Five Program Episodes Will Offer Classical and Pops Repertoire, Free to the Public

For Immediate Release
September 30, 2020

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PITTSBURGH, PA—The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra today announced that Front Row: The PSO Virtual Experience will premiere on October 19, 2020, with the first of five episodes that will traverse the region and will offer classical music, popular music, and Holiday Pops as the series unfolds. All five episodes will be made available free to the public on the Pittsburgh Symphony’s website:

“As our country continues to experience the deep impact of the COVID pandemic, our hunger to create and to enjoy music also continues unabated. It is in that spirit that we have created Front Row: The PSO Virtual Experience which brings together the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians, special friends and community partners to offer music to lift spirits, stories to inspire, and places and people to touch your soul,” said Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “After we announced the reinvention of the 125th season in August, we went into high gear and have worked relentlessly, within health and government restrictions, to bring the fantastic sound of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to the world in this new digital series.”

Each episode will run about 60-90 minutes long with music performed by ensembles of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra accompanied by special interviews and other features that bridge the musical journey that is guided by the episode’s particular theme. These features will include looks behind the scenes of this world-class orchestra; an exploration of Heinz Hall with host Jim Cunningham, artistic director at WQED-FM; and, unique perspectives from the musicians, conductors and other members of the Pittsburgh Symphony leadership, with interviewer Sydni Grant Goldman. Today, the Orchestra announced the details of Episode One: Our Love for Pittsburgh and that more about the additional episodes will be revealed in October.

Episode One: Our Love for Pittsburgh
Premiere: October 19, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. EDT

The virtual curtain rises to the sounds of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, a piece written just a decade before the founding of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a noble, generous work that exemplifies Pittsburgh and its people. This episode continues with works from composers as varied as Jessie Montgomery, Michi Wiancko/Francesco Geminiani, Ennio Morricone, and Billy Strayhorn, as the Orchestra salutes Pittsburgh through a glorious musical exploration of our dramatic geographic setting and the people drawn to it—the innovators, the immigrants, the trailblazers and the artists. In this episode, the Pittsburgh Symphony welcomes acclaimed violinist Alexi Kenney as guest Concertmaster and leader.

Front Row: The PSO Virtual Experience can be accessed beginning October 19 at 7:30 p.m. EDT at

Front Row: The PSO Virtual Experience is being created in partnership with Flying Scooter Productions, a Pittsburgh-based creative agency and film studio that produces for some of the most beloved national and local brands, and has collaborated on a variety of campaigns in the non-profit sector. In 2019 and 2020, it was recognized with Telly Awards (Gold, Silver and Bronze) for its work in partnership with Light of Life Rescue Mission to raise the conversation and discussion around addiction and homelessness, and the work of the Mission to change lives and transform generations.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra would like to thank BNY Mellon, PNC, UPMC Health Plan and Holiday Sponsor, Highmark, for their generous support of Front Row: The PSO Virtual Experience.

About the Artists in Front Row: The PSO Virtual Experience, Episode 1

About the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra →

ALEXI KENNEY, Guest Concertmaster
The recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2020 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, violinist Alexi Kenney has been named "a talent to watch" by The New York Times, which also noted his "architect's eye for structure and space and a tone that ranges from the achingly fragile to full-bodied robustness.” The 2019/20 season sees Alexi performing as soloist with the Sarasota Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, Virginia Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Hawaii Symphony, and California Symphony, presenting a solo violin and electronics recital at the 92nd Street Y, and at the Phillips Collection and Rockefeller University, among others. In the 2018/19 season, Alexi returned to the Indianapolis Symphony, debuted with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, and the Asheville, Omaha, Wheeling, and Bay Atlantic symphonies, and gave recitals at Wigmore Hall, Union College, Portland ‘Ovations,’ and the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern festival. He has appeared as guest concertmaster of both the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.

For more about Alexi Kenney:

Jim Cunningham is artistic director at WQED-FM and long-time host of the station’s Morning Show on weekday mornings from 6-10 a.m., and the nationally syndicated Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra broadcasts which air Sundays at 8 p.m. Known as the “Voice of the Arts” in Pittsburgh, Cunningham has enjoyed working and meeting with many of the most talented artists in the current classical world, has traveled as a correspondent with the Pittsburgh Symphony on more than 20 world tours, and is a narrator and host for numerous classical music events.

Sydni Grant Goldman is working with Flying Scooter Productions as a Line Producer/Talent for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's Virtual Series, Front Row: The PSO Virtual Experience. Goldman was a former associate producer at WPXI. Prior to her time at Channel 11, she was a field producer/production assistant for WCAU, the NBC affiliate in Philadelphia. She is currently a development producer and co-host of Cornerstone Television Network's flagship program, Hope Today. Goldman was born and raised in the Greater Pittsburgh area. She went to West Allegheny High School and graduated from Temple University with a B.A in Broadcast Journalism. 


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