For Immediate Release
February 10, 2020

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PITTSBURGH, PA—Under the banner “Pittsburgh Symphony and You: Extraordinary Together,” the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra today announced its 125th anniversary season that will feature special collaborations, artist debuts, world premieres, Pittsburgh premieres, new commissions, a new Steinway piano and significant Pittsburgh firsts.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s 2020-21 season will be the 13th under the direction of its Music Director Manfred Honeck, the first under the direction of Principal Pops Conductor Byron Stripling, and the 125th in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s celebrated history. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is the sixth oldest major orchestra in the United States.

“This great orchestra is known throughout the world for its rich history of the world’s best musicians and conductors, as well as its deep commitment to the people of the Pittsburgh region. It is only fitting that the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 125th anniversary season with significant partnerships, collaborations, premieres and debuts that extend and amplify our distinguished history,” said Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “This anniversary is a time for intensifying our connections to our community in vibrant ways. We are particularly excited about the many ‘firsts’ that we’re presenting, and the unique, creative partnerships with arts and culture organizations that will make this an unparalleled season.”

"Looking toward the Pittsburgh Symphony's future, I am enormously grateful for the 125-year-old commitment between the Orchestra and this great city.  The Pittsburgh Symphony always strives to achieve the extraordinary, and that starts with great music and the deep connection between our beloved audience and musicians. From the moment we step on stage, we want to share the passion, joy and energy that we find in making music together,” said Manfred Honeck, Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “Our 125th anniversary season is a tribute to Pittsburgh, to this orchestra’s treasured heritage and to its bright future. It is so exciting to present for the first time a major work like Mahler 8, an exceptional residency with Yo-Yo Ma, the unique artistic partnerships and community engagement, and all of the many premieres, debuts and Pittsburgh firsts. Our 125th Celebration season will be inspiring, thought-provoking and riveting—and we can’t wait to share it with you.”

"I'm so honored to be at the helm of this new era of Pops at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. We have a show-stopping season bubbling with music that I know you'll love, plus some cool new music for you to discover and experience. These shows are guaranteed to make you pat 'yo foot, clap your hands and leave with a heart full of rhythm! So please join me and this remarkable orchestra for the kind of entertainment that will chase your cares away" said Byron Stripling, Principal Pops Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.



2020-21 Season Highlights

SEASON OF FIRSTS: Launching the orchestra into the future, the 2020-21 season will have a significant “first” on each BNY Mellon Grand Classics concert weekend. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will welcome many of the world’s greatest artists to the Heinz Hall stage, including world-renowned debut conductors, composers and soloists. In all, the orchestra will showcase 10 artist debuts and introduce five new works with world premieres. A new solo concert piano will be heard at Heinz Hall, making its debut to open the season. For the first time in Pittsburgh history, all nine Beethoven symphonies will be performed in one week by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Music Director Manfred Honeck.

Artists making their debuts with the orchestra in the 2020-21 season are (in order of appearance): Karina Canellakis, conductor; Cédric Tiberghien, piano; María Dueñas, violin; Micah Wilkinson (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Principal Trumpet); David Afkham, conductor; Vadim Gluzman, violin; Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor; Daniel Lozakovich, violin; Kian Soltani, cello; Fabien Gabel, conductor.

OUTSTANDING STARS OF THE STAGE: The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will welcome many of the world’s greatest artists to the Heinz Hall stage, including (in order of appearance) Emanuel Ax, Gianandrea Noseda, Rudolf Buchbinder, Hélène Grimaud, Gil Shaham, Christian Tetzlaff, Matthias Goerne, Yo-Yo Ma, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Yefim Bronfman.

CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS: Throughout the season, exciting artistic and cultural collaborations will bring together the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with the Allegheny County Library Association, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, and the Pittsburgh Public Theater.

