The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Presents JACKIE EVANCHO, 2/13
Jackie Evancho, the pint-sized diva who won hearts - and a second-place finish - on NBC's "America's Got Talent, returns to her hometown on February 13 to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall.
Now 14 years old, Evancho released her fifth studio album in four years in September 2014. Her performance with the Pittsburgh Symphony will feature the lush classical-crossover compositions for which she has become known, as well as the more contemporary material that can be found on her new album, "Awakening" - such as "Je t'aime," "Take Me There," "Impossible Dream," "Ave Maria" and many more. The concert will be conducted by Grove City College graduate and rising conducting star Karin Hendrickson.
Jackie Evancho's first performance on NBC's variety show "America's Got Talent" left audiences and judges astonished that such a perfect, beautiful, soprano voice could come from a 10-year-old girl. The young soprano from Pittsburgh with the stunning voice won runner-up and launched her legendary career, signing with Columbia Records shortly thereafter. In a little over two years, Jackie's unique, gorgeous, soprano voice has won her millions of fans and her recordings have dominated the music and DVD charts. Now 14, Evancho has garnered the support of legendary music producers like David Foster and filmmakers such as Robert Redford. Billboard Magazine named her to their list of music movers-and-shakers under the age of 21 in 2011 and again in 2012 because the soprano's "spellbinding, operatic vocals possess a power and poignancy that often moves listeners multiple times her age to tears." Evancho has participated in the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., where she sang-and delighted-President and Mrs. Obama. Two months later, she was again invited to perform for the President and Congressional leaders during the National Prayer Breakfast. In early 2012, Evancho was selected to travel to Russia to perform in front of 100,000 people prior to the opening of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. Evancho's fan base also extends to Japan, where she was invited to perform for the Royal Family at the Imperial Palace. She tours regularly with the Tokyo Philharmonic to sold-out venues. Her U.S. shows are also sell-outs and have been taped for broadcast on PBS for the Great Performances series. Jackie's first PBS special was one of the top pledge producing performances in PBS' history. Evancho has tried her hand at both acting and modeling. She made her acting debut in "The Company You Keep." Legendary actor/director/producer Robert Redford cast Jackie to play his daughter in the thriller. Off screen, Evancho was selected by GUESS owner, Paul Marciano, to star in both the fall 2012 GUESS Kids clothing campaigns. In March 2013 Evancho performed as part of an unprecedented Cirque du Soleil extravaganza at the Bellagio's "O" Theatre to support "One Night for One Drop" on World Water Day. For the first time ever, all Cirque du Soleil shows closed their doors in order for 200 performers to collaborate in the once-in-a-lifetime show. Evancho starred as the show's special guest and participated in a breathtaking water and aerial performance. Evancho's new album "Awakening" came out on September 23, 2014.
U.S.-born conductor Karin Hendrickson graduated with distinction from the conducting program at Britain's Royal Academy of Music under world-renowned pedagogue Colin Metters in 2013. Twice named a Gordon Foundation winner, Hendrickson received the Fred Southall Memorial Prize in her final year. She was a First Prize winner at the London International Conducting Competition, and as a result will make her Graz, Austria, debut in 2015. Further awards include being one of our winners at the International Conducting Competition in Macon, Georgia, the Baltimore Symphony Academy/Bruno Walter Conducting Chair prize from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra/League of American Orchestras, talent grants from the Peabody Conservatory and an award to train at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, under conductor Peter Gülke (2014 Siemens Prize winner). Hendrickson was one of three finalists for the Taki Concordia Foundation Fellowship, an award that supports talented young conductors during their transition into professional appointments. As an Honorable Mention winner, she will receive professional mentorship from the Foundation until 2015. In 2012, Hendrickson worked with Marin Alsop and the Sao Paulo Symphony at the Campos do Jordao Music Festival, and was immediately invited to assist on their European tour to the BBC Proms, the Snape Proms in Aldeburgh, the Rheingau Musik Festival in Germany and the Congertgebouw in Amsterdam. As a keyboardist, Hendrickson has worked and performed with the National Philharmonic (Washington, D.C.), the Hot Springs Music Festival Opera, and the George Mason Opera and George Mason Dance Company, among others. As an active collaborative pianist, she has accompanied world premiere solo performances by up-and-coming international composers and artists as well as conducting a recording with the winners of the Macht Composition Prize. She has several credits as a composer, and was recently granted permission by the Pablo Neruda Foundation to begin setting Neruda's Cien sonnetos de amor for voice and orchestra. Her most widely distributed credit includes music for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, performed by Aretha Franklin and released on NBC Records. Hendrickson continues in her commitment to music education in schools, and recently founded the Kid Maestro! program, an organization that writes and presents musical interactions for school-aged children. Recent conducting highlights have included Hendrickson's BBC Proms Plus and BBC Radio 3 debuts, standing in for an injured Marin Alsop at the Cabrillo Festival of New Music in Santa Cruz, and again assisting the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra during their second European tour. In April, she made a successful debut with the Orchestra of St. Johns in London, and was immediately re-invited for the following season. Hendrickson presented the pilot of KidMaestro!'s Peter and the Wolf and the Wolf's Secret Stash of Instruments! in May, and the program was immediately engaged to write and implement the musical education interactions in collaboration with the Hoyt Art Institute for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's The Art in Music concert in May 2015. In June, she was accepted as one of 12 international candidates to conduct the Baltimore Symphony in a workshop setting. She conducted the Richmond Symphony in the same format in October. She will work with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony in December, and conduct a Virginia District Orchestra in January. Hendrickson began her pursuit of music at three-and-a-half when her mother enrolled her in piano lessons. Her undergraduate music degree is from Grove City College, and she first began to study conducting at George Mason University under Tony Maiello. Besides Colin Metters at the Royal Academy of Music, she also studied under Gustav Meier at Peabody Conservatory.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, known for its artistic excellence for more than 117 years, 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. 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 36 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, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit heinzhall.org.
Photo Courtesy of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra