The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Thursday, March 15, 2018 @ 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Free RSVP 2018-03-15 8 p.m. 2018-03-15 9:30 p.m. America/New_York The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212 Alphabet City

(1.5 hrs. approximate run time)

In honor of Women’s History Month, we invite you to join musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for a program celebrating female artists.

Facilitated by conductor and educator Christine Hestwood, this evening program entitled Inspiration and Tenacity will explore the unique journeys of four women. The program will also highlight the world premiere of the Tuba Concerto by Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon in anticipation of the PSO performance at Heinz Hall on March 16th & 18th.

The program will feature performances by PSO members Victoria Luperi, clarinetand Rebecca Cherian, trombone. Also ARThouse’s Vanessa German and PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize-winner Adriana E. Ramírez will complement the evening with readings responding to the issues of the day.


Guest Musicians:

Christine Hestwood is a Pittsburgh-based conductor, educator and singer who has enjoyed a long association with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Her past projects include work in audience engagement and music education advocacy and her favorite projects include the Night of 2,000 Stars (co-director), a 1996 project that featured 2,000 high school singers and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She served as co-director of the April 2013 Music for the Spirit concert, where more than 1,500 singers from Pittsburgh area high schools, colleges and community choirs joined voices to sing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She was the assistant conductor of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and music director of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. Hestwood is a vocal music teacher in the Upper St. Clair School District and the director of music at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair. Hestwood sings with Seraphic Singers, a 12-voice professional women’s chorus based in Pittsburgh. Hestwood earned degrees from Duquesne University (B.S. in voice and music education) and Carnegie Mellon University (M.M. in conducting), where she studied with Robert Page. Hestwood is honored and delighted to continue Marvin and Bob’s dream!


Rebecca Cherian was awarded the position of co-principal trombone of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by Lorin Maazel in 1989. She has been trombone instructor at Carnegie Mellon University since 1993. Cherian was a founding member of the International Women’s Brass Conference in 1994 and served as the IWBC Newsletter Editor for five years.
Cherian released her second solo CD, “L’Invitation au Voyage,” in 2015. Both her first CD, “Water Awakening,” and “L’Invitation au Voyage” are available through cdbaby.com, amazon.com or rebeccabowercherian.com. She can also be heard on “From the Back Row,” a recording on Albany Records of the Low Brass Section of the Pittsburgh Symphony and numerous recordings of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons and Manfred Honeck.


Victoria Luperi was appointed associate principal clarinet with the Pittsburgh Symphony in June 2016. She previously served as principal clarinet with the Fort Worth and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras, and has performed with the Grand Teton, Tanglewood, Verbier and Mainly Mozart Festivals.

Luperi premiered “Fantasía sobre Yma Sumac,” a piece for solo clarinet and orchestra written for her by John B. Hedges (Miguel Harth-Bedoya/Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra). She has appeared as a soloist with the Madison Symphony, Signature Symphony in Tulsa, Debut Orchestra (Los Angeles), Philharmonia of Kansas City, Córdoba Symphony, Córdoba Chamber Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.


Featured Writers:

Adriana E. Ramírez is a Mexican-Colombian writer, critic, and performance poet based in Pittsburgh. She won the inaugural PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize in 2015 for her novella-length work of nonfiction,  Dead Boys (Little A, 2016), and in 2016 she was named Critic at Large for the Los Angeles Times Book Section. Her essays and poems have also appeared in the Los Angeles Review of BooksGuernica/PEN AmericaLiterary HubConvolutionHEArtApogee, and on Nerve.com. Once a nationally ranked slam poet, she cofounded the Pittsburgh Poetry Collective and continues to perform on stages around the country. She and novelist Angie Cruz founded Aster(ix) Journal, a literary journal giving voice to the censored and the marginalized. Her debut full-length work of nonfiction, The Violence, is forthcoming from Scribner.

Vanessa German is an artist based in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Pioneering her own performance style she defines as “spoken word opera,” a hybrid of spoken word poetry, story telling, audience interaction and movement. She has written, performed and toured several evening length productions, including, “Root” which was developed when German was an August Wilson Center Fellow. Her work has been featured in The Georgia Review, Bullets to Bells and she was awarded the 2017 Jacob Lawrence Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is a 2018 United States Artist Fellow.


PSO @ COA is a new collaboration which explores the creative intersection of music, art, and spoken word at Alphabet City. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with the City of Asylum, has created a series of five events in the 2017-18 season that will employ and reflect the expertise and experiences of the artists of these two innovative groups. Themes and content have been jointly created to incorporate composers, musicians, poets, writers, and artists from Pittsburgh and around the globe. Hosted by PSO Associate Conductors, each session ties into a theme on a Pittsburgh Symphony BNY Mellon Grand Classical performance and attendees will receive discounts to these concerts.

Event Details

March 15, 2018 @ 8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212

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