Two weeks after performing as guest soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO), Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider makes his conducting debut with the orchestra in a concert at West Virginia University.

Joining Znaider and the PSO on stage will be internationally renowned pianist Emanuel Ax, performing Mozart’s “Concerto No. 22.”

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m., Saturday (March 3) in the Creative Arts Center’s Lyell B. Clay Theatre.

Tickets, ranging from $20 to $45, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at (412) 392-4900, or by visiting the PSO online at

Tickets also will be available at door on the evening of the concert. Student tickets may be purchased the day of performance for $9, or students can purchase their tickets on-line in advance for $7 at

Music from Wagner’s exquisite love story of “Tristan und Isolde” starts off the program, which also includes Elgar’s “Enigma Variations,” a mystery on many levels, with its elusive melody that has had audiences guessing for years. Each movement of this celebrated orchestral work portrays a personal friend of Elgar’s.

Music from Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 22” and “K. 482,” and Elgar’s “Enigma Variations” will also be performed.

Jim Cunningham, artistic director of WQED-FM, Pittsburgh, will conduct a pre-concert lecture on stage at 6:30 p.m., discussing the music to be performed during the concert.

The concert is part of the Canady Symphony Series at West Virginia University, named for William and Loulie Canady, in memory of their daughter Valerie, a WVU graduate who died in the Pan Am flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988.

Emanuel Ax studied at The Juilliard School and Columbia University, capturing public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975 he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists, followed four years later by the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. Highlights of his current season include return visits to the orchestras of Cleveland, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Atlanta and Toronto, as well as a number of recitals culminating in a series of three at Lincoln Center focused on the music of Schubert. Ax has won Grammy Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn’s piano sonatas and has also made a series of Grammy-winning recordings with Yo-Yo Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. Ax has won Grammy Awards for the second and third volumes of his cycle of Haydn’s piano sonatas, and has also made a series of Grammy-winning recordings with Ma of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano. Ax is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and holds honorary doctorates of music from Yale and Columbia Universities.

Nikolaj Znaider is not only celebrated as one of today’s foremost violinists, but is fast becoming one of the most versatile artists of his generation, uniting his talents as soloist, conductor and chamber musician. Znaider is passionate about the education of musical talent and was for ten years Founder and Artistic Director of the Nordic Music Academy. This season, Znaider was invited by Valery Gergiev to become Principal Guest Conductor of the Maarinsky Orchestra in St. Petersburg. He has been invited to guest conduct orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, WDR K�ln and already has re-invitations to conduct the Dresden Staatskapelle, Russian National Orchestra, the Halle Orchestra, Swedish Radio Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony. As a soloist, Znaider is regularly invited to work with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, such as Daniel Barenboim, Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Christian Thielemann, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Ivan Fischer and Gustavo Dudamel. In recital and chamber music he appears at all the major concert halls. In the 2008-09 season the London Symphony Orchestra presented an Artist Portrait of Znaider and in the 2012-13 season he will present a Carte Blanche at the Musikverein in Vienna.



CONTACT: Ramesh Santanam, director of media relations, Pittsburgh Symphony

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