YEAR OF BEETHOVEN CONTINUES: The Beethoven 250 commemoration continues with performances of Symphonies No. 1, 4 and 5, the Beethoven Violin Concerto, and a weekend of all five piano concertos—all on the BNY Mellon Grand Classics series. In addition, there are two signature community collaborations:

“Beethoven in Your Neighborhood: Extraordinary Concerts in Extraordinary Spaces”

For the first time in Pittsburgh history, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Manfred Honeck, will present all nine Beethoven Symphonies in one week, beginning November 30, 2020. Performance partner locations include: the Carnegie Science Center’s PointView Hall, which offers spectacular views of the Pittsburgh skyline, and the New Hazlett Theater, site of one of the first Carnegie Free Libraries in the country. The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh will partner with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the New Hazlett theater to create artistic responses to the symphonies. Most concerts will be presented free to the public. Specific dates and additional locations will be announced soon. These concerts are made possible by generous support from Carnegie Corporation of New York

Throughout the fall, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Allegheny County Library Association, and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will partner on a ground-breaking collaboration to present all 16 Beethoven string quartets in 23 libraries, including all 16 original Carnegie libraries. The partners will collaborate on community engagement and artistic responses to the music, and all of the performances will be presented for free to the public. This project also commemorates the shared 125th anniversary years of both the Pittsburgh Symphony and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. These concerts are made possible by generous support from PNC and Carnegie Corporation of New York.

CONSTELLATION OF COMMISSIONS AND NEW MUSICAL VOICES: In all, a total of 15 new works will be heard for the first time on the Heinz Hall stage in the 2020-21 season. Continuing its tradition of introducing new works to the repertoire, the 2020-21 season will bring seven new commissions and premieres: Michael Daugherty (PSO Commission and World Premiere), Mason Bates (PSO Co-Commission and Pittsburgh Premiere), James MacMillan (PSO Commission and World Premiere), Gloria Isabel Ramos Triano (PSO Commission and World Premiere), Stacy Garrop (PSO Commission and World Premiere), a collaboration of Kathryn Bostic, Jessica Lanay Moore and Njaimeh Njie (PSO Commission and World Premiere), and Richard Strauss/Manfred Honeck/Tomáš Ille (PSO Commission and World Premiere).

  • Bates and MacMillan have close ties with the orchestra, having previously been featured as part of the Composer of the Year program.
  • Bostic’s The August Wilson Symphony was performed on the orchestra’s 2019 Lift Every Voice concert.
  • Ramos Triano and Garrop are new voices who will be performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony for the first time.
  • Manfred Honeck also continues his line of newly conceived opera suites, with a world premiere of the new Salome Suite, as well as orchestra premieres presented throughout the season including works by Adams, Dvořák, Mahler, Marsalis, Puccini, Salonen, Sibelius, and Ravel.

125th ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND/MAHLER 8: It’s a can’t-miss spectacular at Heinz Hall celebrating 125 years to the day of the orchestra’s first concert that took place in February of 1896. Under the baton of Manfred Honeck, the orchestra will present the Pittsburgh and Heinz Hall premiere of Mahler 8, known as the “Symphony of a Thousand.” Honeck and the orchestra will join together voices from across the Pittsburgh region, featuring the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Youth Chorus, Duquesne University Voices of Spirit, Grove City College Touring Choir and West Liberty University Choir.

RESIDENCY WITH YO-YO MA: Cellist Yo-Yo Ma will visit Pittsburgh for an unprecedented three-day residency that will include: a special lecture titled “Truth, trust and service: how culture connects us” presented at Heinz Hall; community activities that ask how culture seeks truth, builds trust, and encourages us all to work in service of one another; and a one-night concert together with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The lecture and concert are currently available to season subscribers only.

Lecture at Heinz Hall
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Yo-Yo Ma, speaker

Concert at Heinz Hall
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Manfred Honeck, conductor
Yo-Yo Ma, cello

FOLLOW THE PIANO: The long-awaited debut of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s new solo concert piano will take place on opening weekend, September 25th-27th, with pianist Emanuel Ax, the long-time friend of the orchestra who will unveil the new instrument.  Follow the piano as ten standout artists explore its range and versatility throughout the season: Emanuel Ax, Yulianna Avdeeva, Inon Barnatan, Jonathan Biss, Yefim Bronfman, Rudolf Buchbinder, Hélène Grimaud, Francesco Piemontesi, Cédric Tiberghien and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

EUROPEAN FESTIVALS TOUR: The Pittsburgh Symphony embarks on a 12-concert, 11-city, five-country European Festivals Tour in August and September. The Pittsburgh Symphony is the only American orchestra that will perform at the prestigious Salzburg Festival (August 27) and will be a featured orchestra as part of the Opening Weekend at the Beethovenfest in Bonn (September 6). Superstar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter joins the orchestra as soloist in nine of the concerts while pianists Rudolf Buchbinder and Lukáš Vondráček also appear as featured soloists. Additional concerts will be announced later this year. International touring is made possible, in part, by the Hillman Endowment for International Performances.


