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Thrones 2016

Written by Rob Rogers on .

Hillary Clinton has finally announced her democratic coronation --- er, I mean candidacy for president. Her announcement video makes it clear that she will be trying to connect with the common folk this time around. 

041415 Thrones 2016

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It's the most wonderful time of the year

Written by Elizabeth Bloom on .

April showers bring May flowers...and the season announcements of the city's classical music organizations. 

I covered the Pittsburgh Symphony and Pittsburgh Opera in a previous post, but here's what's coming up from a few others. 

Period instrument trio Chatham Baroque has an ambitious lineup for next season. It collaborates Sept. 16-Oct. 3 with Quantum Theatre and Attack Theatre on "The Winter's Tale," a setting of Shakespeare's text to music by Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell, Bach, Lully and others, creating "a new, fully staged opera pastiche," the organization says in a recent program book. Next come "The Italians!" (Nov. 7-8), when the trio is filled out to concerto-grosso scale for works by Castello, Corelli, Veracini, Vivaldi and more. In partnership with with organist Alan Lewis, "Joyeux Noel" (Dec. 19-20) rings in the holiday season in a concert of French baroque music and selections from Praetorius' "Terpischore." Presented by the Music in a Great Space series at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, the trio will perform Vivaldi's "Stabat Mater" with countertenor Reginald Mobley (Feb. 21, 2016), followed a week later (Feb. 28-29, 2016) with "Trio Brillante," the annual trio concert of music from various European baroque traditions. If the season begins with Shakespeare, so must it end: Purcell's "The Fairy Queen," the composer's operatic take on "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Conducted by Don O. Franklin, the production is presented with Renaissance and Baroque and Pittsburgh Camerata (April 9-10, 2016). 

Speaking of Renaissance and Baroque. Vocal quartet Anonymous 4 will make a pit stop in Pittsburgh (Oct. 3) as part of its last season performing together. Dark Horse Consort will shed light on music performed at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice (Nov. 14) with works by Gabrieli and Picchi and sonatas by Castello, followed by a holiday-themed program exploring the music of Italy, Spain and Latin America by the Grammy-nominated group El Mundo (Dec. 12). New York's Aulos Ensemble with violinist Marc Destrube (Jan. 16, 2016) explore multiculturalism in the 18th century with works by Telemann and Couperin. The Sebastians will offer the solo and trio sonatas of Corelli (Feb. 6, 2016), and then FletzMusik comes to town for some good old Klezmer (March 5, 2016). The season concludes with "The Fairy Queen." 

Finally, Chamber Music Pittsburgh announced its main Carnegie Music Hall series. The Emerson String Quartet returns Oct. 5 to perform works by Haydn, Shostakovich and Brahms. PSO concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley and pianist Orion collaborate on sonatas by Janacek, Brahms and Strauss and short pieces TBA from the stage. (This will be a great opportunity to hear Mr. Bendix-Balgley, who likely will depart the PSO at the end of the season for his concurrent position with the Berlin Philharmonic.) The Orion Quartet comes to town (Feb. 22, 2016) armed with guest musicians — cellist Marcy Rosen and violist Catherine Cho — for a program including works by Beethoven, Kirchner and Brahms. French quartet Quatuor Ebene returns to Pittsburgh March 21, 2016, for Mozart, Dutilleux and Beethoven, and the season concludes with the Cypress String Quartet performing works by Beethoven, Kevin Puts and Schubert; the group will be joined by cellist Gary Hoffman on the latter's String Quintet. (When you get a chance, check out this group's outstanding recording of that work, which came out last year.) 

In addition to the regularly scheduled programming, CMP is also presenting the Diaz Trio (former PSO concertmaster Andres Cardenes, violist Roberto Diaz, cellist Andres Diaz) in a special event March 6, 2016. It sandwiches dinner with the artists in between two concerts that, together, will tackle the complete string trios of Beethoven. Beginning in the fall, CMP is also launching a new series, called Pittsburgh Performs, that will showcase local musicians playing in unusual spaces in and around the city. Stay tuned for details. 

Stay tuned for more to come!

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In 47th season as coach, Oliastro has Riverside winning again ...... Basketball notes

Written by Mike White on .

