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PSO opens season with street party

Friday, September 15, 2000

By Andrew Druckenbrod, Post-Gazette Classical Music Critic

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra isn't promising Jim Roddey will dance, but he'll be present at the festivities marking the grand opening of the orchestra's season tonight.

Pittsburgh Symphony

WITH: Mariss Jansons, conductor, Hilary Hahn, violin

WHERE: Heinz Hall, Downtown.

WHEN: Season-opening activities, 5:30 p.m.; concert 8 p.m. tonight-Saturday.

TICKETS: $17-$59. 412-392-4900.


The gala opening-night party will take place on blocked-off Sixth Street outside Heinz Hall, and inside the building, too. Its global motif will play off the PSO's season theme of being "one of the finest orchestras on the planet." But the orchestra also is wisely using the party to push public awareness about its extensive touring. Having recently returned from successful European tours in the last two years, the PSO wants Pittsburgh to realize the impact the orchestra has worldwide -- and the fact that it spreads the good name of Pittsburgh wherever it goes.

The next tour, in summer of 2001, will be to South America. To set the tone, salsa and merengue music will be performed by Orquesta Tropical. Inside Heinz Hall, the Center for Young Musicians will perform in the Grand Lobby. The event really gets started at 5:30 p.m. when Orquesta Tropical strikes up. WQED-FM will broadcast live from the street from 7:30 to 8 p.m.

At 7:15 p.m. in the Grand Lobby, PSO Managing Director Gideon Toeplitz, PSO board president Tom Todd and Allegheny County Executive Jim Roddey will be present for the symphony's unveiling of a plaque recognizing the Allegheny Regional Asset District for its support of the Heinz Hall renovations.

The party continues after the concert in a reception for patrons. Orchestra musicians and the evening's soloist, violinist Hilary Hahn, will sign autographs at Curtain Call, the PSO's store kitty-corner from Heinz Hall at Penn Avenue and Sixth Street. Most of the festivities will repeat on Saturday night at 5:30.

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