First Ever PSO Summer Series at Hartwood Acres Features Pops, Classical and Family Programs

Tickets available now; children under 5 are free

Food and beverage trucks enhance the picnic experience

For Immediate Release
May 11, 2021

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PITTSBURGH, PA—The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra announces Summer with the Symphony, presented by the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, an exhilarating and first-ever summer music series for the orchestra at the amphitheater at Hartwood Acres Park in Allegheny County. Summer with the Symphony will feature a full orchestra performing a total of eight concerts—four classical, three Pops and one family concert—running from July 23-August 14 and continuing to follow public health guidance and government requirements. Tickets are on sale now.

“The joy and light of summertime beckon us all for music, picnics, and gatherings with friends and family. After more than a year of deeply trying times, filled with so much heartache, we are grateful and excited to share with our community this special outdoor music series at Hartwood Acres while our Heinz Hall home undergoes renovation,” said Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. “This series is for anyone who enjoys music, with its beautiful evenings of classical and pops favorites, and a Saturday morning family concert filled with rhythm and melodies. We can’t wait to see you this summer!”

Summer with the Symphony series highlights are:

  • Under the baton of Associate Conductor Earl Lee, the Pittsburgh Symphony will be in full force with inspiring music that pairs perfectly with picnics and the warm and dreamy days of summer. In a preview of major works that will be featured in the orchestra’s 2021-2022 season, the orchestra will perform movements from two great symphonies by Brahms and Tchaikovsky, each with lyrical strength and beauty. In a Summer with the Symphony tradition, Pittsburgh Symphony musicians will take center stage as soloists on several classical and Pops programs; this year’s programs feature Marta Krechkovsky, violin, Jennifer Orchard, violin, and Will Chow, cello.
  • Principal Pops Conductor Byron Stripling will conduct the PSO before a live audience for the first time in his role as Principal Pops Conductor on July 23 for “Songbook & Sunset,” a night of gorgeous melodies and toe-tapping rhythms from the Great American Songbook. The orchestra will be joined by Nicki Parrott, bass-vocalist. Byron Stripling will lead a Saturday morning family concert, “Melodies & Movement,” as well as “Summer & Sinatra,” with the exhilarating and touching songs immortalized by Sinatra, and by the singers and songwriters he influenced. 
  • The Pittsburgh Symphony is proud to announce Food and Beverage partners for Summer with the Symphony. A variety of food trucks—from savory to sweet—have been invited to be stationed at each concert, beginning at 5:30 p.m. for Friday and Saturday evening concerts, and 9:30 a.m. for the Saturday Family Concert. Pour Partners include Hop Farm Brewing Company and Vinoski Winery. Please follow the Pittsburgh Symphony on social media and look for updates online for confirmed food trucks at each concert.

2021 Summer with the Symphony Tickets and Park Entry

For all Summer with the Symphony series concerts, and, for the first time, the Pittsburgh Symphony is offering tickets at “choose your price,” with a minimum of $10 per person. Suggested value is $25 per person. Children five and under are admitted free of charge. Advance tickets are available at pittsburghsymphony.org or through the Box Office phone line at (412) 392-4900. Tickets will also be available at Hartwood Acres at the parking entrance starting at the time that parking opens for each concert; cash or credit cards will be accepted. In the event of a severe weather cancellation, audience members will be notified as soon as possible, and tickets may be applied to a future PSO concert or refunded. 

Guests are welcome to enter the amphitheater parking lot at 5:00 p.m. for Friday and Saturday evening concerts, and 9:00 a.m. for the Saturday Family Concert.

2021 Summer with the Symphony COVID-19 Health and Safety Policies

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has as its top priority the health and safety of its employees, audience members and community, and will continue to follow and implement guidance and requirements of public health and local government authorities. The Pittsburgh Symphony seeks to provide an exemplary guest experience and thanks patrons in advance for observing these policies as we all continue to navigate the pandemic. As government requirements and public health advice changes, the Pittsburgh Symphony will continue to review and update its policies for these concerts and advise guests of any changes. For the health and safety of all, policies that will be observed at the Summer with the Symphony series include:

  • Guests are requested to self-monitor for symptoms of illness and refrain from attending if experiencing illness or symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The Pittsburgh Symphony will continue to use enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of spaces used on stage and backstage by musicians and staff.
  • Social distancing and masks: Public health guidelines are continuing to evolve and some government restrictions are either scheduled to be lifted or conditionally lifted (when 70% of Pennsylvania’s adults are fully vaccinated) in advance of the Summer with the Symphony concerts. If restrictions continue, guests will be required to wear a mask throughout the venue, except when eating or drinking, and asked to observe social distancing by setting up seats and blankets at least six feet away from others not in their household. The PSO will continue to monitor public health guidelines and government requirements, post updates on its website and social media, and remain in direct contact with ticketholders. 

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is embarking on the first of two phases of renovation of Heinz Hall, in advance of its 50th anniversary to be celebrated in the orchestra's 2021-2022 season. This summer, the capital investment of $3.5 million includes updating and refreshing backstage areas and the Dorothy Porter Simmons Regency Rooms, as well as accessibility projects including the exterior entrances to the Hall. The 2021 renovations are being funded by a combination of private foundation sources, the Allegheny Regional Asset District, and matching funds from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. The Pittsburgh Symphony plans to announce more details about the renovations later this spring.

