The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra kicks off the New Year with a debut by rising American conductor James Gaffigan and the return of crowd favorite pianist Gabriela Montero during the Canady Symphony Series concert at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center on Jan. 24.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre at the WVU Creative Arts Center on the WVU Evansdale Campus in Morgantown.

The 2014-15 title sponsors of the Canady Symphony Series at WVU are William and Loulie Canady in memory of Valerie.

Gaffigan will lead the orchestra in poignant pieces from Wagner and Mendelssohn –”Good Friday Spell” from Parsifal and Symphony No. 5 in D. Major, “Reformation.” Montero will dazzle in Ravel’s jazzy Concerto in G major. The performance kicks off with the Pittsburgh premiere of Composer of the Year Mason Bates’ bluesy “White Lies for Lomax,” which originated as a solo piano work. Attendees are in for a special treat as Montero is known for her signature encore improvisations based on audience suggestions.

Tickets are $27 and $45 and can only be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or by visiting

Student tickets are $13 per concert. Student tickets can be purchased at

Beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the evening of the performance, tickets also may be purchased in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre lobby.

January 24, 7:30 p.m.

Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre, Morgantown, WV



Mason Bates “White Lies for Lomax”

Maurice Ravel Concerto in G major for Piano and Orchestra
I. Allegramente
II. Adagio assai
III. Presto
Ms. Montero

Richard Wagner “Good Friday Spell” from “Parsifal”

Felix Mendelssohn Symphony No. 5 in D major, Opus 107, “Reformation”
I. Andante – Allegro con fuoco
II. Allegro vivace
III. Andante
IV. Chorale: Andante con moto – Allegro vivace

A pre-concert talk led by Jim Cunningham, artistic director of WQED-FM and host of the station’s “Morning Show,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. and is free to ticket holders. Program notes for the evening’s concert are available online at or on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra mobile app, which is available on both Android and Apple platforms.

Hailed for the natural ease of his conducting and the compelling insight of his musicianship, Gaffigan continues to attract international attention as one of the most outstanding American conductors working today. He is chief conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the G�rzenich Orchestra, Cologne. In addition to these titled positions, Gaffigan is in high demand working with leading orchestras and opera houses throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Gaffigan’s international career was launched when he was named a first prize winner at the 2004 Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition.

Montero’s visionary interpretations have won her a quickly expanding audience and devoted following around the world. Her engagements include acclaimed performances with the New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Cleveland Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, WDR Sinfonieorchestre Koln, The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Vienna Radio Orchestra and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra. Born in Caracas Venezuela, Montero gave her first public performance at the age of 5. At the age of 8, she made her concerto debut in Caracas and was granted a scholarship from the Venezuelan Government to study in the United States. In addition to her brilliant and nuanced classical interpretations, Montero’s unique personal style comes from her improvisational gifts. Today, in both recital and after performing a concerto, Montero often invites her audience to participate by asking for a melody or concept on which to improvise in the classical idiom.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, known for its artistic excellence for more than 117 years, is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works and also has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900 – including 36 international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America – the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras.



CONTACT: Joyce DeFrancesco, Director of Media Relations

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