Manchester Craftsman’s Guild (MCG) Jazz Partnership
Saturday, May 1, 2021
Manchester Craftsman’s Guild

Artistic partners for several years, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will be on the MCG Jazz 2020-21 Subscription series in a program featuring the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim, with strings.

Lift Every Voice Concert
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Heinz Hall

Kathryn Bostic:  *World Premiere* / *PSO Commission*

Focusing on the migrations of black women through the Americas, the annual Lift Every Voice concert will premiere an original work of music, video and text/poems conceptualized and created by three African American female artists: Njaimeh Njie, multimedia artist, Jessica Lanay Moore, writer and award-winning composer Kathryn Bostic.

Funding for Lift Every Voice is provided by the Benjamin Harris Memorial Fund, Samuel and Carrie Arnold Weinhaus Memorial Fund, William Christopher and Mary Laughlin Robinson Fund and Scott Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation.

ARCHIVES 125: The Pittsburgh Symphony will digitize a selection of historical concert recordings from André Previn’s tenure as music director of the orchestra (1976-1984), made possible by a generous grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. During the anniversary season, visitors to Heinz Hall will discover special exhibits in Heinz Hall with never-before-seen treasures from the orchestra’s archives.

Exclusive Event: 125th Anniversary Celebration

Come with us to where it all began, the Carnegie Music Hall, to celebrate the past, present and future of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s annual celebration event is one of the best parties and concerts of the year, this year featuring internationally acclaimed and sought-after baritone Thomas Hampson, along with Music Director Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  Don’t miss this exclusive event! Consider sponsorship or an exclusive event ticket. (Concert-only tickets will not be sold.) Details will be available soon at pittsburghsymphony.org. Proceeds from the concert event will benefit the extensive learning and community engagement initiatives at the Pittsburgh Symphony and help assure the orchestra’s continued artistic excellence.

Saturday, October 3, 2020
Dinner, Party and Concert

Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Thomas Hampson, baritone


The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra would like to recognize and thank BNY Mellon for its 2020-21 title sponsorship support of the BNY Mellon Grand Classics series, marking BNY Mellon’s 20th consecutive year as title sponsor of the series. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel and Delta Airlines is the official airline of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Radio station WQED-fm 89.3 and WQEJ-fm 89.7 is the official voice of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

(*denotes debut or premiere)

Friday, September 25, 2020
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Sunday, September 27, 2020

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano

Michael Daugherty: “Fifteen” for orchestra *World Premiere* / *PSO Commission*
John Adams: Century Rolls *PSO Premiere*
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Opus 35

Kicking off the “season of firsts,” Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra perform the 125th season anniversary commission and world premiere of Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty’s “Fifteen” for orchestra. In 1968, it was pop artist Andy Warhol who is said to have coined the phrase, “in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” In “Fifteen,” Daugherty has created an original musical tribute to the iconic art and life of Pittsburgh native Warhol, translating the sonic elements of Warhol’s art and life into succinct musical portraits for orchestra. Emanuel Ax unveils the new solo concert piano to Pittsburgh in the Pittsburgh premiere of Century Rolls, by John Adams, a former Pittsburgh Symphony Composer of the Year.

A 125th Celebration Collaboration with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre     
Friday, October 16, 2020
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Sunday, October 18, 2020

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Simone Porter, violin
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C major, Opus 21
Sergei Prokofiev: Concerto No. 1 in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 19
Esa-Pekka Salonen: Lachen Verlernt (for solo violin) *PSO Premiere*
Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps [The Rite of Spring] [1947 revision] [reprinted 1967] *in collaboration with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre*

Music Director Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra join forces with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in a highly anticipated collaboration bringing Stravinsky’s heart-pounding “The Rite of Spring” to the Heinz Hall stage for a special 125th anniversary artistic collaboration. The full orchestra and 30+ dancers from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, one of the most exciting and eclectic ballet companies in the country, all share the stage for unforgettable performances of this musical and dance masterpiece. This collaboration is made possible, in part, by a gift from Dona and Tom Hotopp.

