Friendship suffuses Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concert
Musical friendships are usually behind the curtain, but they permeate the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's first concerts of 2013.
Composing music is fundamentally solitary work, for example, but both composers had other musicians in mind when they wrote the pieces that fill the program.
Then, too, the guest conductor and guest soloist have been friends for more than two decades, and had dinner together with their families on Jan. 2.
Cellist Enrico Dindo makes his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gianandrea Noseda at concerts Friday and Sunday at Heinz Hall, Downtown. The program is Dmitri Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 2 and Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 7.
Dindo, 47, comes from a musical family, siblings as well as parents. He became principal cellist of the La Scala Orchestra in Milan when he was 22. But his life really changed when he won the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris in 1997.
“I was very happy to spend 11 years in that very great orchestra,” he says. “It was an opportunity to listen to a lot of wonderful singers and players and conductors. It was an amazing school for me.”
The workload at La Scala, one of the world's top opera houses, is heavy, which made finding the many hours of practice necessary before a competition hard to find. Winning first prize turned out to mean a lot more than Dindo expected.
The competition was named for legendary Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, for whom Sergei Prokofiev wrote his Sinfonia concertante and Shostakovich both his cello concerti and other pieces. Rostropovich, who died in 2007, last performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, as cellist and conductor in 2003.
“Not only musically but in a human way, it was very important for me to have contact with this great man,” Dindo says. “Before I met him, he was, for me, a cellistic icon. I had posters in my bedroom, LPs and CDs — I knew everything about his recordings.”
After winning the competition, Dindo had lunches and dinners with Rostropovich, at which they discussed cello repertoire, including both Shostakovich cello concerti. They also gave concerts together.
“From '97, when I had this chance, my view of my musical life changed, because I finally understood how much generosity (we must bring to sharing) our sentiments and feelings with the audience, the people who share with us in the moment. Slava showed me that,” he says. “I was very, very lucky.”
Slava was Rostropovich's Russian nickname, and means “glory” in English.
Noseda, who has recorded both Shostakovich concerti with Dindo, is looking forward to performing Dvorak's Seventh Symphony with the Pittsburgh Symphony.
“I don't know if it's the most beautiful or best one, but (the last three) are the masterpieces among his symphonic output,” he says. “The color of Symphony No. 7 is particularly passionate and dramatic. The color is darker than No. 8 or No. 9. The quality of the writing is more extreme and more modern. That's what very interesting and very difficult for the orchestra. It's very virtuosic. That's why I like to do this symphony when I work with artists like the ones you have in the Pittsburgh Symphony.”
Mark Kanny is classical music critic for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7877 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- One of brass’s ‘Legends’ comes to play with River City Brass in Penn Hills
- Linda Eder performs striking range of music
- Neil Diamond bringing tour to Consol Energy Center
- Childs’ new look at Nyro’s works is indeed a ‘Treasure’
- Grammy-winning singer Austin brings range, freshness to Manchester Craftmen’s Guild show
- Takacs Quartet to play Haydn, Debussy, Beethoven masterworks in Oakland
- Wiz Khalifa’s wife files to end marriage to rapper