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Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra facts for kids

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Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Also known as PSO
Origin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Symphony Orchestra
Years active 1895–1910, 1926-present
Members Music Director
Manfred Honeck
Principal Guest Conductor
Leonard Slatkin
Principal Pops Conductor
Marvin Hamlisch
Resident Conductor
Lawrence Loh
Assistant Conductor
Thomas Hong

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is an American orchestra based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The orchestra's home is Heinz Hall, located in Pittsburgh's Cultural District.


The orchestra was started in 1895. Several of the musicians had come from the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The earliest conductors were Archer, Victor Herbert and Emil Paur. Famous guest conductors included Edward Elgar and Richard Strauss. In 1910 the orchestra had to stop playing because they had no money.

In 1926 the orchestra was started again. The musicians were not paid, and they gave money to make it possible for the orchestra to continue. It started to become a good orchestra in 1937 when Otto Klemperer was asked to take the orchestra and reorganize it. Since then the orchestra has developed and become an international orchestra.

Fritz Reiner (1938-48) conducted the orchestra for ten years. It was not easy during the war because the musicians often had to go to fight in the war and others came instead. From 1948-52, several famous conductors led the orchestra, including Leonard Bernstein and Leopold Stokowski.

When William Steinberg took over from 1952-76 he took them on tour to Europe and made many recordings. He was followed by André Previn who helped the orchestra to make a television series Previn and the Pittsburgh. Lorin Maazel, who came from Pittsburgh, conducted them until 1996, taking them on several international tours. Mariss Jansons followed Maazel from 1997-2004. After he left the orchestra had guest conductors but not a musical director (main conductor) for four years. In 2008 the Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck was made music director. Leonard Slatkin is the main guest conductor.

In 2004, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with conductor Gilbert Levine became the first American orchestra to play for the Pope.

Music Directors and other artistic leaders

  • 1895-1898 Frederic Archer (Lead Conductor)
  • 1898-1904 Victor Herbert
  • 1904-1910 Emil Paur
  • 1930-1937 Antonio Modarelli
  • 1937 Otto Klemperer (Guest Conductor)
  • 1938-1948 Fritz Reiner
  • 1948-1952 Victor de Sabata (Guest Conductor)
  • 1952-1976 William Steinberg

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Orquesta Sinfónica de Pittsburgh para niños

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