Friday, October 23, 2020
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Gianandrea Noseda, conductor
Francesco Piemontesi, piano

Antonín Dvořák: Noonday Witch, Opus 108 *PSO Premiere* 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto No. 27 in B-flat major for Piano and Orchestra, K. 595
Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Opus 14

One of the world’s most sought-after conductors, Gianandrea Noseda, returns to the podium to lead Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Widely renowned for his interpretation of Mozart and the early Romantic repertoire, Swiss pianist Francesco Piemontesi takes on Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27.

Friday, October 30, 2020
Sunday, November 1, 2020

Rudolf Buchbinder, conductor
Rudolf Buchbinder, piano

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 19
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Concerto No. 4 in G major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 58
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Concerto No. 3 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 37
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Concerto No. 1 in C major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 15
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 73, “Emperor” 

In a Pittsburgh first, legendary pianist Rudolf Buchbinder performs and conducts from the keyboard the five beloved Beethoven Concerti that have inspired pianists and audiences alike for more than 200 years.  Buchbinder is celebrated worldwide for renditions with intellectual depth and musical freedom.

Friday, November 13, 2020
Sunday, November 15, 2020

*Karina Canellakis, conductor
*Cédric Tiberghien, piano

The Oceanides, Opus 73 *PSO Premiere*
Maurice Ravel: Concerto in G major for Piano and Orchestra   
Benjamin Britten: Sinfonia da Requiem, Opus 20     
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 7 in C major, Opus 105
Karina Canellakis makes her highly anticipated Pittsburgh Symphony debut conducting a robust program that also features the Pittsburgh debut of French pianist Cédric Tiberghien.

Friday, November 27, 2020 8:00pm
Sunday, November 29, 2020 2:30pm

Manfred Honeck, conductor
*María Dueñas, violin
*Micah Wilkinson, trumpet

Niccolo Paganini: Concerto No. 1 in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 6  
Franz Joseph Haydn: Concerto in E-flat major for Trumpet and Orchestra, H. VIIe:1       
Strauss Family Favorites

Now in its 13th year, Manfred Honeck and the orchestra share their Strauss family favorites in a Thanksgiving weekend program that teems with joy. Making their Pittsburgh Symphony debuts are 17-year-old prize-winning violin virtuoso María Dueñas and the concerto debut of Pittsburgh Symphony Principal Trumpet Micah Wilkinson.

Friday, January 15, 2021
Sunday, January 17, 2021

*David Afkham, conductor
*Vadim Gluzman, violin

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 35
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Opus 93

Violinist Vadim Gluzman makes his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony in one of Tchaikovsky’s most beloved and demanding works for violin. German conductor David Afkham also makes his Pittsburgh debut leading the orchestra in one of Shostakovich’s crowning artistic achievements.

Friday, January 22, 2021
Sunday, January 24, 2021

*Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor
Inon Barnatan, piano

Johann Sebastian Bach/Leopold Stokowski: Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
George Gershwin: Concerto in F major for Piano and Orchestra
Richard Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Opus 30 
In his debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony, conductor Dima Slobodeniouk leads a crowd-pleasing program of Gershwin’s jazzy Piano Concerto, Stokowski’s famous re-imagining of Bach’s Toccata & Fugue, and Strauss’ epic Also sprach Zarathustra’s, whose opening fanfare is one of the most recognizable passages in classical music.

Friday, February 5, 2021
Sunday, February 7, 2021

Vasily Petrenko, conductor
*Daniel Lozakovich, violin

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Concerto in D major for Violin 
Edward Elgar: Symphony No. 2 in E-flat major, Opus 63

In his debut with the orchestra, 18-year-old Swiss violinist Daniel Lozakovich performs Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, a masterpiece of the repertoire. English composer Sir Edward Elgar called his Symphony No. 2 “the passionate pilgrimage of the soul.”

