10 ways to whet your musical appetite this year in Pittsburgh
September 14, 2016 4:23 PM
Noah Bendix-Balgley, former concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, will give a recital at PNC Recital Hall in December.
Aleksandr Karjaka at Karjaka Studios
Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
Aleksandr Karjaka at Karjaka Studios
Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble
By Elizabeth Bloom / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Nothing says fall like the start of school, the changing colors of the leaves or the beginning of football season.
Except, of course, the classical music schedule, which beckons with the promise of a school year’s worth of exciting musical experiences.
Here are 10 ways to whet your musical appetite this season.
“Salome,” Pittsburgh Opera (Nov. 5-13, Benedum Center)
This “Salome” is unique, not because Strauss’ opera is a rarity — although Pittsburgh Opera hasn’t produced it in 15 years — but because Metropolitan Opera singer Patricia Racette will take on the title role. This production is Ms. Racette’s long-overdue Pittsburgh Opera debut; she had to withdraw from a production of “Madama Butterfly” in 2002 due to a throat infection.
Gianandrea Noseda with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Nov. 11 and 13, Heinz Hall)
Gianandrea Noseda has tremendous musical rapport with the PSO, and no matter the piece, you can almost certainly expect the partnership to sound golden. This Roman-themed program should be no different, and it includes Mozart’s Oboe Concerto performed by the PSO’s Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, along with music by Ennio Morricone, Ottorino Respighi and Nino Rota.
Haydn’s “The Creation,” Manfred Honeck, PSO (Dec. 2 and 4, Heinz Hall)
The PSO’s music director has made something of a trademark out of conducting semi-staged versions of oratorios, from “Messiah” in 2011 to “St. John Passion” last season. This time, Mr. Honeck and the PSO tackle Haydn’s “The Creation,” directed once again by Sam Helfrich.
Two choral leaders’ debuts:
“The Music of ‘Downton Abbey,’ ” Mendelssohn Choir (Oct. 8, East Liberty Presbyterian Church)
Choral music meets drama in this themed program, which seems to suggest a new experimental approach from the Mendelssohn Choir. It would be a logical time to explore because the chorus has a new music director, Pittsburgh native Matthew Mehaffey. His debut features works by Elgar, Handel, Vaughan Williams and “Downton Abbey” composer John Lunn, while actors will connect the music with the popular TV show.
“Sure on this Shining Night,” the Pittsburgh Camerata (Dec. 17-18, Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Church and Shadyside Presbyterian Church)
Speaking of new choral leaders, the Pittsburgh Camerata, the city’s leading chamber choir, has a new artistic director: Mark Anderson. Sound familiar? He’s also the director of music ministry at Shadyside Presbyterian Church. His first program with the Camerata is a Christmas show, spotlighting works by Josef Rheinberger, Palestrina, Eriks Esenvalds and Morten Lauridsen.
“Schubert on the Bluff” with Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin, and David Allen Wehr, piano (Dec. 3, PNC Recital Hall, Duquesne University)
Noah Bendix-Balgley, the supremely talented former concertmaster of the PSO, officially left his Pittsburgh post last year. But Pittsburgh won’t soon forget him — and, fortunately for local audiences, the feelings seem to be mutual. Along with pianist David Allen Wehr, the Berlin Philharmonic concertmaster will perform music by Schubert and Copland in this appearance on Duquesne’s “Schubert on the Bluff” series. The concert will be his sole Pittsburgh recital this season.
Dover Quartet with Edgar Meyer, double bass, Chamber Music Pittsburgh (Oct. 23, Carnegie Music Hall)
In its Chamber Music Pittsburgh debut, the Dover Quartet is joined by bass virtuoso and composer Edgar Meyer for a program of music by Haydn, Rossini, Dvorak and Mr. Meyer himself.
Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Alia Musica (Dec. 10, Frick Fine Arts Building)
This Chicago-based female vocal quartet, which specializes in the performance of contemporary music, makes its Pittsburgh debut in the first of three concerts presented by Alia Musica. The ensemble will give the world premiere of “The Passion of the Wilt-Mold Mothers” by Pittsburgh composer Curtis Rumrill. Another don’t-miss Alia Musica show is a recital by Frederic Rzewski. The composer-pianist will perform Oct. 27 in a more traditional space (Frick Fine Arts Building) than he did the last time he concertized in Pittsburgh (Wholey’s fish market, April 2015).
