On the Road with Joanne Robinson: Show 246 Pittsburgh

Hi everyone! We’re back from Pittsburgh where we taped our show in Carnegie Music Hall at Carnegie Mellon University, in celebration of their School of Music’s 100th anniversary. Did you know that Christopher O’Riley grew up in Pittsburgh? His family was friends with another famed Pittsburgh resident – children’s television legend Fred Rogers – and Chris used to go over his house to practice on Mr. Rogers’ grand piano! True story.

Now, on to the show! First up was something we don’t hear every day – solo euphonium. 17-year-old Grant Jameson took the stage to play “Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms”, by Simone Mantia. Grant wants to be an ambassador for the instrument, expanding the repertory and showing off what the euphonium can do. He is definitely on his way with this performance!

Next up was 17-year-old violist Daniel Orsen who beautifully played Sonata in F-minor by Johannes Brahms and then discussed his passion for environmental activism.

Following him was 14-year-old pianist/composer Sasha Voinov who aspires to be one of the greatest piano showmen of all time. He played Chopin’s Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 and then showed off his flashier side playing from one of his own arrangements based on a Paganini theme. What made his performance especially entertaining is that he surprised Chris during the live show by whipping out a period wig to don for the piece. I knew he was planning to do this so I brought my flipcam onstage during the show and caught it for you!

Next up, the Temple University Music Preparatory Honors String Quartet performed Schubert’s Death and the Maiden. During their interview, the quartet members argued about sports and took part in an amusing little skit where they imagined football players were arguing about string quartets.

Closing the show was a fabulous violinist, 16-year-old Kelly Talim, who brought the house down with Bartok’s Second Rhapsody. A dynamic way to end the show!

Make sure to tune in when this show airs the week of March 5.