Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The two-time 2018 GRAMMY® Award-winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is credited with a rich history of engaging the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and demonstrates a genuine commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 years, past music directors have included Fritz Reiner (1938-1948), William Steinberg (1952-1976), André Previn (1976-1984), Lorin Maazel (1984-1996) and Mariss Jansons (1997-2004). This tradition of outstanding international music directors was continued in fall 2008, when Austrian conductor Manfred Honeck became Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

The Pittsburgh Symphony is continually at the forefront of championing new American works. They premiered Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1944, John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986, and Mason Bates’ Resurrexit in 2018 to celebrate Manfred Honeck’s 60th birthday.

The orchestra has a long and illustrious history in the areas of recordings and live radio broadcasts. Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have received multiple GRAMMY® nominations for Best Orchestral Performance, taking home the award in 2018 for their recording of Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5; Barber: Adagio.

As early as 1936, the Pittsburgh Symphony has been broadcasted on the radio. Since 1982, the orchestra has received increased attention through national network radio broadcasts on Public Radio International, produced by Classical WQED-FM 89.3, made possible by the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Lauded as the Pittsburgh region’s international cultural ambassador, in 2019 the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Manfred Honeck, embarked on an extensive tour of Europe, the 25th in orchestra history.

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Reviews:

“Honeck and his A-list Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra provide an excellent…choice and…interpretive approach.” —Arthur Lintgen, Fanfare

“I can honestly say that Honeck and the superb Pittsburghians have given us a performance in phenomenal—underline that—surround sound that launches this rendition to the absolute top of the pile. The extraordinary caressing of phrases, perfection in the finely-graded chordal building blocks so fundamental to any genuine presentation of this music, and the fearlessness that the conductor displays in his willingness to contradict accepted tradition while still manifesting a healthy respect for it, make this experience one that will not easily be matched any time soon. … An essential recording!” —Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition

“In the cluttered mess that is the world of classical recordings today, Honeck and Pittsburgh stand virtually alone as a partnership truly worthy of your time and attention.” —David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

“The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and their Music Director Manfred Honeck have – in a very short space of time – become one of the most exciting teams in the modern classical world, with recordings that combine superlative musicianship with unparalleled recording quality.… we are offered a striking new interpretation of this imperishable masterpiece…” —Barry Forshaw, Classical CD Choice

“Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have quietly become one of the country’s hottest partnerships in repertory staples, thereby invigorating and legitimizing the very idea of a canon.” —David Allen, The New York Times

“…the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra members clearly project their enjoyment of the music through their individual instruments and in doing so, generate impressive sonics.” —Jean-Yves Dupperon, Classical Music Sentinel

“This album only confirms the fact that the Pittsburgh Symphony, always one of America’s greatest and most underrated orchestras, now tops the list in both interpretative finesse and recorded sound.” —Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition

“The combination of a thrilling performance by a world-class orchestra and conductor with the sonic brilliance of the recording sets a new standard for classical CDs.” —Henry Schlinger, Culture Spot LA

“The Pittsburgh Symphony plays the living daylights out of this music. Really, is there another group out there today that can play with this kind of bravura? … a huge victory for serious classical music lovers everywhere.” —David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

“In other words, the Pittsburgh/Honeck Beethoven album reaches the shortlist of this century’s great Beethoven symphony recordings. … This disc might have the best sound quality of all and it certainly has revolutionary booklet notes. You don’t often find yourself learning new things, and hearing new angles, in music as well-worn as Beethoven’s Fifth. That is what makes this such a special experience.” —Brian Reinhart, MusicWeb International

“Pittsburgh is still the best kept secret among American orchestras, easily as good as any other ensemble active on the national scene, and this recording proves it. Even with a formidable Beethoven tradition in play, and with equally formidable competition in the catalog, this release, with its illuminating and brilliant surround sound, takes pride of place among the best available, an audiophile’s delight.” —Steven Ritter, Audiophile Audition