUSIC: PNC Recital Hall, Uptown: Pittsburgh Song Collaborative presents Hugo Wolf's "Italian Songbook" with director Benjamin Binder, soprano Sari Gruber, baritone Daniel Teadt (Sept. 14); Opera Workshop presents "Aria Marathon" with director Guenko Guechev (Sept. 20); "Beethoven on the Bluff" with Duquesne Piano Trio (Sept. 22). Wind Symphony and Symphony Band concert with conductor Robert Cameron at Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland (Sept. 22). 412-396-6083.
EDGEWOOD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Jewish Community Center, Squirrel Hill: "Happy Birthday" (Oct. 19). First Presbyterian Church of Edgewood: "The Many Moods of Christmas" (Dec. 7). 412-473-8880.
HEINZ CHAPEL CHOIR: Bellefield Auditorium, Oakland: Pitt Choirs Showcase (Oct. 13). Heinz Memorial Chapel, Oakland: Holiday Concert (Nov. 26 and 30, Dec. 1, 6 and 8). 412-624-7129.
LISTENING LOCALLY: Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, Carnegie: Arabesque Winds (Sept. 30), tango band Cuidado (Oct. 29), Academy Chamber Ensemble (Nov. 25). 412-276-3456.
MUSIC IN A GREAT SPACE: Shadyside Presbyterian Church: mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and pianist Laura Ward (Sept. 24); the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (Nov. 24). 412-682-4300.
MUSIC ON THE EDGE: Bellefield Hall Auditorium, Oakland: Ensemble On and Either-Or (Oct. 4). 412-624-7529.
OPERA THEATER: Mellon Institute, Oakland: Concerts of the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition (Nov. 2-3). 412-326-9687.
ORGAN ARTISTS SERIES: Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside: Olivier Latry (Oct. 20); Robert Nicholls (Nov. 17). 412-242-2787.
PITTSBURGH CAMERATA: Various venues: "Such Morning Songs" (Sept. 14, 20-21); "It Was All Shining: A Camerata Christmas" (Dec. 7, 13-14). 412-421-5884.
PITTSBURGH CIVIC ORCHESTRA: Upper St. Clair High School. "Latin-American and Bulgarian" with Coro Latinoamericano Pittsburgh (Oct. 12); "Russian and Rusyn Christmas" (Dec. 21). 412-279-4030.
PITTSBURGH CONCERT CHORALE: Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland: "Pittsburgh Sings! The Pittsburgh Concert Chorale Festival of Choirs" (Oct. 27). Ingomar United Methodist Church and Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church: "Sounds of the Season" with organist David Billings (Dec. 6-8). 412-635-7654.
PITTSBURGH CONCERT SOCIETY: Kresge Recital Hall, Carnegie Mellon University, Oakland: major audition winner recitals -- Seungmin Oh, flute, Vahan Sargsyan, piano, Sage Po, harp (Sept. 22); Leta China, violin, Fernando Deddos, euphonium (Oct. 13); Sean Kennard, piano, Mimi Jung, violin (Nov. 10). 412-279-2970.
PITTSBURGH CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY: Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland: Emerson String Quartet (Oct. 1); Orion String Quartet (Oct. 28); Parker Quartet (Nov. 18). 412-624-4129.
PITTSBURGH OPERA: Benedum Center, Downtown: Verdi's "Aida" (Oct. 12, 15, 18, 20); Mozart's "The Magic Flute" (Nov. 9, 12, 15, 17). Special events at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, Strip District: "Rising Stars" (Sept. 28); Art Song Recital (Nov. 24). 412-456-6666.
PITTSBURGH PHILHARMONIC: Butler County Community College Succop Theater and North Hills Middle School, Ross: "Any Last Words" (Oct. 25-26); "Closing Out the Year with Holiday Pops" (Dec. 6-7). 412-223-7501.
