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The 2013-2014 BNY Mellon Grand Classics Closes with STRAUSS' 150TH BIRTHDAY, 6/13-15

The 2013-2014 BNY Mellon Grand Classics Closes with STRAUSS' 150TH BIRTHDAY, 6/13-15

The 2013-2014 BNY Mellon Grand Classics series will close out the season on the weekend of June 13-15 with a birthday bash for Richard Strauss!

Music Director Manfred Honeck will begin the program with the Suite from Der Rosenkavalier or "The Knight of the Rose," music from one of Richard Strauss' most celebrated operas arranged for orchestra. Acclaimed pianist Rudolf Buchbinder will then perform the notoriously virtuosic and rarely performed concert piece, Burleske. The concert will conclude with an orchestral arrangement of Strauss' one-act opera, Elektra, inspired by Greek mythology.

The Sunday afternoon program will feature an on-stage recognition of the seven musicians who are retiring at the end of the season. The musicians who will be honored for their years of service are Irvin Kauffman (cello; 50 years), Lauren Scott Mallory (cello; 45 years), David Gillis (violin; 42 years), Hampton Mallory (cello; 36 years), Ronald Schneider (horn; 36 years), Gail Czajkowski (cello; 35 years), and Damian Bursill-Hall (flute; 17 years).

Each BNY Mellon Grand Classics concert is part of the Explore & Engage program, which includes pre-concert talks, exhibits, display boards and interactive activities that illuminate the music, composers and the time in which they created. This weekend, Resident Conductor Fawzi Haimor will lead a pre-concert talk from the stage one hour prior to the concert start time.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $25.75 to $105.75, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org.

The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its title sponsorship of BNY Mellon Grand Classics. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Manfred Honeck was appointed the ninth music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in January 2007, and began his tenure at the start of the 2008-2009 season. After a first extension in 2009, his contract was extended for the second time in February 2012, now through the 2019-2020 season. Honeck was born in Austria and studied music at the Academy of Music in Vienna. An accomplished violinist and violist, he spent more than 10 years as a member of the Vienna Philharmonic and the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. He began his career as conductor of Vienna's Jeunesse Orchestra, which he co-founded, and as assistant to Claudio Abbado at the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra in Vienna. In 2010, Honeck was awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. Apart from his numerous tasks as conductor, he has been artistic director of the "International Concerts Wolfegg" in Germany for more than 15 years. Honeck served as principal guest conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra from 2008 to 2011, a position he has resumed for another three years at the beginning of the 2013-2014 season. As a guest conductor, Honeck has worked with major orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic and in the United States with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra Washington and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Manfred Honeck's successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is now captured by Reference Recordings. The first SACD - of Strauss tone poems - was released in fall 2013 and received rave reviews. Several additional recordings are completed and it is expected that two releases will be issued per year.

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