Saturday, February 25, 2017
BNY Mellon Grand Classics: Rhapsody in Blue
Join the Pittsburgh Symphony and guest conductor Lahav Shani (debut) as they perform landmark works honoring the city of New York by America’s most celebrated composers. The concert opens with Charles Ives' The Unanswered Question and Kurt Weill's Symphony No. 2. Ives, son of George Ives, wrote his composition in 1906 but it remains a touchstone for avant-garde composers throughout the 20th century. Symphonic in conception, Weill's symphony embraces the melodies, harmonies and even feeling of his popular Broadway works. Pianist Jon Kimura Parker joins the orchestra for Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin’s iconic jazz-concerto, filled with driving rhythms and rich melodies. Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story brings the program to a rousing close.
On Tuesday, district attorneys from Allegheny, Butler and Washington counties in a joint news conference showed their support for Pa. House Bill 741 which restores mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes involving drugs, children and the elderly. Prosecutors contend that without mandatory minimums, they are unable to leverage defendants to go after large scale traffickers and offenders. Opponents to the bill include the Governor, A.C.L.U. and Department of Corrections who state mandatory sentences have shown not to deter crime, but will refill jail cells while abrogating justice.
Given the budget deficit should the state increase funding to market Pennsylvania tourism?