“For Two Lutes,” Renaissance and Baroque (Nov. 12, Synod Hall, Oakland)
Two of the most decorated lutenists playing today — Paul O’Dette and Ronn McFarlane — team up (or perhaps do battle) in this program of dances, fantasias, madrigals and more, presented by early-music series Renaissance and Baroque.
“The Art of the Trio,” Chatham Baroque (Nov. 18-20, various locations)
Each season, Chatham Baroque presents one concert that features only the three core members of the trio. This time, in addition to their usual early-music fare, the musicians will perform a new work by the Chicago-based composer Jonathan Kohrs, which the ensemble premiered this summer in Vermont.
David Del Tredici 80th Birthday Concert (Dec. 3, The Andy Warhol Museum, North Shore)
Music on the Edge, the University of Pittsburgh’s new-music presenter, offers a tribute to David Del Tredici, whose compositions often have been inspired by Lewis Carroll, in particular “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer turns 80 in March.
ALIA MUSICA: Jordan Dodson, guitar (Oct. 20, James Simon’s sculpture studio, Uptown); Frederic Rzewski, piano (Oct. 27, Frick Fine Arts Building, Oakland); Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble (Dec. 10, Frick Fine Arts Building). www.aliamusicapittsburgh.org or 412-361-0194.
ANDREW CARNEGIE FREE LIBRARY AND MUSIC HALL: “We Remember: A Tribute to the Inner Life of Anne Frank” (Sept. 25); “To Carnegie with Love” (Oct. 1); Tom Roberts and the Allegheny (Nov. 4); “The Music Man” (Nov. 10-20); “The Nutcracker” (Dec. 9-11, 16-18). www.carnegiecarnegie.org or 412-276-3456.
BUTLER COUNTY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Butler Intermediate High School: “Magnificent Russians” (Oct. 1); “Veterans’ Day Salute” (Nov. 12); “The Magic of Christmas” (Dec. 10). www.butlersymphony.org or 724-283-1402.
CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MUSIC: CMU Philharmonic (Sept. 18, Oct. 25, Dec. 9-10 with CMU Choirs, Carnegie Music Hall); Chamber Music series (Sept. 26, Kresge Theatre); CMU Wind Ensemble (Oct. 1, Kresge Theatre, Oct. 8, Carnegie Music Hall); other events throughout the fall. www.music.cmu.edu.
CHAMBER MUSIC PITTSBURGH: Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland: Dover Quartet with Edgar Meyer, double bass (Oct. 23); Ahn Trio (Nov. 28). www.chambermusicpittsburgh.org or 412-624-4129.
CHATHAM BAROQUE: Season Announcement Party (tonight, FrameHouse & Jask Gallery, Lawrenceville) “Mein Freund ist Mein: Bach's Wedding Cantata and music of his forebears” (Oct. 7, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Upper St. Clair, Oct. 8, Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside, Oct. 9, Campbell Memorial Chapel, Chatham University); “The Art of the Trio: Music from across Baroque Europe” (Nov. 18, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Nov. 19, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Highland Park, Nov. 20, Campbell Memorial Chapel); “Handel’s Gloria: Celebrating the Divine in Baroque Italy” (Dec. 16, TBA; Dec. 17, Calvary Episcopal Church; Dec. 18, Campbell Memorial Chapel); “Peanut Butter and Jam Session” (Sept. 17, Oct. 8, Nov. 19, Dec. 17, Calvary Episcopal Church). www.chathambaroque.org or 412-687-1788.
DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY MARY PAPPERT SCHOOL OF MUSIC: Wind Symphony and Symphony Band (Sept. 27, Nov. 6, Carnegie Music Hall); Duquesne Symphony Orchestra (Oct. 2, Carnegie Music Hall; Nov. 13, Carnegie Music Hall); “Schubert on the Bluff” (Oct. 23, Dec. 3, PNC Recital Hall); Duquesne University Choirs (Nov. 4, Shadyside Presbyterian Church); other events throughout the fall. www.duq.edu/music or 412-396-6080.
EDGEWOOD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: “An American Dream” (Oct. 15, Jewish Community Center, Squirrel Hill); “American Holiday” (Dec. 3, First Presbyterian Church of Edgewood). www.edgewoodsymphony.org or 412-473-8880.
