In Sunday’s (2/21) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin writes, “Many works in the classical music canon were written for the greater glory of God, but performers these days generally reflect little of that religious devotion. Not in Pittsburgh. Manfred Honeck, the music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, is a Roman Catholic who prays before every concert, sometimes in the company of fellow musicians, tries to attend Mass daily, makes no secret of a desire to perform in the Vatican and had a private chapel built in his home in Austria. Mr. Honeck, 51, known mostly in Europe before taking over in Pittsburgh last year, made his Carnegie Hall conducting debut on Feb. 9 with performances of Brahms’s Violin Concerto and Mahler’s First Symphony. … Catholicism permeates his life, and has an influence on both how he programs and how he conceives of music. … At the same time Mr. Honeck stressed that he did not bring a religious interpretation to bear on music generally, or impose his beliefs on the players. ‘As music director, you’re the music director, not a spiritual leader,’ he said.”

Posted February 22, 2010