For Immediate Release
September 24, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA—The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) shared a trio of exciting announcements at their Annual Meeting, which took place on Monday, September 24, at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts. Maestro Manfred Honeck is extending his tenure as the PSO’s Music Director; Tony Bucci, previously Vice Chairman of the PSO’s Board of Trustees, has been elected Chairman, effective October 2018; and the organization has unlocked the full $2.5 million in matching funds from The Heinz Endowments, which was a challenge grant to inspire new and increased gifts to the PSO’s Annual Fund.

Maestro Honeck, Music Director of the PSO since 2008, had extended his contract with the PSO through the 2021-2022 season. Over the last quarter century, Maestro Honeck has firmly established himself as one of the world’s leading conductors, renowned for his distinctive interpretations and arrangements of a wide-range of repertoire. He has led the PSO to great musical heights including a GRAMMY ® this year and being named the 2018 Artist of the Year by the International Classical Music Awards.

“It continues to be my distinct pleasure and honor to serve as Music Director of this great orchestra," said Manfred Honeck.  "I have tremendous admiration and respect for the wonderful musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and a deep affection for Pittsburgh, as well.  Each year, our relationship grows stronger and stronger and in the coming years, we will have two very special celebrations—the 125th anniversary season of the PSO and the 50th anniversary season of Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts as the symphony’s home. I look forward to continuing to tour and record with this orchestra and more music and outstanding performances that we will share with our city of Pittsburgh and around the world.”

The PSO Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Tony Bucci as Chairman of the Board, succeeding Devin McGranahan, who has relocated to Milwaukee for business. Mr. Bucci is Chairman and CEO of MARC USA, one of the nation’s largest privately-owned marketing communications agencies with offices in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston and Miami. Widely recognized for his leadership and philanthropic efforts, Mr. Bucci has been a member of the PSO’s Board of Trustees for six years. As Chairman, Mr. Bucci will focus on communicating the PSO’s position as a world-class musical organization. In addition, Mr. Bucci looks to continue using the power of music to elevate the PSO as a major contributor to the quality of life for a broad and diverse spectrum of the Western Pennsylvania community.

“I am honored to have been selected as the next Chairman of the Board for the PSO and am eager to drive fundraising efforts for this important organization,” said Mr. Bucci. “Pittsburgh continues to be named as one of the ‘best cities to live and work in’ by list after list, and the PSO is a key factor in why our city is so great. Not only do people in Western Pennsylvania have access to leading businesses, healthcare, universities, sports teams, restaurants and more, but also one of the best symphonies in the world, under the continued direction of the celebrated Maestro Honeck, right in their back yard. I want to continue to share this important piece of the Pittsburgh story and ensure that all Western Pennsylvanians can enjoy well-rounded, diverse and fun programs with the PSO, both at Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts and within our communities themselves.”    

“Tony Bucci is a natural choice as the next Chairman of the Board of Trustees,” added PSO President and CEO Melia Tourangeau. “He is a true patron of the arts, and I am excited to work with him as we continue to evolve and elevate the clear vision that Mr. Bucci and the Board of Trustees has for the PSO. As a trailblazing marketing executive, Mr. Bucci’s extensive background with branding and communications will be an asset in telling the PSO story to attract new corporate and individual sponsors. Mr. Bucci’s election, coupled with the exciting announcement of Manfred Honeck’s extension, will ensure that the PSO remains vibrant, secure and committed to excellence.”

During the Annual Meeting, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra also announced the early unlocking of The Heinz Endowments’ $2.5 million Challenge Grant. The Pittsburgh Symphony announced in January that it had raised enough to unlock the first $1.25 million of this challenge grant, but was not expecting to unlock the second $1.25 million in the 2017-18 season. The grant comes as a match to new or increased Annual Fund gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations.

“We’d like to thank the nearly six thousand donors who contributed more than $2.5 million in new or increased gifts, helping us to unlock this important challenge grant a year earlier than planned. These gifts allow us to continue to perform music at the highest level of artistic excellence and share the musical journey with all of Pittsburgh and its surrounding communities,” said Ms. Tourangeau. “However, it’s important to note that there is still a lot of work left to do. Only through continued support from the community can we truly deliver on our vision of ‘great music in every life’ and maintain a robust calendar of programming that includes our Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts concerts as well as our Learning and Community Engagement programs.”

