Considering the value of an orchestra tour, at home and abroad

Posted on: December 17, 2019

“Pittsburghers have waved [Steelers] Terrible Towels on Mount Everest, at the Great Wall of China and … recently … at the Philharmonie de Paris … at the conclusion of a Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performance,” writes Jeremy Reynolds in Sunday’s (12/15) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “This fall, the PSO stormed some of the continent’s best venues, packing halls from Vienna and Hamburg to Amsterdam and Brussels, and earning effusive praise from foreign press…. Orchestras are known as cultural ambassadors, and the visits elevate the reputation of a city.… PSO President and CEO Melia Tourangeau … noted the orchestra’s economic impact on [its home] region. ‘The reputation of the orchestra lifts the reputation of the whole region,’ Ms. Tourangeau said…. In Pittsburgh, there are some quantifiable outcomes, according to the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. Since 2006, two international companies—SYCOR Americas (310 employees) and Mesotech International (112 employees)—have set up U.S. headquarters in Allegheny County in part because of the orchestra’s touring efforts…. The orchestra can also function as a diplomatic emissary…. Ms. Tourangeau … said the PSO’s reputation is rising thanks to touring invitations, recent Grammy nominations and awards and the sheer quality of its concerts in Heinz Hall.”