An Evening Of The Classical Music of Sir Paul McCartney Featuring The North American Premiere of NOVA

Performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall—

An Event to Benefit Rock For The Heart Foundation and Pediatric Cardiac Research

Jul 11, 2012, 17:35 ET from Rock for the Heart

PITTSBURGH, July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Rock for the Heart Foundation presents Heart Strings – featuring the North American premiere of Sir Paul McCartney's, NOVA, an orchestral adaptation composed by McCartney for his late wife, Linda, which will be performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Friday, September 7, 2012, 8 p.m., at Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, to benefit pediatric cardiac research.

"We are so honored Pittsburgh and its magnificent symphony will host and perform NOVA's North American premiere," said Kris Fischerkeller, who with her husband, Paul, founded Rock for the Heart after their son Matthew passed away suddenly at age 16 because of cardiac arrest. "We are equally excited about the importance of generating awareness about sudden cardiac arrest among children and teenagers."

Ticket sales for the premiere go on sale July 16 and start at $25/person for reserved seating. VIP tickets include a special post-performance reception with the guest musicians and are priced at $175 per person. VIP guests will also have an opportunity to bid on two Hofner Bass guitars ­– the models that Sir Paul played when he was with the Beatles. The guitars were autographed by Sir Paul McCartney. To purchase tickets, call 412-392-4900 or visit

Grammy Award-winning conductor Roger Kellaway, one of the top jazz pianists in the world, will conduct NOVA and will personally perform a McCartney medley of Paul's tunes with a special jazz arrangement for piano. The evening will also include other classical compositions by Sir Paul McCartney including, A Leaf, Spiral, and Tuesday.

Special guest artists will perform with the 60-piece Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and provide interpretations to Sir Paul McCartney's astounding catalog.  A string quartet will open the evening with arrangements of McCartney's well-known pop music pieces.

Guest artists who will be performing at the Heart Strings event include:

  • Pittsburgh's own Annie Rago, the only American to graduate from the Royal Academy in London this year, and has performed for the Queen of England and across the United Kingdom.
  • Peter Beets – A world acclaimed piano giant of our time performing his jazz arrangement of Sir Paul's, A Leaf.
  • Steel Magnolia – Winners of CMT's, Can You Duet music contest and named the 2012 Academy of Country Music Award for Vocal Duo of the Year will perform Maybe I'm Amazed with the PSO
  • Sarah DarlingNashville recording artist whose video rendition of Mr. McCartney's Blackbird made an exclusive premiere on CMT and went to number one
  • Paulette McWilliams – Reviver Music/Sony recording artist with her new record "Telling Stories" is climbing the jazz charts. She is well known for her work as a backup singer for Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Billy Idol, Luther Vandross and others.
  • Bill Champlin – a 30-year member of the award-winning band, Chicago. Champlin won GRAMMY Awards from The Recording Academy for After the Love is Gone with Earth Wind and Fire, and Turn Your Love Around for George Benson. Champlin will end the night with a monumental McCartney song.

"While the music is certainly the hallmark of the evening, the goal is to raise money for important medical research," said Fischerkeller, "and businesses across southwestern Pennsylvania are invited to align with this momentous event." The world premiere of NOVA was performed in 2005 at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina, produced by Dennis D'Amico it was the number one classical venue in the world, with two sold-out shows that received five-star reviews. Dennis D'Amico will also produce the North American Premiere of NOVA at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh.

In addition to the performance, Ms. Fischerkeller said Rock for the Heart is also announcing a Call for Sponsors to ensure Pittsburgh's business community has an opportunity to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event. Companies are invited to call 724-433-5701 for information about how to align with the Heart Strings event.

About Rock for the Heart

Originally called the Matthew P. Fischerkeller Memorial Fund, the Fischerkeller family decided Rock for the Heart was a more fitting tribute to their musically talented son, who was the lead guitarist for a Pittsburgh rock and roll band, Running From Romance. He died suddenly in his sleep on April 14, 2005, from cardiac arrest brought on by an arrhythmia. He was 16 years old.

The mission of Rock For The Heart is to promote and support research intended to prevent sudden cardiac arrests because of congenital heart disorders in children; research and determine why congenital heart defects are the number one birth defect for infants; research and develop better and more effective procedures to treat children that are born and diagnosed with a known cardiac defect.

Rock for the Heart recently presented a grant to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh's Cardiology Department – a state of the art facility that has the most advanced cardiology equipment in the world and is staffed by some of the world's finest cardiologists. The grant funded a study, the first from Rock for the Heart, to help determine the best treatment methods for children born with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW), one of the pediatric heart defects children are born with every year and the same defect that Matthew died from.

Rock for the Heart promotes and supports medical research to prevent sudden cardiac arrests in children, and develop better and more effective procedures to treat children who are born and diagnosed with a known heart defect.

Heart defects are the most common birth defect and the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths in the United States. Nearly one out of every 100 children are born with a congenital heart defect – approximately 40,000 infants per year across America. Cardiovascular disease ranks as the second leading cause of death for children under age 16.

For more information about Rock for the Heart or to make a donation to support pediatric cardiac research, visit


Brian Tedeschi

Kris Fischerkeller

Dennis D'Amico, Producer

Think Communications, Inc. 

Rock for the Heart

You Rock Media Group

412-281-9228 – office

724-433-5701 – cell

973-903-7665 – office

412-638-5981 – cell

SOURCE Rock for the Heart