Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Open House

This evening the Pittsburgh Symphony held their annual open house for new season ticket holders.

I'm not technically a new season ticket holder; I purchased a series back in '04-'05, and I went to that open house, too.

The January 2005 event was a behind-the-scenes tour-- views of the flyloft, the practice rooms, the musicians' lounges, the guest artists' dressing rooms, and so on.

Tonight they must have run out of time for the backstage tour--it was more an introduction (via Marketing Director speech and video) of the 2008-2009 season and of new PSO conductor, Manfred Honeck. It amused me that the video featured a quotation from some local civic leader saying that not only is Maestro Honeck a great conductor who'll do wonderful things with an already world-class orchestra, but that he's also "a great family man and a great role model." I've never considered orchestra conductors as role models for the general population . . . but if his qualifications are based on his being a family man, he's got that one-- to the tune of six children.

Wonder if they'll spend any time in Pixburgh, or if they're too tied up with school and activities in Vienna? Though they may be grown by now!

This season's open house featured more music than the 2005, I believe-- pieces and movements by Bach, Brahms, and Schubert.

Members of the PSO here play us the Bach Double Concerto, BWV 1043. I regret not being able to get a view of the pianist as well:

Here are some scenes from the tour and the presentation:

The Grand Lobby

The Grand Lobby, looking towards 6th Street

The Grand Tier, with a view of the stage

We hear about the coming season

The string players take a bow
(Ouch. Sorry.)

Questions and answers: Happy memories of outplaying the Viennese in the Wiener Musikverein-- at their own music!

Enough music and talk-- let's head for the refreshments!

An inadvertent moment of humor: Our docent was describing what's known as the "Heinz Box," Grand Tier, stage right. Said he, "Members of the Heinz family get first claim to that box whenever they're in town. For instance, Teresa and John Heinz sit there when they come to concerts. They have a house in Fox Chapel."

"Teresa and John Heinz"? Poor Senator Kerry! Still in his wife's late husband's shadow!

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for taking us on the tour, too. (Poor Senator Kerry, indeed!)