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Master Mandolinist Butch Baldassari and Pittsburgh Mandolin Orchestra in Concert

By Mandolin Cafe
November 4, 2005 - 6:45 am

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Butch Baldassari

Butch Baldassari

Mandolinist Butch Baldassari and his accompanist, guitarist Van Manakas will be presented in concert at Duquesne University's PNC Recital Hall on the first floor of Duquesne's School of Music on Saturday, November 5th at 8:00 PM.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The show is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Mandolin Orchestra (PGHMO) who will also play and accompany Butch on several numbers and by Calliope, the Pittsburgh Folk Music organization. PNC Hall is located on the Duquesne campus adjacent to A.J. Palumbo Sports Center. Parking is available at the Forbes Garage located on Forbes Avenue one block west of the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Butch will also present a bluegrass mandolin workshop on Friday, November 4th from 7-9 PM in Squirrel Hill. Price for the workshop is $50. Reservations and directions can be made by calling Caroline at (412) 422-3013.

Mandolinist Butch Baldassari has created new interest in this age-old instrument and is luring legions of new admirers to the music he creates. With mastery of a wide variety of mandolin styles, Baldassari's versatility is unmatched. He moves from bluegrass festivals to symphony halls with ease and grace, earning respect and admiration in these seemingly disparate worlds.

He has played bluegrass with Lonesome Standard Time and with innovative fiddler Richard Greene in The Grass is Greener. In 1991, he founded the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, an ensemble composed of mandolin, mandola, mandocello, guitar and bass. Baldassari is also widely respected as a teacher, currently serving as Adjunct Associate Professor of Mandolin at Vanderbilt University's renowned Blair School of Music. His instructional videos, books and tapes are among the most
widely used by aspiring mandolin players, and his workshops at festivals are standingroom only sessions. His annual appearances at the Classical Mandolin Society are among that event's most popular. With his own successful record label, SoundArt Recordings, Baldassari has broadened both his reach to new audiences and his influence on the music.

The Pittsburgh Mandolin Orchestra was founded by mandolinist Alan Epstein in 2002 and includes members from Pittsburgh and the surrounding area. In its first 2 years the PGHMO has performed at the New Growth Arts Festival in Indiana PA, as an opening act in the Calliope Music series at the Carnegie Lecture Hall, and in concerts at the Aspinwall Presbyterian Church. In 2004, the PGHMO released its first CD, The March. After Epstein's move to Michigan, the orchestra has continued under the direction of Don Maue. Using mandolin, mandola, mandocello, guitar and bass, selections range from pieces by Ravel to Celtic airs, Fox Trots to Italian waltzes, American fiddle tunes to standards. Epstein will return to Pittsburgh to play with the PGHMO at this concert.

Additional Information:
Dave Agnew
412 369-8717

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