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Performance: "Darkness in the Ancient Vally" by Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra & Hila Plitmann

After more than a month's hiatus, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra resumes classical concerts this weekend with a guest conductor on the podium and an intriguing program, including a premiere. Richard Danielpour was the symphony's composer of the year for 2009-10, when he received a commission from the Nashville and Pittsburgh symphonies, which has resulted in his new piece, “Darkness in the Ancient Valley. "I was so thrilled with the performances Manfred (Honeck) gave of ‘Rocking the Cradle,' I thought, if I could write something for him and for the orchestra which I love so much, it would be great,” Danielpour says. “The orchestra, your orchestra, is extra-special because, together with Manfred, they have raised the bar on what it means to give an orchestra concert in this country.”Christoph Konig will conduct the Pittsburgh Symphony at concerts Jan. 17 to 19 at Heinz Hall, Downtown.

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