Pittsburgh Symphony and city’s Cultural District partners prepare to welcome audiences—carefully

Posted on: June 22, 2021

At the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (left to right): Mark Houghton, horn; Lorna McGhee, principal flute; Andrew Reamer, principal percussion; Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO; Lisa Gedris, librarian; and, Irene Cheng, violin. Photo: Jared Wickerham

“Construction- and renovation-related obstacles are keeping the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) out of its home at Heinz Hall,” writes Nate Doughty in Friday’s (6/18) Pittsburgh Business Times. “The two-year summertime project … got delayed by the pandemic…. PSO plans to host an in-person gala for about 500 people on September 17 as part of a ‘semi-private’ event featuring a sit-down dinner and a concert. Opening night follows … on September 24…. PSO has designed new programs with reduced ensembles for smaller audiences that are 90 minutes in length without an intermission…. By January, PSO hopes to have much larger ensembles on stage with choral performances set to arrive by spring…. ‘We’re hoping and encouraging and campaigning to have as many people come downtown as possible…. When we are back into Heinz Hall, it’ll be fantastic to be able to have full houses again,’ said president and CEO Melia Tourangeau.” Also interviewed is Scott Shiller, vice president of artistic planning for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, which owns theaters, galleries, and other mixed-use properties in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District including Heinz Hall; Schiller discusses building upgrades and this month’s mostly outdoor Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.