Cards Event Cancelled; Symphony Splendor Shaping Up to Be Fabulous

PSA volunteers are moving into the final stages of preparations for this year's exciting Symphony Splendor, a tour of 8 vintage homes in Mt. Lebanon's Virginia Manor. This year's tour will offer, in addition, an encore home from last year's tour.  Each home is unique and will be festively decorated for the holidays.

The doors open at 11 am and homes may be toured in any order until 5 pm. Molly's Trolleys will again transport viewers between the homes. There will be no parking available this year in Virginia Manor; all cars must park in the designated lot.

Many of the hosts of last year's home tour are serving on this year's committee, helping to insure the successful tour of their beautiful neighborhood.

Ticket sales for this year's tour are available now. Click the Symphony Splendor logo on our home page for more information on ticket sales, date and times of the open house, check-in information and parking.

Symphony of Cards Cancelled

PSA President Sue Breedlove announced that Symphony of Cards, scheduled for Oct. 25, has been cancelled.


PSO @ City of Asylum:
Suppression, Creativity & Artistic Resilience
Wednesday, October 11 | 8:00 p.m.
Clarion String Quartet, comprised of members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra:
Anzhelina Polonskaya, poet (via Skype)Jacob Bacharach, local writer
Philip Terman, local writer
Hosted by Andrés Franco, associate conductor, PSO
The arts flourish in turbulent times and periods of great crisis. Music and poetry will come together for an evening of performance and dialogue around the ways creativity thrives in times of political strife and oppression.The Clarion String Quartet, comprised of members from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, give a voice to suppressed composers. The group will perform works composed before, during and after the Holocaust by composers that were silenced by the Nazis. Members will discuss the works, their performance at the Teresienstadt Concentration Camp and the upcoming PSO concert featuring Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5.
Internationally-renowned poet Anzhelina Polonskaya was born in Moscow. In 2015, her family received death threats after returning to Moscow following studies in Germany. She is currently seeking refuge in Frankfurt through the Cities of Refuge Programme. Anzhelina Polonskaya will Skype into the session, sharing her poetry and talking about her challenges creating while under threat from Russian Nationals.


RADical Days 2017
Tuesday, October 3 | 7:30 p.m.
Andrés Franco, conductor
Kevin Zhu, violin

Rossini: Overture to The Thieving MagpiePaganini: Violin Concerto No. 1
Mascagni: Intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticanaBizet: Suite No. 1 & No. 2 from Carmen
Associate conductor Andrés Franco leads the orchestra in a program of light classics. Music lovers young and old will enjoy Rossini’s Overture to The Thieving Magpie, Mascagni’s intermezzo from Cavalleria rusticana and Bizet’s Suite No. 1 and Suite No. 2 from Carmen. Duquesne University Young Artist National Concerto Competition winner Kevin Zhu joins the PSO for Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major.

LISTEN: Associate conductor Andres Franco talks to WQED's Jim Cunningham about his plans for the RADical Days concert!

President Sue Breedlove's Letter

Dear Members,

Please join us for "A Symphony of
Cards and Other Board Games" on
October 25. It will be a fun day to
socialize with your fellow members.
See page 3 of this month's Newsletter for details. Bring all the 
guests you would like. If you don't
have anyone to play with, let me
know and I will find a spot for you.
See you at Music 101 on October 11!


At the Fall Luncheon, Sue Breedlove, PSA President, along
with Tiffany Chrisman, Pittsburgh Symphony North
President, presented a check for $187,000 to Melia Tourangeau, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. This represents the amount of money raised for the 2016-17 fiscal year from the PSA and its affiliates. Congradulations everyone for a job well done!

A 10th Anniversary Season of Firsts


Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Celebrates 
10 Years with Manfred Honeck

Since becoming music Director of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Manfred Honeck and the orchestra have recorded 13 CDs, two of which have been nominated for Grammy Awards, have toured on three continents, launched new concert formats, premiered 15 new works and collaborated with some of the world's greatest artists.
“These 10 years of music- making with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have truly been a gift to my life,” says Honeck. “I am so excited to celebrate an amazing decade in Pittsburgh with this incredible orchestra and our wonderful patrons and subscribers. I am especially looking forward to presenting to Pittsburgh new pieces commissioned to celebrate this milestone year and introducing 15 new talented guest artists to Pittsburgh.”