HEINZ CHAPEL CHOIR: Pitt Choirs Showcase (Oct. 9, First Baptist Church, Oakland); Holiday Concert (Dec. 3-4, 9, 11, Heinz Memorial Chapel, Oakland). http://www.pitt.edu/~heinzcc/index.html or 412-624-7529.
MENDELSSOHN CHOIR OF PITTSBURGH: The Music of “Downton Abbey” (Oct. 8, East Liberty Presbyterian Church); Junior Mendelssohn (Nov. 20, Third Presbyterian Church, Shadyside); Haydn’s “The Creation” with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Dec. 9-11, 17-18 Heinz Hall, Downtown); “Highmark Holiday Pops” with the PSO (Dec. 11-13, 19-20, Heinz Hall). www.themendelssohn.org or 412-926-2488.
MUSIC IN A GREAT SPACE AT SHADYSIDE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: “Radiant is the World Soul” with Duquesne University Choirs (Nov. 4); “Sure on This Shining Night” with the Pittsburgh Camerata (Dec. 18). www.shadysidepres.org or 412-682-4300.
MUSIC ON THE EDGE: String Noise (Oct. 8, Miller Gallery, Carnegie Mellon University), David Del Tredici 80th Birthday Concert (Dec. 3, Andy Warhol Museum, North Shore). www.music.pitt.edu/mote or 412-624-7529.
NAT 28: “Imaginary Dances” (Oct. 14, Yanlai Dance Academy, Ross); “Portraits: The Music of Federico Garcia-De Castro” (Nov. 13, First Unitarian Church, Shadyside). www.facebook.com/NAT28newmusic.
OPERA THEATER OF PITTSBURGH: Mildred Miller International Voice Competition (Semifinals Oct. 29, Mellon Institute Auditorium; finals Oct. 30, Frick Art & Historical Center, Point Breeze). www.otsummerfest.org or 412-326-9687.
ORGAN ARTISTS SERIES: David Higgs (Oct. 16, East Liberty Presbyterian Church); Chelsea Chen (Nov. 18, Heinz Memorial Chapel, Oakland). www.oas-series.com or 412-242-2787.
PITTSBURGH CAMERATA: “Sure on this Shining Night” (Dec. 17, Mt. Lebanon Lutheran Church, Dec. 18, Shadyside Presbyterian Church). www.pittsburghcamerata.org or 412-421-5884.
PITTSBURGH CONCERT CHORALE: “Pittsburgh Sings! The 5th Annual Pittsburgh Concert Chorale Festival of Choirs” (Oct. 30, Carnegie Music Hall). “Sounds of the Season” (Dec. 2-4, various locations). www.pccsing.org or 412-635-7654.
PITTSBURGH CONCERT SOCIETY: Kresge Theatre, Oakland: Dana Schneider, harp, Matthew Watkins, flute, Donna Amato, piano (Sept. 25) William Andrews, tenor, Katie Manukyan, soprano, Uliana Kozhevnikova, piano, Delphi Duo (Oct. 23); Beo String Quartet, Jessica Victoria Bachicha, soprano, David Anderson, piano (Nov. 6). www.pittsburghconcertsociety.org or 412-279-2970.
PITTSBURGH OPERA: Benedum Center: Verdi’s “La traviata” (Oct. 8, 11, 14 and 16); Strauss’ “Salome” (Nov. 5, 8, 11, 13); “Diamond Horseshoe Ball” (Sept. 30, Omni William Penn Hotel, Downtown); “New Year’s Eve” (Dec. 31, Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland); “Rising Stars” (Sept. 18, Pittsburgh Opera headquarters, Strip District); smaller events throughout the fall. www.pittsburghopera.org or 412-456-6666.
PITTSBURGH PHILHARMONIC: Butler County Community College and Mt. Alvernia, Millvale: “Rhapsodic,” (Oct. 21-22); “Holiday Pops” (Dec. 2-3,). www.pghphil.org or 412-223-7501.
PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Heinz Hall, Downtown: Manfred Honeck, conductor, and Gil Shaham, violin: “Moonlight Masquerade” gala (Sept. 17). Mr. Honeck, Pinchas Zukerman, violin: MacMillan’s “Britannia,” Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Elgar’s “Enigma” Variations (Oct. 7, 9); Mr. Honeck: Beethoven’s “Egmont” Overture, MacMillan’s Symphony No. 4, “The Cosmos – An HD Odyssey” featuring Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, (Oct. 14-16); Steve Hackman, conductor: FUSE@PSO: Bartok + Bjork (Oct. 19); Leonard Slatkin, conductor, Simone Porter, violin: Barber’s Overture to “The School for Scandal,” “Adagio for Strings” and Violin Concerto, Williams’ “Sound the Bells!,” Slatkin’s “Kinah,” Gershwin/Bennett’s A Symphonic Picture of “Porgy and Bess” (Nov. 4 and 6); Gianandrea Noseda, conductor, Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, oboe: Berlioz’ “Roman Carnival Overture,” Mozart’s Oboe Concerto, Morricone’s “Gabriel’s Oboe” from “The Mission,” Respighi’s “The Fountains of Rome,” Rota’s Symphony No. 3 (Nov. 11 and 13); Mr. Honeck, Helene Grimaud, piano: Ravel’s Piano Concerto, selected waltzes and polkas (Nov. 25-27); Mr. Honeck, Rachele Gilmore, soprano, Paul Appleby, tenor, Alexander Elliott, bass, the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Sam Helfrich, stage director, Greg Emetaz, video designer: Haydn’s “The Creation” (Dec. 2, 4). www.pittsburghsymphony.org or 412-392-4900.
PSO POPS: Heinz Hall, Downtown: “The Music of John Williams” with Lawrence Loh, conductor (Sept. 30-Oct. 2); The Midtown Men, Todd Ellison, conductor (Oct. 28-30); Francesco Lecce-Chong, conductor, Capathia Jenkins, vocals, the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Three Rivers Ringers, Christopher Sanders, special guest: “Highmark Holiday Pops” (Dec. 9-11, 17-18). www.pittsburghsymphony.org or 412-392-4900.
PITTSBURGH YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: “Fiesta!” (Oct. 23, Rodef Shalom, Oakland); Fall Concert (Nov. 6, Heinz Hall, Downtown); Holiday Music for Strings (Dec. 3, PPG Wintergarden, Downtown). www.pittsburghyouthsymphony.org or 412-392-4872.
RENAISSANCE & BAROQUE: “Back Before Bach” with Piffaro (Sept. 24, Synod Hall, Oakland); “For Two Lutes” with Ronn McFarlane and Paul O’Dette (Nov. 12, Synod Hall), “Wondrous Mystery” with Stile Antico (Dec. 3, Calvary Episcopal Church, Shadyside). www.rbsp.org or 412-361-2048.
RENAISSANCE CITY CHOIR: Holiday Concert (Dec. 10, East Liberty Presbyterian Church). www.rccpittsburgh.com or 412-345-1722.
RESONANCE WORKS | PITTSBURGH: “RE: Rediscover, Renew, Reinvent” (Sept. 23 and 25, Third Presbyterian Church, Shadyside); Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (Dec. 16 and 18, Third Presbyterian Church). www.resonanceworks.org.
RIVER CITY BRASS: Various venues: Sept. 17, 24, Oct. 6-8, 11, 13, 23, Nov. 3-5, 9-10, Dec. 1-3, 6, 8-9). www.rivercitybrass.org or 412-434-7222.
SOUTH HILLS CHORALE: Sewickley Masonic Village (Sept. 14), Friendship Village, Upper St. Clair (Nov. 28), St. Joan of Arc, South Park (Dec. 7), Westminster Presbyterian Church, Upper St. Clair (Dec. 16-17). www.southhillschorale.org or 412-220-4227.
THREE RIVERS YOUNG PEOPLES ORCHESTRAS: Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland (Dec. 18). www.trypo.org or 412-391-0526.
UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH SCHOOL OF MUSIC: Men’s Glee Club Holiday Concert (Dec. 10, First Baptist Church, Oakland); Women’s Choral Ensemble Holiday Concert (Dec. 10, Heinz Chapel, Oakland); other events throughout the fall. www.music.pitt.edu or 412-624-7529.
WASHINGTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: Trinity High School, Washington: “Made in America” (Oct. 15); “Ho, Ho, Ho With the WSO” (Dec. 3-4). www.washsym.org or 724-223-9796.
WESTMORELAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: The Palace Theatre, Greensburg: “Brasstacular” (Oct. 1); “Home for the Holidays” (Dec. 17). www.westmorelandsymphony.org or 724-837-1850.
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