A 125th Celebration Collaboration with the Pittsburgh Public Theater

Friday, February 12, 2021
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Sunday, February 14, 2021

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Hélène Grimaud, piano
Pittsburgh Public Theater, Marya Sea Kaminski, artistic director

George Walker: Lyric for Strings 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto No. 20 in D minor for Piano and Orchestra, K. 466
Sergei Prokofiev: Suite from Romeo and Juliet, Opus 64 *In collaboration with Pittsburgh Public Theater*

In a special collaboration for the 125th anniversary season, Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra join together with the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s Marya Sea Kaminski in a newly realized interpretation of one of the greatest scores and love stories of all time.  With creative direction, lighting and site-specific projections, Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet will come to life on the Heinz Hall stage in this special creative partnership.  Internationally renowned pianist Hélène Grimaud joins across Valentine’s weekend in one of Mozart’s most beloved works.

125TH Anniversary Weekend Celebration

Friday, February 26, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
Sunday, February 28, 2021

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Vocal Soloists
Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Youth Chorus
Duquesne University Voices of Spirit
Grove City College Touring Choir
West Liberty University Choir

Gustav Mahler:Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major, “Symphony of a Thousand” *Pittsburgh & Heinz Hall Premiere*

When Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 premiered in Munich in 1910, it was heralded as an unqualified triumph. The dynamism and vitality of this seldom-heard masterpiece, known as “Symphony of a Thousand,” is a tour de force. Manfred Honeck leads the Pittsburgh and Heinz Hall premiere of this larger than life work, drawing together an exceptional group of Pittsburgh-based choral ensembles with a star-studded cast of vocal soloists in this special 125th Anniversary weekend celebration.

Friday, March 5, 2021
Sunday, March 7, 2021

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin

Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Opus 70 [old No. 2]  
Samuel Barber: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 14     
Mason Bates: Philharmonia Fantastique: The Making of the Orchestra *PSO Co-Commission* / *PSO Premiere*

One of the most preeminent artists performing today, violinist Gil Shaham steps into the spotlight with Barber’s ravishing Violin Concerto.  Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony present the Pittsburgh premiere of Mason Bates’ Philharmonia Fantastique: The Making of the Orchestra, a virtuosic concerto for orchestra and animated film that flies through the orchestra to discover how sound is made.  Guided by a magical sprite, Bates imaginatively evokes how violin strings vibrate, brass valves slice air, and drumheads resonate, exploring the age-old connection of creativity and technology with his distinctly 21st century musical voice. Funding for this commission is made possible by generous support from the Emma Clyde Hodge Memorial Fund.

Friday, March 19, 2021
Sunday, March 21, 2021

Pablo Heras-Casado, conductor
Nicola Benedetti, violin

Wynton Marsalis:Violin Concerto in D Major *PSO Premiere*
Manuel de Falla: The Three-Cornered Hat [complete ballet]

The vibrant musical language of American legend Wynton Marsalis is presented for the first time on the Heinz Hall stage in the Pittsburgh premiere of his critically acclaimed Violin Concerto. Nicola Benedetti, one of the world’s most sought after violinists, and winner of this year’s GRAMMY for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for her recording of the Marsalis, makes her anticipated return.

Friday, April 9, 2021
Sunday, April 11, 2021

Sir Mark Elder, conductor
*Kian Soltani, cello

Ludwig Van Beethoven: Overture to Fidelio, Opus 72     
Franz Joseph Haydn: Concerto in C major for Cello and Orchestra, H. VIIb:1
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 4, in C major, Opus 43   

British conductor Sir Mark Elder leads this program of incomparable musical figures. Persian cellist Kian Soltani, one of the most talked-about cellists performing today, makes his Pittsburgh Symphony debut.

Friday, April 16, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Sunday, April 18, 2021

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Christian Tetzlaff, violin
Vocal Soloists
Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh

James MacMillan: *World Premiere* / *PSO Commission* / *Recording*
Alban Berg: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra        
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem, K. 626: Mozart's Death in Words and Music *RECORDING*

Manfred Honeck’s unique and inventive take on Mozart’s awe-inspiring genius brings together Gregorian chant and readings of letters and poems in combination with the darkly rich sounds and otherworldly radiance of Mozart’s Requiem. One of the most acclaimed and exciting artists on the scene today, violinist Christian Tetzlaff, brings to life Berg’s Violin Concerto, dedicated “To the memory of an angel,” while the Pittsburgh Symphony gives the world premiere of James MacMillan’s newest orchestral work.

