Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

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George Takei, who originated the character of Hikaru Sulu on “Star Trek,” joins us in studio. This weekend, Takei will host the PNC Pops "Sci-Fi Spectacular” at Heinz Hall. Takei talks about that event, his acting career, his history of activism and the upcoming Broadway musical "Allegiance," in which he has a starring role.

Pittsburgh Symphony

The Pittsburgh Symphony Pops is making it a movie night this weekend with "Heroes and Villains," a show that will have Grammy award winning vocalist Sheena Easton taking center stage.

Easton will sing the title song of the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only," which she recorded for the film's title sequence and "Nobody Does It Better" from "The Spy Who Loved Me" by Marvin Hamlisch.

Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Last weekend, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra violinist Susanne Park held a benefit to raise money for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.

The institution was key in helping victims of the Boston Marathon bombings last year. This year, Park has gathered donations from local businesses to help the cause. Her sister ran in the marathon last year and she said she tracked her sister’s progress in the race until everything suddenly stopped.

Park's sister was one of the many runners unable to contact family for hours amidst the chaos.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra says it has postponed plans to perform in Iran this August, but still hopes to reschedule for next season.

The Pittsburgh Symphony was the last American orchestra to perform in Iran, in 1964. Officials had hoped to return for a 50th anniversary tour. James Wilkinson, president of the symphony, says in a statement that they need to devote more time to planning.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsburgh_Symphony_Orchestra

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is partnering with the nonprofit American Middle East Institute to look into a possible tour of Iran.

Robert Moir is the PSO's senior vice president for artistic development and audience engagement, and Simin Curtis​ is from the American Middle East Institute.

Moir says the potential tour would  mark a significant cultural exchange for two countries that severed diplomatic ties over three decades ago, and it would mark the 50th anniversary of the symphony orchestra's 1964 visit to the country.

fawzihaimor.com

What does a good novel have in common with an orchestral score? Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Fawzi Haimor, talking with 90.5 WESA Morning Edition Host Josh Raulerson, says, "more than you might think." In this week's edition of Speaking Volumes Fawzi Haimor discusses books that are music to his eyes.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has had financial troubles over the last few years.

With its endowments down millions of dollars and the deficit tripling, the musicians agreed to a 9.7 percent pay cut in 2011.

In addition to the salary cuts, the musicians themselves donated a combined $100,000 in 2011-12 to keep the symphony going.

That’s when Michele and Pat Atkins took notice.

The retired Point Breeze couple will give $1.2 million over the next three years to contribute to salary increases in the musicians’ new contracts.

Noah Bendix-Balgley Website

  Monday is opening day of the Pittsburgh Pirates' 2013 season and before you hear the cry of, “Play ball,” there are some other traditions observe, one being the performance of the national anthem. Noah Bendix-Balgley, violinist and concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra talks about performing the national anthem for the Pirates' season opener.