Pittsburgh Symphony to Present HARRY POTTER Concert, 7/16

PITTSBURGH - Harry Potter fans and newcomers are invited to take the Hogwarts Express to Heinz Hall to join the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for a night of wizardry, magic and music on July 16 at 8 p.m.

Under the direction of Assistant Conductor Andrés Franco, the Pittsburgh Symphony will perform selections from the majestic scores of the iconic "Harry Potter" film series. With music composed by John Williams and more, audience members of all ages will be transported through the magical journey and adventures of a young boy with a great destiny and his intrepid friends at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Patrons are welcome to dress as a wizard, witch or other Hogwarts favorite to attend this concert.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets, ranging in price from $30 to $60, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/summer.

About the Artists

Recently named music director of Tulsa's Signature Symphony at TCC and assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, ANDRÉS FRANCO has established himself as a conductor to watch. He is in his fifth season as principal conductor of the multimedia project Caminos del Inka and his third season as artistic director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra's Summer Festival, "Concerts in the Garden."

A frequent guest conductor in the U.S., Europe and South America, Franco has appeared with the Elgin, El Paso, Eugene, Lake Forest, Mississippi, Springfield and Stockton symphony orchestras, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León/Spain and the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, as well as with the National Symphony, Bogota Philharmonic, Medellin Philharmonic and EAFIT Symphony Orchestra in Colombia. Festival appearances include the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Oregon Bach Festival and the Wintergreen Music Festival in Virginia. Franco formerly served as music director of the Philharmonia of Kansas City (2004-2010), associate and resident conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony (2009-2014), and Leonard Slatkin's assistant conductor during the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (2013).

A native of Colombia, Franco is dedicated to preserving and performing the music of the Americas. As principal conductor of Caminos del Inka, he has led many performances of Latin American music by composers of our time, such as Jimmy López, Diego Luzuriaga and the popular Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla. Born into a musical family, Franco began piano studies with his father, Jorge Franco. An accomplished pianist, he studied with Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jose Feghali and attended piano workshops with Rudolph Buchbinder in Switzerland and Lev Naumov in France. He studied conducting with Marin Alsop, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kurt Masur, Gustav Meier, Helmut Rilling, Gerard Schwarz and Leonard Slatkin.

Franco holds a bachelor's degree in piano performance from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as Master of Music degrees in piano performance and conducting from Texas Christian University. Franco is married to Victoria Luperi, principal clarinetist in the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.

The PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, celebrating 120 years of music in the 2015-2016 season, is credited with a rich history of the world's finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 1 "Jeremiah" in 1944 and John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast on the airwaves coast-to-coast and in the late 1970s it made the ground breaking PBS series "Previn and the Pittsburgh." The orchestra has received increased national attention since 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900 - including international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America - the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world's greatest orchestras.

Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts is owned and operated by Pittsburgh Symphony, Inc., a non-profit organization, and is the year-round home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The cornerstone of Pittsburgh's Cultural District, Heinz Hall also hosts many other events that do not feature its world-renowned orchestra, including Broadway shows, comedians, popular touring artists, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit heinzhall.org



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