Three Pieces Commissioned to Celebrate this Milestone Year

Throughout Manfred Honeck’s 10 years with the Orchestra, one project that has touched him significantly is Music for the Spirit. In 2004, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra became the first American orchestra to perform at the Vatican. The concert honored the Pope’s lifelong commitment to interfaith understanding and reconciliation of the Christians, Jews and Muslims. From that beginning, a partnership developed between the PSO and the faith communities in Pittsburgh to continue to perform concerts that celebrate the spiritual and universal message of music.

This season, three programs will include a special commission in honor of Honeck’s anniversary, and will have themes that use the power of music to promote and spread a spiritual and universal message. Israeli composer Boris Pigovat’s…therefore choose life…” (September 22-24, 2017) is inspired by the well-known passage in Deuteronomy (30:19), which contrasts “life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life.” James MacMillan’s Larghetto for Orchestra (October 27-29, 2017) is the orchestrated version of his choral work, Miserere, a setting of 17th Century composer Gregorio Allegri’s Psalm 51: 3-21. And Iranian composer Reza Vali’s Isfahan Calligraphy No. 16 (June 8-10, 2017), uses Persian-influenced musical technique known as “Isfahan,” named after the Persian city where it was developed. The ancient city of Isfahan also served as an intersection of many of the world’s religions.

15 Guest Artists to Perform in Pittsburgh for the First Time

This season, Manfred Honeck will continue his tradition of introducing new talent to the City of Pittsburgh. Throughout the season, 15 guest artists will make their debuts with the Orchestra:
Jan Lisiecki, and Igor Levit, conductors Rafael PayareSir Mark Elder, and Cristian Macelaru. Also  
soprano Rachele Gilmore, mezzo-soprano Kate Aldrich; tenors Werner Gura and Keon-woo Ki,  and bass
Jan Martinik.

New Pieces Throughout the Season

Nearly every program led by Honeck will feature at least one piece that he will conduct with the Pittsburgh Symphony for the first time. Those pieces are:
John Adams, LollapaloozaPigovat,  …therefore choose life…  and SaintSaëns, Organ Symphony (September 22-24, 2017).
MacMillan, Larghetto for Orchestra, and Schumann,  Cello Concerto (October 27-29, 2017).
Chausson,  Poeme,  and Ravel, Tzigane (November 24 & 26, 2017).
Haydn, Creation (December 1-3, 2017)
Prokofiev, Symphony No. 5, Beethoven,  Piano Concerto No. 2 and Janáček,  Sinfonietta (March 2 & 4, 2018).
Vali, Isfahan (Calligraphy No. 16), Liszt, Les Preludes, and Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (June 8 &10, 2017).
Berlioz, Te Deum, Opus 22 (June 15-17, 2018)

Lobby Display

From September 22 – December 14, 2017, an archival display featuring photographs, programs, and important memorabilia of Honeck’s 10 seasons with the Orchestra will be on display on the Grand Tier of Heinz Hall.

Side-By-Side Concert
On April 23, 2018 at 7pm, Manfred Honeck will conduct a special concert celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the EQT Student Side-By-Side program, featuring the student musicians of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Launch of PSO360

In honor of Manfred Honeck’s 10th Anniversary, the PSO will launch a new concert format called PSO360. Featuring 200 seats in-the-round on the Heinz Hall stage, the concerts offer listeners an intimate experience with Pittsburgh Symphony musicians and special guest artists, two of which are performing with the PSO for the first time. Upcoming concerts include:
  • Ray Chen performing music from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” on an historic “Joachim” Stradivarius violin (October 14, 2017)
  • Pianist Kirill Gerstein performing the original jazz band version of Rhapsody in Blue and other solo piano works (January 27, 2018)
  • Grammy award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich performing works by Niccolo Paganini and others(May 19, 2017)
City of Asylum

Also new this season, in honor of Manfred Honeck’s 10th Anniversary, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will partner with the City of Asylum (COA) to create a series of five events in the 2017-18 season that will explore the intersections of creativity, expression, and community. The musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, like the artists at City of Asylum, come to Pittsburgh from across the globe. They have varied experiences and backgrounds, but they have a common drive to be part of a larger artistic community. The series of performances and conversations will be presented in the new Alphabet City space on the Northside of Pittsburgh. Tickets are free, but registration is required. More info is available at

Reception Honoring Manfred Honeck
On April 19, 2018, the Third Annual Maestro’s Wine Dinner at the Duquesne Club will honor Manfred Honeck’s 10th Anniversary.  It is an evening of wine and music featuring a chamber group comprised of PSO Musicians.  Tickets range from $500 to $10,000 and it is open to the public. Tickets and more information will be available beginning October 15.