Friday, April 23, 2021
Sunday, April 25, 2021

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Matthias Goerne, baritone

Gloria Isabel Ramos Triano: *World Premiere* / *PSO Commission*
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Opus 67
Richard Wagner: All second half with Matthias Goerne

As Beethoven penned, “I shall seize Fate by the throat; it shall not bend or crush me completely”— words famously brought to life in one of music’s most famous works, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.  German baritone Matthias Goerne, one of the most sought-after vocalists on the international scene, brings a powerhouse, larger-than-life Wagner set to the Heinz Hall stage. Spanish composer Gloria Isabel Ramos Triano will be heard in Pittsburgh for the first time, writing a new work especially for the occasion.

Friday, May 14, 2021
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Sunday, May 16, 2021

Juraj Valčuha, conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Giacomo Puccini:Preludio sinfonico in A major *PSO Premiere*
Camille Saint-Saëns: Concerto No. 5 in F major for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 103, "Egyptian"
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B-flat major, Opus 60

For the first time, the Pittsburgh Symphony, under the direction of Slovak conductor Juraj Valčuha, performs Puccini's youthful Preludio Sinfonico. Internationally renowned French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet performs Saint-Saens’ beguiling “Egyptian,” which the composer himself likened to a sea voyage.

Friday, May 21, 2021
Sunday, May 23, 2021

*Fabien Gabel, conductor
Jonathan Biss, piano

Hector Berlioz: Overture to Béatrice et Bénédict
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major for Piano and Orchestra, K. 271, "Jeunehomme"
Paul Dukas: Fanfare to precede La Péri and La Péri, poème dansé
Maurice Ravel:Une Barque sur l'océan  *PSO Premiere*
Maurice Ravel: La Valse

Internationally recognized as a leading conductor of his generation, Fabien Gabel makes his Pittsburgh Symphony debut leading a prodigious program of musical giants. Dukas’ Fanfare from La Péri, the composer’s last major work, features a remarkable showcase of the orchestra’s brass section.

Friday, June 11, 2021
Saturday, June 12, 2021
Sunday, June 13, 2021

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Yulianna Avdeeva, piano

Richard Strauss/Manfred Honeck/Tomáš Ille: Salome: Suite for Orchestra *World Premiere* *PSO Commission* *RECORDING*
Franz Liszt: Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major for Piano and Orchestra 
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Opus 64 *RECORDING*

Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra commit their signature interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 to high-definition sound, cementing what is celebrated around the world as one of the finest artistic partnerships today. Liszt’s scintillating Piano Concerto brings the return of pianist Yulianna Avdeeva, who showcases extraordinary virtuosity in this cherished piano showpiece, while Manfred Honeck continues his line of newly conceived opera suites with a world premiere of a new Salome Suite. 

Friday, June 18, 2021
Sunday, June 20, 2021

Manfred Honeck, conductor
Yefim Bronfman, piano

Stacy Garrop: *World Premiere* *PSO Commission*
Camille Saint-Saëns: Concerto No. 2 in G minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 22                      
Ottorino Respighi: Trittico Botticelliano                       
Ottorino Respighi: Feste romane [Roman Festivals]

In the final BNY Mellon Grand Classics concert of the 2020-21 season, Music Director Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra take on an extraordinary selection of artistic masterworks that highlight musical brilliance, virtuosity and a world premiere. American composer Stacy Garrop will be presented by the Pittsburgh Symphony for the first time. Her commission, in honor of the 125th anniversary, will celebrate the vibrancy of both Pittsburgh and its people, with a focus on the city’s bridges that bring everything and everyone together. Acclaimed pianist and Pittsburgh Symphony guest artist favorite Yefim Bronfman dazzles with his captivating interpretation of Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2.

BNY Mellon Grand Classics season tickets are available in packages of six, seven, 14 and 20 concerts and range in price from $102 to $1,470. Tickets for individual concerts will go on sale in August. Concert times on Fridays and Saturdays will remain at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Season tickets are available by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org.