The Heinz Endowment Challenge grant is part of the PSO’s five-year vision plan. It will be used to support the orchestra’s efforts to restructure its business plan, increase earned and contributed revenue, and attain financial stability. This year, a small planned surplus will occur, but the next three years will prove to be challenging as the organization moves toward growth and long-term success.

*  *  *

Over the last quarter century, Manfred Honeck has firmly established himself as one of the world’s leading conductors, renowned for his distinctive interpretations and arrangements of a wide-range of repertoire. For more than a decade, Honeck has served as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, continuing a great legacy of music-making that is celebrated at home, abroad and on recordings, including the 2018 Grammy Award for Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Since 2008, Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have served as cultural ambassadors for the city as one of the most frequently toured American orchestras. In addition to performing at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, the orchestra regularly performs in major European music capitals and at leading festivals such as the Beethovenfest Bonn, BBC Proms, Musikfest Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Grafenegg Festival and the Salzburg Festival, and continues a close relationship with the Musikverein in Vienna. The PSO and Honeck return to Lincoln Center in May 2019 and their next European tour takes place in fall 2019. Under Honeck’s leadership of the Pittsburgh Symphony, he instituted a new initiative to preserve the orchestra’s celebrated sound, resulting in more than a dozen recordings on the Reference and Exton labels. Together, Honeck and the PSO have recorded symphonies by Beethoven, Bruckner, Dvořák, Mahler, and Tchaikovsky, as well as Strauss tone poems. They have received critical acclaim and honors from around the world, including the “Best Orchestral Performance” Grammy Award in 2018, along with two other Grammy nominations. Honeck has conceived of and conducted several large-scale or operatic works as semi-staged productions for the concert hall, including Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, and later this season in Pittsburgh he will lead performances of Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust. Beyond the podium, he has conceptualized and arranged a number of staged works into symphonic “Fantasies” or “Suites,” among them Janáček’s Jenůfa (Grammy nominated), Strauss’s Elektra, Dvořák’s Rusalka, and Tchaikovsky’s ballet Sleeping Beauty, which he frequently programs on concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, at home and on tour, as well as with orchestras throughout the United States and abroad. As a guest conductor, Honeck is a regular guest with all of the major American orchestras, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco. He continues to appear in the world’s leading concert halls and festivals, including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome, Vienna Philharmonic, and the Verbier Festival. He served as Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart from 2007 to 2011, and has led operatic performances at Komische Oper Berlin, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Opera of Copenhagen, Salzburg Festival, Semperoper Dresden and the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. Born in Austria, Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. He was a member of the viola section of the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera Orchestra for eight years. Transitioning to conducting, he began his career as an assistant to Claudio Abbado, and as artistic leader of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra. He received the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993 at the Zurich Opera House, and has served as Music Director of the Norwegian National Opera, Principal Guest Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and most recently as Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Honeck also has served as Artistic Director of the International Concerts Wolfegg in Germany for more than twenty years.Manfred Honeck has received honorary doctorates from several North American universities. Most recently, he was awarded the honorary title of Professor by the Austrian Federal President. An international jury of critics selected him as the International Classical Music Awards “Artist of the Year” 2018.

The 2018 GRAMMY Award-winning PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 years, is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), Andre Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1995-2004).  This tradition of outstanding international music directors was furthered in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The orchestra has been at the forefront of championing new American works, and gave the first performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1944 and John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986. The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and radio concerts. Its “Pittsburgh Live!” series with Reference Recordings has resulted in back-to-back Grammy Nominations in 2015 and 2016. As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony broadcast on the airwaves coast-to-coast and in the late 1970s it made the ground-breaking PBS series “Previn and the Pittsburgh.” The orchestra has received increased national attention since 1982 through network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. With a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1900 — including international tours to Europe, the Far East and South America—the Pittsburgh Symphony continues to be critically acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest orchestras.

HEINZ HALL FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS is owned and operated by Pittsburgh Symphony, Inc., a non-profit organization, and is the year-round home of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The cornerstone of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, Heinz Hall hosts many events that do not feature its world-renowned Orchestra including Broadway shows, popular touring artists, comedians, speakers and much more. For a full calendar of upcoming non-symphony events at the hall, visit heinzhall.org.


Media Contacts
Aleta King | Vice President of Marketing & Sales
aking@pittsburghsymphony.org | 412.392.4833