Schubert on the Bluff Season 2 to Include Works by Aaron Copland

Schubert on the Bluff returns to Duquesne University for season two, with a focus on works by renowned American composer Aaron Copland. The second of a three-year series led by pianist and artistic director David Allen Wehr, Schubert on the Bluff will feature four concerts comprised of music by both Copland and Franz Schubert.

Copland, one of the most popular American composers, will be represented this season by the original chamber version of Appalachian Spring, (the 1944 ballet he composed for Martha Graham), the Duo for Flute and Piano, Old American Songs, Piano Variations and more.

"I've always loved the nobility and deep sincerity of Aaron Copland's music, and I think his style contrasts well with Schubert's, yet both composers show a talent for memorable melodies and emotional warmth," said Wehr, the Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair in Duquesne's Mary Pappert School of Music.

The opening concert, scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 11, at 3 p.m. in PNC Recital Hall, includes an interpretation on viola of the popular Sonata for Arpeggione, a now-extinct guitar-like instrument, and will feature Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) Principal Viola Randolph Kelly. Also, music faculty member Natasha Snitkovsky will play a collection of dances and waltzes arranged by Franz Liszt, titled Soirees de Vienne (Evenings in Vienna).

"Both seasons one and two feature many of favorite compositions of Schubert; this season, I'm especially looking forward to the (Sunday,) Oct. 23 performance of the String Quintet, many music lovers' favorite piece of chamber music," said Wehr. "Members of our string faculty will be joined by PSO Principal Cello Anne Martindale Williams for this extraordinarily beautiful and sublime piece of music."

Violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley, now concertmaster for the Berlin Philharmonic, returns to Duquesne for the first installment of Schubert's complete music for violin and piano at the Saturday, Dec. 3 concert. "Bendix-Balgley developed a big following in Pittsburgh during his four-year tenure as PSO Concertmaster, and this will be his only area recital this season," said Wehr.

Season two concludes Sunday, Feb. 19, when Wehr's longtime piano partner Cynthia Raim returns for three major works for piano duet. "This is a genre in which Schubert specialized and excelled; the scarcity of professional piano ensemble playing in recent years means this music is rarely heard in the concert hall," said Wehr. "That season finale will also include By the Steam, a song with French horn and piano accompaniment, sung by international opera star and faculty member Sari Gruber."

Seating is reserved for the Schubert on the Bluff series. Admission is $10. Audiences can purchase tickets either online, by email or by calling 412.232.3853. For more information, call 412.396.6083 or visit

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.