A Chandelier in Heinz Hall

In addition to income from the Annual Fund, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra depends on income from a robust Endowment Fund to meet its yearly budget, as well as to provide a secure financial baseline for its future growth. Only a small percentage of income is contributed to operating expenses while the principal is never invaded. Through adherence to prudent investment strategies, the Endowment Fund continues to post extraordinary performance and ranks in the top sixth percentile of its peer groups, as ranked by Wilshire’s Trust Universe Comparison over the last 10 years.

Donor gifts to the Endowment Fund can be outright gifts of cash or securities or planned gifts made through bequests, trusts, life insurance or other deferred instruments. The PSO has developed three Legacy of Excellence recognition programs designed to offer donors a variety of opportunities to support the growth of the Endowment Fund: The Steinberg Society honors donors who have advised the Orchestra, in writing, that they have made a provision for the Orchestra in their estate plans; members of the Sid Kaplan Tribute Program have made outright contributions to the Endowment Fund of $10,000 or more to commemorate a particular person or event; and Endowed Naming Opportunities (for guest artists, musician’s chairs, concert series, educational programs or designated spaces) allow donors to specify a name or tribute for 10 years or perpetuity.

For additional information about supporting the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by making gifts to the Endowment Fund or details about available naming opportunities, please contact Director of Leadership and Planned Gifts Jan Fleisher at (412)392-3320.

Steinberg Society

William Steinberg

The Steinberg Society was established to recognize donors who have ensured the future financial stability of the PSO by designating the Orchestra a beneficiary in their estate plans and have advised the Donors Relations Office that they have done so. Named for beloved conductor, William Steinberg, the organization honors members who have made deferred gifts through wills, charitable trusts, life insurance, retirement accounts and other deferred gifts. Maestro Steinberg's portrait in the Grand Lobby marks the site of the honor roll where members names are inscribed, recording their commitment in perpetuity.

About William Steinberg

William Steinberg was born in 1889 into a musical family in Cologne, Germany. As a child, he was recognized as an exceptional violinist and pianist. During the Nazi regime, Steinberg emigrated to Israel where he co-founded the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, which would later become the Israel Philharmonic. Arturo Toscanini was so impressed by Steinberg's work that he invited him to become associate conductor of the newly formed NBC Orchestra. After several seasons with NBC and then the Buffalo Philharmonic, William Steinberg came to Pittsburgh in 1952. Following four years of guest conductors, Pittsburgh audiences welcomed this conductor who seemed to perform each concert as though it might be his last. Steinberg and his orchestra performed and recorded a vast, diverse range of repertoire from Beethoven and Wagner to American composers Roy Harris and Richard Rogers. In 1964, the Pittsburgh Symphony under Steinberg was chosen by the Cultural Presentations Office of the Department of State for a three-month, fourteen-country tour of Europe. Then in 1973, Steinberg led the orchestra on a three-week tour of Oregon, Alaska, and Japan. Maestro Steinberg once said that one had to go to Carnegie Hall in New York to really hear the Pittsburgh Symphony. The creation of Heinz Hall in 1971 provided a new acoustically appropriate environment and fulfilled Steinberg's and many others' dream of a proper concert hall home for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Endowed Naming Opportunities

A violinist plays on the Heinz Hall stage The options for making significant gifts to the Endowment Fund through Endowed Naming Opportunities are numerous and diverse. Donors may elect to attach their name, or that of a family member, special friend or event to: the performance of a world renowned guest artist, one of the popular school programs developed by our award winning Education and Community Engagement department, a unique space in Heinz Hall or the chair of their favorite PSO musician. Terms can be arranged for a period of 10 years or in perpetuity with contribution amount varying accordingly.

Sid Kaplan Tribute Program

Sid Kaplan Tribute Program | Image of Sid Kaplan with signature

The Sid Kaplan Tribute Program provides opportunities to celebrate life’s milestones and achievements (anniversaries, weddings, birthdays or graduations) or a way to commemorate the life of a beloved family member or friend. Donors who make an outright gift of $10,000 or more to the Endowment Fund may elect to inscribe a personalized plaque which will hang in the Sid Kaplan Memorial Hallway in the Grand Tier, for perpetuity. Special persons and events will, forever, be associated with the splendid music of Heinz Hall, and be an enduring reminder of a commitment to classical music. Named for Sid Kaplan, who will always be remembered as musician and manager, the program allows others to leave a legacy, as well.

About Sid Kaplan

Known for his dedication and generosity of spirit, Sid Kaplan joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra family in 1947 as a French Horn player. After performing with the Orchestra for 16 years, he left for two years and then rejoined the Symphony. In order to transition into a management position with the Symphony, he returned to Columbia University to study orchestra management and accepted a position as the business manager for the Pittsburgh Opera. “Kappy” became the manager of operations for the Symphony in 1972 and became the manager and director of operations 10 years later. Kappy would hold this post until his retirement in 1991. Having worked with three of the ten PSO maestros—William Steinberg, André Previn, and Lorin Maazel—Sid Kaplan's significant contributions to the Pittsburgh Symphony are still evident today.