The 2019-20 performance season of the Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh will include a performance by internationally celebrated pianist Awadagin Pratt, a world premiere by composer Federico Garcia-De Castro, and a host of soloists designed to celebrate the diverse musical traditions in a program year built around the theme of “voices.” The range of repertoire and soloists make the 2019-20 program year the most ambitious in the history of the ensemble.
The Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh (COP) opens its season on September 27, 2019, with a concert that features a collaboration with the chamber choir Voces Solis. Works on the program include John Corigliano’s “Fern Hill” and a choral work by Pittsburgh composer Chris Massa “Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night.” The program also includes works by Sibelius, Roussel, and Finzi – all pointing to COP’s commitment to featuring under-appreciated works.
On December 13, 2019, COP features cellist Kathleen Melucci in a program that will span several centuries in musical history. Melucci and the orchestra will perform Luigi Boccherini’s Cello Concerto in B-flat Major from 1770 as well as contemporary composer Jennifer Higdon’s “Soliloquy.” Melucci is the principal cellist for COP and for the Pittsburgh Opera, and frequently plays with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the evening will offer this outstanding Pittsburgh musician an opportunity to shine as a soloist. The repertoire for the evening also includes Bartok’s Roumanian Dances Delibes’ Air and Dance and Grieg’s Holberg Suite.
COP celebrates the diversity of musical traditions around the world in its third concert, scheduled for February 7, 2020. The orchestra partners with Afro Yaqui Music Collective, an ensemble renowned for their creative blend of influences from Mayan-Yaqui traditions, African rhythms, and American jazz. The program also features the world premiere of an originally commissioned work by composer Federico Garcia-De Castro. COP has committed itself to presenting new work with every season, and in the coming season, the commission brings forth a wonderful intersection of musical styles. The Colombian-born, Pittsburgh-based Garcia-De Castro partners with COP on a concerto for the Chinese pipa, and the soloist will be pipa virtuoso Yang Jin.
The COP season concludes in grand fashion with pianist and conductor Awadagin Pratt presenting an all-Beethoven program. Pratt is a remarkable talent, renowned for his commitment to performance and to education. In 1992 Mr. Pratt won the Naumburg International Piano Competition and two years later was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since then, he has played numerous recitals throughout the US including performances at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and the NJ Performing Arts Center. COP is proud to host Pratt, who will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and will conduct the orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and Symphony No. 8.
“The 2019-20 season of The Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh is evidence of our artistic growth, our celebration of diversity, and our commitment to the music landscape of Pittsburgh,” says Artistic Director Edward Leonard. “We are delighted to be partnering with such a wide range of talents, featuring locally based talents and diverse voices like De Castro, Yang Jin, and Afro Yaqui Music Collective. Then to end the season with an international superstar like Awadagin Pratt, we couldn’t be more proud.”
All concerts will be performed at the First Unitarian Church on Morewood Avenue in Shadyside, and each concert begins at 7:30pm.