Some items that fell off my laptop

Dan Oliastro has been coaching the Riverside High School baseball team almost a half century, and there are no signs of him slowing down.

Oliastro is 71 and in his 47th season as Riverside's coach. The Panthers entered today's game with a 6-0 record. It looks like they might be one of the top teams in Class AA again.

But 47 seasons as high school head coach? In these days of guys not even lasting 10 years as a coach, that's incredible. Oliastro is believed to be the second-winningest coach in WPIAL history with a record of 571-382.

He is the only coach in Pennsylvania with four PIAA titles and he has won three WPIAL championships. 

**** With the rain all of last week, some baseball teams might be playing four section games this week. Ouch.

***** Worst job in high school sports after a week of rainy weather? Athletic director. Or maybe the athletic office secretary.

**** Turning to basketball, the WPIAL boys class of 2015 was considered down. Only three players signed with Division I colleges - Chartiers Valley's Matty McConnell with Robert Morris, Hempfield's Kason Harrell with IPFW and Latrobe's Matt Cullen with Navy. But it looks like the class of 2016 might have even less Division I talent. We'll see.

But the current sophomore class looks like it has some definite talent. Some Division I talent. And the freshman class might have some players also. I've said it before. Keep an eye on Mars freshman Robby Carmody (pictured). He could be fairly heavily recruited if he keeps getting better and keeps growing. He's playing AAU this spring with the Ohio Basketball Club, which always has a number of Division I college players.

Carmody played in the first round of the adidas Gauntlet this weekend in Dallas and scored 17, 13, 15 and 18 points in four games, playing in the 15-and-under division.

Former Lincoln Park player Maverick Rowan played for the Ohio Basketball Club's 17-and-under team and scout.com named him as one of the top performers of the adidas Gauntlet along with Pitt recruit Mustapha Heron, who played for the New York Rens.

Rowan transferred to Cardinal Gibbons High in Florida for this school year. He is a junior eligibility wise, but might try to graduate early and attend college in the fall.

**** The annual Roundball Classic is this Saturday at Geneva College. The four-game event includes the top players in the WPIAL and City League. Two girls games will be followed by two boys games. It all starts at 2 p.m.

**** The 20th annual Hoops for the Cure all-star basketball games were Saturday at Chartiers Valley. The games included many of the top players in the WPIAL. The MVPs were Hempfield's Kason Harrell and Steel Valley's Dom Keyes for the boys, and McGuffey's Sammie Weiss and Carlynton's Jordan Melko for the girls.

**** The start of preseason football camp is about four months away. Still no football coach hired at Blackhawk. Wow. And Joe Hamilton retired in mid-January.

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No viewing parties for Penguins playoff games - 04-13-15

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Due to construction on the site of the former Civic Arena, the Penguins will not be able to host viewing parties for playoff games as they have for the past seven years.

Development of the 28-acre site formally began March 23 has has eliminated approximately 1,000 parking spaces.

The Penguins first began hosting viewing parties at the front of Gate Three of the Civic Arena during the 2008 postseason. The gatherings were an instant hit as thousands of fans would bring lawn chairs (or in some cases, couches) and watch home as well as road games on a giant video board. Occasionally, the overflow crowd would force Washington Place, the road in front of the building, to be closed.

After the Penguins moved to Consol Energy Center in 2010, viewing parties for the 2011 postseason were held on a parking adjacent to the Civic Arena. In 2012, the parties were staged on a lawn adjacent to Consol Energy Center. For the past two seasons, the parties returned to the Civic Arena site.

"It became a staple and obviously we wish we could do it this year," said Penguins vice president of communications Tom McMillan. "There's just construction across the street which prevents it. In the future, looking forward as things [progress] over there, we think we'll be able to find spaces to do it. It's just the timing this year didn't work out. We're trying to do some other things. People really enjoyed coming down. We enjoyed having that."

The Penguins will stage a contest for 50 tickets in section 120 of Consol Energy Center for all home playoff games. An entry form for the contest can be found on the team's Web site.

Black and gold - Vegas gold, not Pittsburgh gold - towels will be distributed for every home game.

(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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New Terminator Genisys trailer

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

New trailer for "Terminator Genisys" in which Arnold says his signature line of "I'll be back" and we hear characters talk about being humanity's last hope.  The movie is due in theaters July 1. 

 

 

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