Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

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About Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1896, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra reached its exalted status by making high-quality classical music accessible to all audiences. In practice, that has led to releases like 1997’s Cinema Serenade, an evocative collection of movie themes performed with sensitive precision by violinist Itzhak Perlman and composer John Williams, as well as seasonal programs that feature composer greats like Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and Holst. Since its very early days, much of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s success can be traced to charismatic and visionary leaders. Its first conductor was the comic opera composer Victor Herbert, who galvanized audiences with a lively style. Later came World War II-era music director Fritz Reiner, a noted perfectionist who coaxed polished performances from musicians, and the Oscar-winning composer André Previn, who brought a background in jazz piano and a flair for modernity to his work with the orchestra. Previn’s successor, Lorin Maazel, continued to propel the organization into the contemporary era by overseeing international tours and ensuring world-class performers in pivotal roles. As the orchestra passed its centennial anniversary, it continued to strive for bigger audiences and more ambitious musical events. Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch joined as the first Principal Pops Conductor, while the organization became the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican, thanks to a 2004 concert for Pope John Paul II.

Pittsburgh, PA, United States

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