The PNC Pops series brings audiences the power of outstanding music from diverse genres including Broadway, movies, jazz, rock and soul, often with popular soloists. The first season under the direction of new Principal Pops Conductor Byron Stripling, the season will travel through Harlem’s heyday, smash hits from ABBA, favorite holiday music, the iconic jazz works of the Gershwins, the magic of Motown, a legendary songbook, and special memories of Marvin Hamlisch.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra would like to thank PNC for its 2020-21 title sponsorship of the PNC Pops series, marking PNC’s 20th consecutive year as title sponsor of the series. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra would also like to recognize and thank Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield for its 2020 title sponsorship of Highmark Holiday Pops. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

PNC Pops 1: Swingin’ at the Club
Friday, October 9, 2020
Saturday, October 10, 2020
Sunday, October 11, 2020

Byron Stripling, conductor, vocalist, trumpet
Carmen Bradford, vocalist
Leo Manzari, tap dancer

Byron Stripling’s debut as Principal Pops Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is not to be missed. Inspired by Harlem’s famed musical hot spots like The Cotton Club and The Savoy, this swingin’ night of musical sensations focuses on Harlem’s heyday when Duke Ellington’s orchestra was the house band, and Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald and Ethel Waters showcased the classics of the Great American Songbook. It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing!

PNC Pops 2: The Music of ABBA featuring Rajaton
Friday, November 6, 2020
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Sunday, November 8, 2020

Steven Reineke, conductor
Rajaton, vocalists

Renowned Finnish a cappella ensemble Rajaton joins the Pittsburgh Symphony for a concert of ABBA hits! Mamma Mia, Voulez-Vous, Waterloo and more will surely have Dancing Queens in the aisles saying “Gimme Gimme Gimme” and “Thank You For The Music!”

Highmark Holiday Pops
Friday, December 12, 2020
Saturday, December 13, 2020
Sunday, December 14, 2020

Daniel Meyer, conductor
Vanessa Campagna, vocalist
Chris Sanders, special guest
The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year to bring the whole family to Heinz Hall and experience the Pittsburgh holiday tradition! Hear all of your favorite holiday music, sing along to classic carols and you’d better be good (for goodness sake) because we have it on good authority that Santa Claus is coming to town! *Additional performances on December 12, 18, 19 and 20.

PNC Pops 3: 'S Wonderful Gershwin
125th Celebration Collaboration with the Pittsburgh CLO
Friday, February 19, 2021
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Sunday, February 21, 2021

Stuart Chafetz, conductor
Michael Chertock, vocalist
Hamlisch-Page Student Choir

Celebrate the 75th anniversary of Pittsburgh CLO and the 125th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with unforgettable concerts featuring song and dance. Performers from Pittsburgh CLO will pay homage to the music of the Gershwins with selections from An American in Paris and Funny Face, and our Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will perform the beloved opus, Rhapsody in Blue.

PNC Pops 4: Dancin’ in the Street: Music of Motown
Friday, March 26, 2021
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Sunday, March 28, 2021

Byron Stripling, conductor
Chester Gregory, vocalist
Michael Lynche, vocalist

Experience the magic of Motown! This program features smash hits made famous by artists like Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, The Temptations and the one and only Stevie Wonder. Songs include “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Reach Out I’ll Be There,” “Dancin’ In The Street,” “I Heard it Through The Grapevine,” “My Girl,” “Superstition” and more.

PNC Pops 5: Paul Simon Songbook
Friday, May 7, 2021
Saturday, May 8, 2021
Sunday, May 9, 2021

Byron Stripling, conductor
Paul Loren, vocalist
Emily Drennan, vocalist
Daniel Berryman, vocalist

An evening of music from the legendary Paul Simon explores his unique artistry as a songwriter, from his years with Simon and Garfunkel through his solo albums Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints. Songs include “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard,” “The Sound of Silence,” “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” “Graceland” and “Rhythm of the Saints.” All arrangements fully orchestrated by Jeff Tyzik.

Pops 6: To Marvin, with Love
Friday, June 4, 2021
Saturday, June 5, 2021
Sunday, June 6, 2021

Jack Everly, conductor
Marissa McGowan, vocalist

Celebrate our beloved Marvin’s birthday weekend with a program of favorites from his storied career and momentous history with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Jack Everly returns to the podium to lead the Pittsburgh Symphony in a concert that features some very special guests and many memories of Marvin, because nobody does it better.

PNC Pops season tickets are available in seven-concert packages and range in price from $133 to $658. Tickets for individual concerts will go on sale in July. Show times on Fridays and Saturdays will remain at 8:00pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30pm Season tickets are available by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412.392.4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org.




Media Contacts
Julie Goetz | Director of Communications
jgoetz@pittsburghsymphony.org | 412.392.4866