Pittsburgh Symphony Cancels Baseball-Themed Concert with Richard Danielpour Premiere

Classic Arts News   Pittsburgh Symphony Cancels Baseball-Themed Concert with Richard Danielpour Premiere
The Pittsburgh Symphony has cancelled its baseball-themed concert scheduled for tomorrow, the orchestra announced today.

A statement attributed the cancellation to pop singer Brian McKnight's withdrawal from the concert, titled "Musical Doubleheader," at Heinz Hall. McKnight was scheduled to appear on the second half of the program; the first half was to feature the world premiere of American composer Richard Danielpour's Pastime. The premiere will be postponed until January 2007, according to the orchestra.

Lawrence Tamburri, PSO president, told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Since people were buying tickets to both parts of the concert, we didn't want to continue with it ... We were trying to create an event that would work well with the All-Star Game [at PNC Park on July 11]. There were two different pieces to it, and unfortunately it didn't work."

The 22-minute Pastime is a co-commission with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Atlanta Symphony and features texts based on the poetry of Michael S. Harper. On the music publisher Schirmer's website, Danielpour says that he wrote the work as a tribute to baseball. "I've loved baseball and been a New York Yankees fan my entire life."

The composer, who grew up in the late '60s and '70s, was also disturbed at the time by the racial inequality of the sport; his work pays homage to three outstanding African-American players: Josh Gibson, Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron.

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