Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The two-time 2018 GRAMMY® Award-winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is credited with a rich history of engaging the world’s finest conductors and musicians and demonstrates a genuine commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Known for its artistic excellence for more than120 years, past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg(1952-1976), André Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1997-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was continued in fall 2008,when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The Pittsburgh Symphony is continually at the forefront of championing new American works. They premiered Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah”in1944, John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine in1986, and Mason Bates’ Resurrexit in 2018 to celebrate Manfred Honeck’s 60th birthday. The orchestra has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and live radio broadcasts. Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have received multiple GRAMMY® nominations for Best Orchestral Performance, taking home the award in 2018 for their recording of Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio. As early as1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony has been broadcasted on the radio. Since 1982, the orchestra has received increased attention through national network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by ClassicalWQED-FM89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Lauded as the Pittsburgh region’s international cultural ambassador, in 2019 the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Manfred Honeck, embarked on an extensive tour of Europe, the 25th in orchestra history.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the Pittsburgh Symphony to cancel the remainder of its concerts for the 2019-2020 season. Instead, the Symphony offered online concerts throughout the 2020-2021 season. The Pittsburgh Symphony celebrated its 125th anniversary with an online gala in February 2021. In summer of 2021, the Pittsburgh Symphony began to perform to a live audience outdoors, and eventually in the fall, Heinz Hall was reopened to audiences.

In 2020, the Pittsburgh Symphony welcomed its second Principal Pops Conductor, Byron Stripling. A conductor, trumpet virtuoso, singer, and actor, Stripling has been a featured soloist with pops orchestras across the country. He has performed with jazz notables from the Count Basie Orchestra and the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton, and more. Stripling’s first concert as Principal Pops conductor was an online performance in October 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. He continued to have multiple “firsts” with the symphony, performing his first in-person concert in summer of 2021 at Hartwood Acres, and his first in-person Pops concert of the season at Heinz Hall in fall of the same year.