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The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Violinst Ye-Eun Choi Present Vivaldi's THE FOUR SEASONS, 5/30-6/1

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Violinst Ye-Eun Choi Present Vivaldi's THE FOUR SEASONS, 5/30-6/1

Take a grand musical journey through the seasons of the year with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Korean violin prodigy Ye-Eun Choi during the BNY Mellon Grand Classics performances of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" on May 30-June 1 at Heinz Hall.

Guest conductor Nicholas McGegan, whose expertise is baroque music, leads Vivaldi's 18th-century masterpiece, and arguably his most famous work, "The Four Seasons." McGegan also will play the harpsichord for the piece. "The Four Seasons" features violin concertos focusing on spring, summer, autumn and winter, which will be performed by Choi, a young rising star violinist whose talent has been recognized and championed by violin superstar Anne-Sophie Mutter. In the second half of the program, McGegan presents musical gems from the classical period by Mozart and Haydn.

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, Assistant Conductor Fawzi Haimor will conduct a pre-concert talk one hour before each performance. James Rodgers, principal contrabassoon, and his students will perform in the Grand Lobby prior to the Friday and Sunday concerts. Also on Sunday, the PSO Book Club with WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham will meet at 1:30 p.m. in the Grand Tier Lounge to discuss "Marrying Mozart" by Stephanie Cowell with Lorna McGhee, principal flute. The book club session is free to all ticket holders to the Sunday afternoon performance, but availability is limited; advance registration is required. To register, call 412-392-4876 or email explore@pittsburghsymphony.org.

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 by visiting pittsburghsymphony.org.

The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2013-2014 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.

Nicholas McGegan is "one of the finest baroque conductors of his generation" (Independent) and "an expert in 18th century style" (New Yorker). In his capacity as music director of San Francisco-based Philharmonia Baroque he has established the group as the leading period band in America. He is also the principal guest conductor of the Pasadena Symphony. Active in opera as well as the concert hall, he has been principal guest conductor of Scottish Opera and principal conductor of Sweden's 18th Century theatre in Drottingholm, running the annual festival there. He has been a pioneer in the process of exporting historically informed performance practice beyond the world of period instruments to wider conventional symphonic forces, guest-conducting with orchestras such as the Chicago, St Louis, Toronto, Montreal and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, the New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Houston and Concertgebouw Orchestras as well as the Royal Scottish National, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber, Royal Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Hallé. Opera companies he works with include Royal Opera House Covent Garden, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Washington. He has broken new ground in experimental dance-collaborations with Mark Morris, notably at festivals such as Edinburgh International and Ravinia. His discography of more than 100 releases includes the world premiere recording of Handel's "Susanna," which attracted both a Gramophone Award and Grammy nomination. Born in England, he was educated at Cambridge and Oxford universities. His awards include an honorary professorship at Georg-August University, Göttingen, the Halle Handel Prize, an order of merit of the state of Lower Saxony, a medal of Honour of the City of Goettingen and an official Nicholas McGegan Day, declared by the mayor of San Francisco for two decades of distinguished work with the Philharmonia Baroque. He was made an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2010.

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