- Anne-Sophie Mutter violin
- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
- Manfred Honeck conductor
For more than 120 years, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been an essential part of Pittsburgh’s cultural landscape. The PSO, known for its artistic excellence, 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. This tradition was furthered in Fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck assumed the position of Music Director with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The 2017/18 season marked the tenth year of this acclaimed partnership.
Heading the list of internationally recognized conductors to have led the PSO is Victor Herbert, Music Director between 1898 and 1904, who influenced the early development of the Pittsburgh Symphony. The Orchestra’s solidification as an American institution took place in the late 1930s under the direction of Maestro Otto Klemperer. From 1938 to 1948, under the dynamic directorship of Fritz Reiner, the Orchestra embarked on a new phase of its history, through international touring and its first commercial recording.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s standard of excellence was maintained and enhanced through the inspired leadership of William Steinberg during his quarter-century as Music Director between 1952 and 1976. André Previn (1976–1984), Lorin Maazel (1988–1996) and Mariss Jansons (1997–2004) followed. Upon Jansons’ departure, the PSO created an innovative leadership model with Artistic Advisor Sir Andrew Davis, Principal Guest Conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier and Endowed Guest Conductor Chair Marek Janowski. These three conductors formed the primary artistic leadership for the Orchestra until January 2007, when the PSO selected Honeck to take the reins at the start of the 2008/09 season.
The Pittsburgh Symphony has a long and distinguished history of touring both domestically and overseas since 1896. Almost 40 international tours have taken it to Europe, the Far East and South America. The PSO also maintains a close relationship with the Vienna Musikverein. In 2012, the orchestra played a four concert residency at the Musikverien in Vienna, and subsequently embarked on a European tours in 2013 and 2016. With stops at renowned European festivals, including the Salzburger Festspiele, the last tour took place in summer 2017.
Since 2006, the Pitssburgh Symphony has partnered with the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its marketing affiliate, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, to use international tours to open doors for economic development and foreign direct investment discussions. The partnership, unique among American orchestras, has resulted in numerous investments in the Pittsburgh region.