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Heinz Hall, Downtown. Opening gala with Manfred Honeck, conductor, and Yo-Yo Ma, cello (Sept. 27). Mr. Honeck, conductor, Lisette Oropesa, soprano, Andrey Nemzer, tenor, Hugh Russell, baritone, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh; Beethoven's Overture to "Fidelio," Stock's Sixth Symphony (world premiere/PSO commission), Orff's "Carmina Burana" (Oct. 4-6). Mr. Honeck, Yulianna Avdeeva, piano; Barber's Adagio for Strings, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21, Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 (Oct. 11-13). Nikolaj Znaider, conductor, Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin; Mendelssohn's "The Hebrides Overture," Bruch's "Scottish Fantasy" for violin and orchestra, Schumann's Symphony No. 4 (Oct. 25, 27). Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor, Daniil Trifonov, piano. Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 (Nov. 1-4). Rafael Fruhbeck du Burgos, conductor, Arabella Steinbacher, violin; Balada's Symphony No. 6, Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1, Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade" (Nov. 8-10). Fawzi Haimor, conductor; "Fourth Grade Schooltime: 'Musicalympics' " (Nov. 18-20). Mr. Honeck, Till Fellner, piano; Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4, Strauss' waltzes and polkas (Nov. 29, Dec. 1). Mr. Honeck, the Tallis Scholars; vocal works by Victoria, Bruckner and Allegri and Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 (Dec. 6-8). 412-392-4900.
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY POPS: Heinz Hall: Ted Sperling, conductor, Brian Stokes Mitchell, vocalist, All-Star College Chorus, Robert Page and Christine Hestwood, co-directors, "Broadway and Beyond" (Oct. 17-20). Fawzi Haimor, conductor, Ann Hampton Callaway, vocalist; "The Streisand Songbook" (Nov. 14-17). Highmark Holiday Pops (Dec. 12-15, 20-21). "The Rat Pack Christmas" (Dec. 24, 26-29). Scottish Rite Cathedral, New Castle: Todd Ellison, conductor; "Holiday Pops" (Dec. 19). 412-392-4900.
PSO FIDDLESTICKS FAMILY CONCERT: Heinz Hall: Lawrence Loh, conductor; "Halloween Spooktacular" (Oct. 26). 412-392-4900.
PITTSBURGH YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Heinz Hall: fall concert of works by Ginastera, Prokofiev, Dvorak (Nov. 9). 412-392-4872.
RENAISSANCE & BAROQUE SOCIETY: Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside: Stile Antico, "The Phoenix Rising" (Oct. 12). Synod Hall, Oakland: Flanders Recorder Quartet, "A Musical Banquet with J.S. Bach" (Nov. 2); Piffaro with soprano Laura Heimes, "Drive the Cold Away" (Dec. 7). 412-361-2048.
RENAISSANCE CITY CHOIR: East Liberty Presbyterian Church sanctuary: Holiday Concert "Welcome Home" (Dec. 14). 412-345-1722.
RESONANCE WORKS: Charity Randall Theater, University of Pittsburgh, Oakland: Verdi's "Macbeth" (Oct. 25, 27). http://www.resonanceworks.org/.
RIVER CITY BRASS: Various venues: James Gourlay, conductor, "Stars in Brass" (Sept. 12, 14); "Autumn Leaves" with Joe Negri (Oct. 3-5, 8, 10-11); "All American Heroes" with Rick Manning (Nov. 7-9, 12, 14); touring performance (Nov. 16); "Christmas Brasstacular" with Fox Chapel and Westmoreland Choral Society (Dec. 5-7, 10-12). 1-800-292-7222.
SOUTH HILLS CHORALE: Heinz History Center, Strip District: Chorale Concert (Oct. 6); Westminster Presbyterian Church, Upper St. Clair: holiday concert (Dec. 13-14). 412-220-4227.
TIFFANY CONCERT SERIES: Calvary United Methodist Church, North Side: "Two Sides of Celtic" with Grainne Hambly and William Jackson. (Sept. 29). 412-323-1070.
UNDERCROFT OPERA: The Seton Center, Brookline: Bellini's "Norma" (Nov. 21-24). 412-422-7919.
WASHINGTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Trinity High School, Washington: "Space: The Last Frontier" (Oct. 12); "Ho, Ho, Ho with the WSO" (Dec. 7-8). 724-223-9796.
WESTMORELAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Palace Theatre, Greensburg. Daniel Meyer, conductor, Westmoreland Symphony Chamber Singers; "Opening Night" (Nov. 2); All-Star Choir of Westmoreland County; "Home for the Holidays" (Dec. 21). 724-837-1850.
Elizabeth Bloom: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1750 or on Twitter @BloomPG. Blog: Measured Words, http://blogs.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment/measured-words