Further details are listed in the calendar section below and online at pittsburghsymphony.org

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra thanks the Henry L. Hillman Foundation for its generous support of the PSO as presenter of Summer with the Symphony. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is deeply grateful to Grand Classics Title Sponsor BNY Mellon and Pops Title Sponsor PNC.


All performances take place at the Amphitheater at Hartwood Acres, located on Middle Rd. in Hampton Twp.

#Summer PSO #ExperiencePSO

Songbook & Sunset

July 23, 8:15 p.m.
Byron Stripling, conductor, trumpet, vocalist
Nicki Parrott, bass/vocal
Bobby Floyd, piano
Jim Rupp, drum set
Jennifer Orchard, violin

The Summer with the Symphony concert series kicks off with Principal Pops Conductor Byron Stripling leading the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in a night of gorgeous melodies and toe-tapping rhythms from the Great American Songbook. The sounds of popular and jazz standards that have stood the test of time will fill the evening as the sun sets over Hartwood Acres.

Melodies & Movement: Summer Family Concert

July 24, 11:15 a.m. – Noon
Byron Stripling, conductor, trumpet, vocalist
Nicki Parrott, bass/vocal
Bobby Floyd, piano
Jim Rupp, drum set
Jennifer Orchard, violin

Principal Pops Conductor Byron Stripling will lead the Pittsburgh Symphony in a family-friendly concert that celebrates American music. You’ll hear great melodies and rhythms that will make the whole family want to get up and move! Fiddlesticks, the PSO’s musical ambassador, will make a special appearance and every child will receive a free concert activity book and crayon packet.  So, join in the fun!

Rossini & Brahms

July 30 & 31, 8:15 p.m.
Earl Lee, conductor
Marta Krechkovsky, violin

Rossini: Overture to La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie)
Tchaikovsky: Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Opus 3
   I. Allegro moderato
Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Opus 68
   I. Un poco sostenuto – Allegro
   IV.  Adagio – Più andante – Allegro non troppo, ma con brio        

A rolling snare from a rousing Rossini overture signals a great night is ahead. Associate Conductor Earl Lee and the Pittsburgh Symphony perform two movements from Brahms’ dramatic and sweeping Symphony No. 1, a true symphonic masterpiece, previewing a work of the 2021-2022 season. In Tchaikovsky’s only violin concerto, Pittsburgh Symphony violinist Marta Krechkovsky takes center stage and shows why the lyrical beauty and fiery virtuosity of this work also makes it one of the most popular violin concertos.

Mendelssohn & Tchaikovsky

August 6 & 7, 8:15 p.m.
Earl Lee, conductor
Will Chow, cello

Dvoƙák: Slavonic Dance, Opus 46, No. 8
Mendelssohn: Scherzo from Four Pieces from A Midsummernight’s Dream, Opus 61
Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1in G minor
Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra, Opus 33
Tchaikovsk: Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Opus 36
  I. Andante sostenuto
  IV.   Finale: Allegro con fuoco

The music is so enchanting and lively, you’ll be tempted to dance under the stars! The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Associate Conductor Earl Lee offers a captivating evening of popular dance pieces, and previews two movements from a magnificent Tchaikovsky symphony that will be performed to open in the 2021-2022 season. PSO cellist Will Chow takes center stage for Tchaikovsky’s charming Rococo Variations.

Summer & Sinatra

August 13 & 14, 8:15 p.m.
Byron Stripling, conductor
Tony DeSare, piano and vocals

It’s impossible to imagine popular music without Frank Sinatra—so let us fly you to the moon! Principal Pops Conductor Byron Stripling and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra welcome the great Tony DeSare—jazz singer, pianist and songwriter—to explore the exhilarating and touching songs immortalized by Sinatra, and by the singers and songwriters he influenced. 

All programs and artists are subject to change.


About Hartwood Acres
Hartwood Acres Park is an Allegheny County park consisting of 629 acres, in Hampton and Indiana Townships. Preserved within the park is one of the largest and most spectacular country estates in the region. Hartwood consists of a stately Tudor Mansion (erected in 1929) cottage, stable complex and gate lodge (erected in 1927). Designed by Alfred Hopkins for John and Mary Flinn Lawrence, the mansion houses an excellent collection of original English and American antiques. Its 16th century architectural design affords both young and old opportunity to glimpse into a part of Pittsburgh's past. Amenities at the park include hiking, bridle trails for runners, horseback riders and cross-country skiers, an amphitheater, a farm and stable complex, and art sculptures throughout the park.

About the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra →
About Principal Pops Conductor Byron Stripling →
About Associate Conductor Earl Lee →
About Nicki Parrott →
About Jennifer Orchard →
About Marta Krechkovsky →
About Will Chow →
About Tony DeSare →
About Hartwood Acres →

Media Contacts
Julie Goetz | Director of Communications
jgoetz@pittsburghsymphony.org | 412.392.4866 or 412.905.9058 (mobile)