PITT ARTS Sets Feb. 4 as PSO Russia Night for Pitt Community

Issue Date: 
January 24, 2011

If the cold weather and snow are making you think of Russia, there is a warmer alternative.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO), PITT ARTS, and Pitt’s Center for Russian and East European Studies (REES) are sponsoring a Pitt Russia Night at Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. The event is part of the two-week Tchaikovsky Festival, which runs Feb. 2-12.

Russian pianist Denis Matsuev will return to Heinz Hall at 8 p.m. Feb. 4 during the festival’s opening weekend. Two years ago, Matsuev received a rave reception from Pittsburgh audiences for his critically acclaimed performances of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto.

The program for next month’s concert, which will be conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, includes Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with Matsuev as soloist; the rarely performed love scene —based on themes from Tchaikovsky’s famous Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture—that was realized from Tchaikovsky’s sketches after his death by his student Sergey Taneyev as a 13-minute work for soprano, tenor, and orchestra; and Tchaikovsky’s orchestral work Francesca da Rimini. Soprano Danielle Pastin and tenor James Flora will sing in the Romeo and Juliet love scene; excerpts from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Dante’s The Divine Comedy will be performed by actors Sara Trapnell, Ryan Melia, and Anthony McKay.

Members of the Pitt community who purchase their tickets through the PITT ARTS program will be treated to a free postconcert dessert in Heinz Hall’s Grand Tier Lounge and an opportunity to meet the artists.

PITT ARTS tickets for Russia Night with the PSO are $15 (Gallery), $20 (Family Circle), or $28 (Main Floor) and are available through PITT ARTS, www.pittarts.pitt.edu, 412-624-4498.

The Tchaikovsky Festival includes events featuring film, poetry, theater, chamber music, and solo piano performances in addition to two weekends of PSO concerts dedicated to the composer.

As part of the festival, Pitt’s REES, Department of Music, and Film Studies Program will present a daylong Tchaikovsky Symposium at Bellefield Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 5. It is free and open to the public, but requires advance registration by phoning 412-392-4828. For more information on the symposium, including the complete schedule, contact Phil Thompson in the Department of Music at concerts@pitt.edu.  For more about the PSO’s Tchaikovsky Festival, contact PITT ARTS.