Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to Present Summer PNC Pops Weekend with THE MUSIC OF JOHN WILLIAMS

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to Present Summer PNC Pops Weekend with THE MUSIC OF JOHN WILLIAMS

The PNC Pops make a summertime appearance as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Lawrence Loh take Pittsburgh to worlds beyond imagination with "The Music of John Williams" on July 14-16 at Heinz Hall.

Loh, former resident conductor at the Pittsburgh Symphony and newly appointed music director of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, returns to lead a rousing, heart-pounding weekend of music from legendary composer John Williams. The program includes music from "Harry Potter," "J.F.K.," "Far and Away," "Star Wars" - including music from "The Force Awakens" - "Hook," "Superman" and "Indiana Jones." Patrons are welcome to attend the concert in costume (without prop weapons or masks).

A Pops Talk will occur on stage following the concert on Friday, July 14, featuring Maestro Loh, a self-proclaimed "movie music nerd." The Pops Talk is free to ticketholders.

A trombone choir, led by Pittsburgh Symphony trombonist James Nova, will perform in the Grand Lobby prior to each concert start. These performances are free to ticketholders as well.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Doors open one hour before concert start times. Tickets, ranging in price from $27 to $99, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org/Williams.

The Pittsburgh Symphony would like to recognize and thank PNC for its 2016-2017 title sponsorship of PNC Pops. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

LAWRENCE LOH is a dynamic American conductor of impressive range and talent. He is the inaugural music director of Symphoria, founded by former members of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. He also holds the position of music director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. Additionally, Loh was recently named artistic director and principal conductor of the Syracuse Opera.

Since his appointment as music director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic in 2005, the orchestra has made its mark as an ensemble of superb musicianship, performing electrifying performances year-round. Off the podium, Loh is very active in the region as an arts leader and music advocate. He created a very successful Apprentice Conductor Program in 2012, designed to help identify and train the next generation of young conductors.

From 2005 to 2015, Loh had a very successful association with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as assistant, associate and resident conductor. He worked closely with Music Director Manfred Honeck and conducted a wide range of concerts including classical, educational and pops. He was active in the symphony's Community Engagement Concerts, extending the Pittsburgh Symphony's reach into other communities and led the groundbreaking Sensory Friendly concert in 2015, one of the first of its kind. He made his debut on the main classical series conducting Handel's Messiah in December 2008. For many years, Loh led the enormously popular Fiddlesticks Family Concert Series, playing the part of script writer, host and conductor.

While in Pittsburgh, Loh was also music director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. He led this world-renowned orchestra in concerts at Heinz Hall and throughout the Pittsburgh community. He led PYSO on two international tours to Central Europe and Italy.

Having a particular affinity for pops programming, Loh has been engaged for repeat performances with Chris Botti, Idina Menzel, Ann Hampton Callaway, The Texas Tenors and more. He has assisted John Williams on multiple occasions, and conducted numerous sold out John Williams tribute concerts. He is particularly adept at conducting concerts synchronizing live orchestral music with film and has led "Pixar in Concert," "Disney in Concert," "Wizard of Oz" and "Singin' in the Rain," among others.

Loh is active as a guest conductor, both in the United States and abroad. Recent engagements include the National (Washington D.C.), Knoxville, Florida, Dallas, El Paso, San Luis Obispo, Edmonton, Colorado, Charleston (SC), Detroit, Malaysia, Daejeon (South Korea) and Greater Bridgeport Orchestras. His summer appearances include the festivals of Bravo Vail Valley, Aspen (CO), Mann Center in Philadelphia, Breckenridge, Las Vegas, Hot Springs (AR), the Kinhaven Music School (VT) and the Performing Arts Institute (PA). Loh held the positions of assistant and associate conductor of the Dallas Symphony from 2001 to 2005. He was brought to national attention in February 2004 when he stepped in to conduct on short notice for an ailing Charles Dutoit, conducting Stravinsky's Petrouchka and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. Prior to his Dallas appointment, Loh was appointed by Music Director Marin Alsop to be associate conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and was also music director of the Denver Young Artists Orchestra.

In May 1998, Loh received his Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting from Yale University, earning the Eleazar de Carvalho Prize, given to the most outstanding conductor in the Yale graduating class. He received further training at the world-renowned Aspen Music Festival and School. He received his MM in choral conducting from Indiana University while also studying clarinet with Howard Klug and voice with Roy Samuelsen. He began the DMA program in opera and instrumental conducting at IU before transferring to Yale. His received his BA and Certificate of Management Studies from the University of Rochester. In 2001, Lawrence Loh was the guest curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for "What Makes Music?" an interactive exhibit, offering the opportunity to explore the science of music and sound, as well as the role of music in culture.

Loh was born in southern California of Korean parentage and raised in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Jennifer, have a son, Charlie, and a daughter, Hilary. Follow him on Instagram @conductorlarryloh or Twitter @lawrenceloh or visit his website lawrenceloh.com.

Violinist Jeremy Black was applauded for his "musical fire" and "effortless technique" by the Chicago Tribune for his debut performance with the Chicago Symphony at age 12. More recently, his "fabulous tone" and "polished, reliable virtuosity" were noted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in his "sensational" solo debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Black has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's first violin section since 2002, and concertmaster of the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago since 2005. He has also performed as a guest concertmaster with the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Blossom Festival Orchestra, and in the violin sections of the Chicago Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra. He began his professional orchestral career in 2000 as a first violinist in the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago.

As a chamber musician, he performed and recorded the world premiere of Eugene O'Brien's Algebra of Night with the 21st Century Chamber Consort in Washington, D.C., and has performed numerous recitals throughout the Pittsburgh region, including Carnegie Mellon, Chatham and Duquesne Universities, West Liberty State College, and the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

In addition to multiple performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Black has appeared as soloist with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Live Chamber Ensemble and in subscription concerts with the Chicago String Ensemble and Evanston Symphony. He won first prizes in the University of Michigan and Case Western Reserve University concerto competitions, the Society of American Musicians Competition, the Nordic Musical Arts Competition and the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition.

A native of Evanston, Illinois, Black studied with Mark Zinger, currently professor emeritus at DePaul University and a former student and colleague of David Oistrakh. Black's secondary education began in 1996 at Case Western Reserve University where he studied with Linda Cerone at the Cleveland Institute of Music. After graduating, he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to pursue his master's degree with Paul Kantor at the University of Michigan. In addition to private lessons, he coaches chamber music and leads sectionals for both Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Black resides in Pittsburgh's Highland Park neighborhood with his wife, Kate, and their two sons. He plays a violin made by Lorenzo and Tommaso Carcassi, dated 1783.

The TROMBONE CHOIR is under the direction of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra trombonist Jim Nova and is comprised of Pittsburgh Symphony members and current students and recent graduates of Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University.

The PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 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), André 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. Its "Pittsburgh Live!" series with Reference Recordings has resulted in back-to-back Grammy Award nominations in 2015 and 2016. 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 hosts many events that do not feature its world-renowned Orchestra including Broadway shows, popular touring artists, comedians, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit heinzhall.org.

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